Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Balsamic Chicken and Mushrooms

There aren't too many things in the kitchen more versatile than balsamic vinegar. I think it tastes good on beef, as a marinade for chicken, on greens, on arugula, and of course to make restaurant quality salad at home. Whenever I see recipes featuring this versatile ingredient they nearly always sound good to me. A dish with sauteed chicken, balsamic vinegar, and mushrooms caught my eye on Dine and Dish, who found the recipe on RecipeZaar.

But you know how I am. I just never was that good at following directions! (I used to call myself *the woman who never followed a recipe in her life.*) I kept the ingredients similar to the original recipe, but used a very different method to make the dish. Luckily, it turned out great!

Balsamic Chicken and Mushrooms
(Makes 2 servings, could be doubled easily. Adapted from a recipe idea on Dine and Dish, who got it from RecipeZaar.)

Ingredients:
1 cup sliced mushrooms (about 4 oz., I used baby bella brown mushrooms)
1-2 T olive oil (depends on your pan)
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 T 100% whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp. poultry seasoning (I like Penzeys.)
1/3 cup chicken stock or canned chicken broth
2 T good quality Balsamic vinegar (I like Fini Brand)
1 tsp. Dijon Mustard
1/2 tsp. garlic puree

Instructions:
Clean mushrooms and slice in thick slices. (I confess, I wash my mushrooms.) Heat a little of the olive oil in heavy frying pan and saute mushrooms 4-5 minutes, until starting to slightly brown.

While mushrooms brown, trim all visible fat and tendons from chicken breasts, then pound chicken until it is about 3/8 inch thick. (I put chicken in a small, heavy duty ziploc bag and use a meat mallet to pound one chicken breast at a time.)

Mix flour and poultry seasoning on a plate. Remove mushrooms from frying pan and put in small bowl. Add a bit more olive oil to pan and heat. Coat each chicken breast in a very thin layer of flour/poultry seasoning mixture, then add to pan. Saute over medium heat until quite brown on each side, about 6-7 minutes total. While chicken cooks, combine balsamic vinegar, Dijon, and garlic puree.

When chicken is browned on both sides and done, remove from pan and put on serving plate. Add chicken stock to hot pan and deglaze, scraping browned bits off the bottom. Cook 1-2 minutes, until stock is slightly reduced. Add balsamic vinegar mixture, and mushrooms, cook 1-2 minutes more. Pour over chicken and serve immediately.


South Beach Suggestions:
This would be phase two or three for the South Beach Diet, due to the flour. I think you could make it without flour with pretty good results, although I like the way chicken browns with a bit of flour coating it. This would taste great with Pureed Cauliflower with Garlic, Parmesan, and Goat Cheese or Roasted Butternut Squash with Rosemary and Balsamic Vinegar. Roasted Broccoli with Garlic would be a good side dish.counter customizable free hit

17 comments:

Ilva said...

What a GREAT idea with chicken and balsamic vinegar! Thanks Kalyn, now I have to start thinking about a variation on the theme! Not that there's anything wrong with you recipe but I have the same tendencies as you when it comes to following recipes, I tend to consider them as a starting point for a embroidery...

Pille said...

Sounds absolutely delicious - chicken is my favourite meat, and I simply love mushrooms:) Bookmarked!

Homesick Texan said...

I agree, balsamic vinegar is a favorite...I pour it on everything! It can make the most pedestrian dish taste sublime.

pudding for brains said...

Oh Joy!!
I just bought a lovely bottle of aged balsamic from COSTCO! I am so excited to try the recipe. I'm off to buy some mushrooms now!

Melissa said...

This sounds fantastic - Kalyn - What about using arrowroot in lieu of flour. Is that something that would make it better for phase 1?

Kalyn said...

Ilva, can't wait to see what you come up with for an adaptation of my adaptation!

Pille, hope you try it.

Lisa, aka ht, I just love balsamic vinegar too. I can eat it on just about anything.

PFB, great timing! Hope you like it.

Melissa, I'm not sure how using arrowroot to coat meat before browning would work. I think I'd be more likely to just leave off the flour. Arrowroot is good for thickening for some things, but not for everything, in my opinion. It gives foods kind of a shiny look that isn't right for some recipes. Let me know if you try it, it's definitely ok for phase one.

Chris said...

Yum! I love, love, love balsamic vinegar. I've used it a lot with pork - as a sauce...reducing it with a little brown sugar. Now, I have to try it with chicken. Great recipe! Thanks!

Annie said...

Love chicken. Love mushrooms. Looks divine!

Meeta said...

This looks divine Kalyn. I love all the combinations of flavors and aromas. Gotta gotta try!
There it's bookmarked!

mashenka@dc said...

Question for you balsamic lovers: I have both supermarket balsamic on hand as well as extremely expensive, $50 balsamic on hand (my relatives like to give me high end cooking inputs like balsamic, truffle oil, etc. since they know I love to cook), and I'm not sure what to use in a recipe like this.

I DO know that if I do something rarified like drizzle balsamic over vanilla ice cream, I need to use the good stuff. For salads, it's a bit of a toss up, although I personally think you can taste the difference. For marinades where balsamic is not the chief ingredient, usually I use the cheaper stuff, but maybe when it's the central motif of the dish, I should pop the expensive stuff???

Kalyn said...

Chris and Annie, hope you like it.

Mashenka, here is a good post about the differences in balsamic vinegars for people who are interested. I used my favorite Fini Brand for this, which is a medium-priced mass produced vinegar. If I had some really good stuff, I might have used it, since this doesn't take a lot of vinegar.

Kristen said...

You did change it up a bit... I am so glad you liked it! Your photos are amazing.

Kalyn said...

Kristen, thanks. (It's the camera, not me. I'm barely learning how to take pictures.) I'm loved this recipe!

Kelly said...

Kalyn, I have been reading your blog for a while now but I've never commented. I tried this recipe last night and it was FANTASTIC! I omitted the flour because I'm on phase 1, and it worked out just great. I loved the flavors! Since I like to tweak things too, next time I might try splitting the breasts in half (instead of pounding them) and stuff them with a layer of fontina or mozzarella cheese...yum! Just an idea! Your website is REALLY helping me stick to phase 1 this time...usually I get so bored or discouraged with the lack of variety of things I can eat on this phase and end up derailing far too soon. Thank you so much for all the time and creativity that goes into this blog, I am sure it helps lots of others too!!

Kalyn said...

Kelly, I love your idea of stuffing the chicken breasts with cheese. Glad to know the blog is helpful, thanks for letting me know!

Melissa said...

This was amazing!!!! I decided to make mine with almond meal instead of flour because I like to have my starches in different forms. I also added a couple of handfuls of fresh spinach in when the mushrooms and sauce were mixed together. I put the lid on long enough for the spinach to wilt. I will definitely make this again. I just love balsamic vinegar!!! ;)

Kalyn said...

Melissa, I like the sound of your version!

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