Friday, January 07, 2011

Recipe: Chicken with Balsamic Cream Sauce

Here is a decadent, amazingly delicious dish that has it all.  Layers upon layers of flavor, rich, tart, slightly sweet -- garlic, mushrooms, chicken, Balsamic, shallots, wine, and a touch of cream....
Absolutely yummy.

I have to give credit to my sister Veronica for putting the idea into my head!  She asked if I had tried a balsamic crema on ice cream.  I have not, but she peaked my curiosity.  In Europe, this is is sold by the bottle.... I always prefer homemade, so I am actively seeking a recipe.

Until then, I tried my hand at a homemade savory sauce for chicken.  And I am thrilled.  So is Jon.  This recipe is a favorite.  I threw in a little of this and a little of that --- feel free to make some variations -- I made this all in one skillet and used an oven to keep things warm along the way.
I served this with Dad's roasted potatoes, but Jon thinks this sauce would be good on anything!  I guess you could do rice, pasta, mashed potatoes or toast, but I am partial to potatoes...

4 Chicken breasts - (sliced in half in thick fingers"
1 small onion, minced
2 T canola oil
2 cups sliced mushrooms
4 cloves smashed garlic
2 T butter
3 - 4 T flour
1/4 cup + 2 T balsamic vinegar, divided
3 T heavy cream
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 - 3/4 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup chopped parsley (or 4 T dried parsley in a pinch)
salt & pepper

Preheat oven to 350.
In a large skillet, heat the canola oil.  When hot, add the chicken pieces and sprinkle with pepper.  Cook until brown and then flip each piece.  Add the chopped onion.  When all exposed skin in cooked and the onion is golden brown, put all chicken pieces and onion in a pan.  Drizzle with 2 T balsamic vinegar. Place in the warm oven until ready for the next step.

Heat the skillet again and when hot, add the mushrooms.  (Add another couple of teaspoons of canola oil if needed.)  Cook mushrooms about 5 - 7 minutes until soft and add garlic and parsley.  Cook until garlic is fragrant, then add butter.  Stir until butter is mixed into the mushrooms and then sprinkle with flour.  Stir floured mushrooms until they sizzle nicely.  Cook 2 minutes longer and then add chicken broth.
The mixture will bubble and start to thicken.  Pour in 1/4 cup balsamic and stir.  When mixture bubbles and thickens, add the wine.  Once the sauce starts to simmer, add the chicken pieces.  Simmer until and serve when ready.

 - When the chicken comes out of the oven, if there is any doubt that is 100% cooked, slice into it to check.  If the chicken is not cooked, then continue to heat it until cooked.  In most cases, it will be cooked.... Always check when in doubt.

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