I like balsamic vinegar. I didn't always know this about myself, but since I've been cooking more in the last two years, I've learned that I really do like the tangy flavor that balsamic vinegar tastes (though I can't stand the way it smells). It was just the right ingredient to make some boring old chicken breasts taste a heck of a lot more exciting.
Picture it: I was in my kitchen, staring at a package of boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trying to figure out what to do with them. I drew a blank. I went to Food Network's website, and searched through over 20 packages of chicken recipes before I came across something that sounded good that I had all the ingredients for...until I found this recipe from Giada de Laurentiis. All the while, Toddler was tugging on my leg, begging for dinner, so I was super relieved when I found this recipe. I am happy to report that even Toddler ate a good portion of this chicken, even though he's barely touched meat of any kind lately. Thank you, Giada!!
Pardon the total lack of artistic merit in this photo - it was one of those moments where the kid's screaming for dinner and you're rushing to get everything on the table, so I'm lucky to have gotten a picture at all!
Giada's Chicken with Balsamic BBQ Sauce
adapted from FoodNetwork.com
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Salt and ground pepper
1 cup balsamic vinegar
3/4 cup ketchup
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground pepper
1. Combine vinegar, ketchup, brown sugar, garlic, Worcestershire, Dijon, salt, and ground pepper in a small saucepan and stir until all ingredients are well blended and the mixture is smooth. Simmer over medium heat for 15-20 minutes, or until reduced by about 1/3.
2. Place a grill pan over medium heat or preheat a gas or charcoal grill. Season the meat with salt and pepper and brush lightly with BBQ sauce with a pastry brush. Place the meat on the grill. Place remaining BBQ sauce, still in the saucepan, over low heat to warm.
3. Cook the chicken for 6-8 minutes per side, depending on the thickness of the chicken. Continually brush the meat with BBQ sauce during cooking. Let the chicken rest for a few minutes before serving.
4. Alternately, you can cook the chicken in the oven. Preheat the oven to 375, and place the chicken in a baking dish, spoon some barbecue sauce over them and cook for 25 minutes. Take the chicken out of the oven and spoon some more barbecue sauce on them and put them back in the oven for another 5-10 minutes until the chicken is 180 degrees.