Food Friday: Balsamic Chicken

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Twin boys, age 2 1/2 weeks, still one week from their due date. Taken March 16, 2009.

Wondering what these gorgeous little loves have to do with Food Friday and chicken? Not much, except I made this when visiting these fellows last weekend, and I am convinced it is so easy even the sleep-deprived, frazzled parents of newborns might be able to make it. Might. Also, I couldn’t wait to post a preview of the photos we took, so here you go. This was my first time photographing twins, and lucky me, it won’t be my last—my sister and brother-in-law are expecting twins this summer, whee!

Matt and Leo are the lovely sons of our dear friends Jess and Dan, and another friend and I got the chance to spend the weekend with this new family of four. If you think cuddling a newborn is heavenly? Try two. While it certainly isn’t easy caring for needy wee ones around the clock and day after day, this mom and dad are already an amazingly synchronized team of completely equal caregiving, and I know they are all going to be just fine. Especially since they live around the corner from one of the world’s most amazing gelato experiences ever—84 flavors, I think.

Balsamic Chicken

6 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves

1 1/2 teaspoons fresh rosemary leaves, minced or 1/2 teaspoon dried (and if you live near me, I practically have a rosemary hedge, so come take some off my hands)

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

4-6 Tablespoons white wine (optional)

1/4 cup aged balsamic vinegar

Rinse the chicken and pat dry. Combine the rosemary, garlic, pepper and salt in a small bowl and mix well. Place the chicken in a large bowl, drizzle with oil and rub with spice mixture. Cover and refrigerate overnight. (We have never done this, and nor would parents of newborn twins–just pour it all together and cook–the flavors are so pungent that advance marination doesn’t seem necessary!)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees, spray a heavy roasting pan or iron skillet with cooking spray and place the chicken in the pan. Bake for ten minutes and turn the chicken over. If the drippings begin to stick to the pan, stir in a few tablespoons of water or wine (if using).

Bake about 10 more minutes on other side or until a thermometer in the thickest portion regiters 160 and the juices run clear. If the pan is dry, stir in another tablespoon of water to loosen the drippings. Drizzle the vinegar over the chicken in the pan. (Again, did not do this, mixed it all together and cooked. Nothing was dry.)

Transfer chicken to platter or cutting board.

You can do anything with this chicken–serve it with rice or potato or over pasta with broccoli. I like to make it into a salad, so I slice the chicken into long strips and then add what I have on hand—red pepper, grape tomatoes, cucumber, Parmesan cheese, olives—and sprinkle it all over red leaf lettuce, washed and spun dry. I either make a dressing with oil and vinegar or use Annie’s Goddess Dressing on top. YUM. (And, for those of you in the South Beach Diet way of thinking, all perfectly legal, you can even have blue cheese dressing!)

A great tip for busy families is to make this at the beginning of the week (double it, even!) and use the sliced meat  in sandwiches, salads, soups and quesadillas.

Hope you can find a moment to make this, Jess and Dan! Your boys are amazing and so are you, will send all the photos after the weekend.  xo

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14 Responses to “Food Friday: Balsamic Chicken”

  1. libound Says:

    OH HUG HUG HUG – we all love you!!!!! Readers, this recipe is delicious!! Anna made it for us while photographing our children, cleaning our house, and showering us with gifts and love. I will make it again and again – delish. Anna says she makes a nice big batch at the beginning of the week and the chicken can do lots of miraculous things throughout your weekly cooking. Glad to have it here in writing, since Anna makes it look easy but my sleep deprived judgment will need instruction in the kitchen and all areas.
    J, D, Matt & Leo

  2. Tanya Says:

    what a perfectly precious shot! and what sounds to be a yummy…and easy recipe :)

    Thanks!

  3. Christina Says:

    SWEET – both those two darling little boys, and this yummy recipe. It sounds delish on a salad. I love romesary and I love babies! You’ve whet my appetite – can’t wait for the rest of the pics!

  4. Melissa Says:

    How did we miss the gelato 84 flavor experience on this trip???!!!

  5. sdh Says:

    can’t wait to see the rest of the twin pics…
    84 flavors of gelato?? Jess, we are definitely coming in June!

  6. Chrissy Says:

    That chicken sounds great for so many things. I love balsamic vinegar (and all vinegar) on anything and everything. (So much so, in fact, that I might be tempted to drink it straight.) Thanks for the recipe!

    And, of course, truly an adorable photo. And congratulations to your sister and her husband! Twins will be such a fun addition to the family!

  7. B. Says:

    fast, easy and tasty

  8. Katy Says:

    I am making this RIGHT NOW! Just wish I had more chicken. We’ll have this with roasted beets and brussels sprouts and some chubby rolls. I love your food ideas. I am so happy. I wish every day could be a food friday.

  9. Sue Says:

    Oh Anna,
    Those photo’s were just darling. Can’t wait t see more!
    Great, great job!

  10. libound Says:

    Hi! Putting the peapod order in just now – chicken breast on the list. Wish the rosemary hedge was around the corner and we could pop in for a sprig and news of Kate. Update us soon, we are fretting a bit. xoxo

  11. libound Says:

    Making this RIGHT NOW for the week, hooray! Will call soon for A&I updates.

  12. katy Says:

    I make this ALL OF THE TIME now. Why does it work? Why does it not dry out? It is a miracle. Now that I have made it a bunch of times, I have my own twists:

    Put tons of big pieces of fresh herbs (sage, thyme, oregano…) & garlic to make them easier to scrape off for the child who fears “speckles, freckles, and fleckers” on his chicken.

    Also I increase the balsamic vinegar (glug, glug), and while the chicken rests on the cutting board, I simmer the vinegar & chicken sludge together on the stove, until it gets thick & syrupy.

    This is a H&W page I come back to regularly, and I have to say, the babies pictured freak me out every time and make me feel like a cannibal. But in a good way! Like the babies and I are having a private joke.

  13. Jess Says:

    Here I am again, making this again, has been such a lifesaver – :) YUM again! Thanks Anna!

  14. Katy Says:

    I am making this AGAIN! Five years later…Is it just me? Are comments even allowed in these parts anymore?

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