Skip to main content

Balsamic Braised Chicken & Charred Green Beans

I've been making this recipe for a long time. It is so simple and it is so tasty.  I'm such a sucker for balsamic vinegar. There's no need to use expensive stuff here - the cheap stuff will do.  Just be sure that it is a good tasting cheap balsamic.  If it doesn't taste good to start, it won't taste good once it's reduced.

Balsamic Braised Chicken Thighs (Health Magazine)

1 lb chicken thighs
2 T olive oil
1/4 c shallots, minced
3 sprigs fresh thyme
1/4 c red wine
3/4 c balsamic vinegar
1/4 c chicken stock
1/4 c honey
1 bay leaf

Preheat oven 350.  Salt and pepper the chicken thighs.  In a skilled add olive oil and brown the thighs on both sides (3-5 minutes). Remove from pan.  Add the shallots and thyme to skillet and cook until shallots are tender but not browned. Add wine to deglaze the pan, scraping up the chicken bits. Cook until the wine evaporates and you can hear the shallots begin to sizzle again. Add chicken, balsamic vinegar, chicken stock, honey, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil on top of the stove.  Cover and bake in the oven for 15 minutes.  Uncover and turn chicken over. Cook for an additional 15 minutes.  Remove chicken from skillet and cook sauce on high heat until thickened and reduced by about half. Place chicken back in skillet and reheat for 1-2 minutes.

I also went with these pan charred green beans as a side. They had a real nice smoky taste. They were easy enough to make. My only regret was that I used Griselda for the chicken. I think, the green beans would have turned more charred in the cast iron. I used haricot verts so the cooking time was a little less.

Also instead of using cider vinegar I used Kressi - seasoned vinegar from Switzerland. I got turned onto it when I read The Man Who Ate the World - in Search of the Perfect Dinner by Jay Rayner. He raved and raved about this vinegar.  He said he always brings back a bottle when he goes to Switzerland or will ask others to bring back some (sounds like me with chocolate). I just had to get some and try it.  It is really good and adds a slightly different taste to vinaigrettes and mayonnaise. I totally get why he raved about it. It is now a staple in the pantry.


Popular posts from this blog

Cinnamon Star Bread

I was very perplexed by this recipe. I could not figure out by the directions how it got into this shape. I understood the twisting part but then was at a loss. The website didn't have a video or pictures - was I just being dense? Well once I cut the dough into the 16 pieces and twisted - DUH - it was a little clearer. I decided to include pictures for those of you that need a visual.

Cinnamon Star Bread (Adapted from King Arthur Flour)

3/4 c warm milk (100-110 degrees)
2T sugar
2 t yeast
4T butter
2 c flour
1 t salt
1/3 c instant mashed potato flakes*
1 t vanilla

1 lg egg, beaten
1/3 c sugar
2T cinnamon

Combine milk, sugar, and yeast in a small measuring cup. Mix well and set aside. Place butter, flour, salt, instant mashed potatoes and vanilla in a large bowl. After yeast is bubbly add to dry ingredients. Mix with dough hook until dough is smooth and soft. (Or mix by hand and then knead by hand until smooth and soft). Place in a greased bowl and let sit for 1 hour or un…

Burnt Cinnamon Simple Syrup

The NY Times Magazine section did a piece on cocktails about two weeks ago and one was calling me-Rhum Agricole Daiquiri. What attracted me here (well besides the cocktail aspect) was the Burnt Cinnamon Simple Syrup. It was easy enough to make, as are most simple syrups, but it was the potential uses.  I started thinking not only daiquiris but why not with Applejack? Apples, burnt cinnamon sounds like a winner to me. Or how about a nice hot cider, with a little rum, and the simple syrup (Guess I'll have to wait until the fall for the cider). On the non-alcohol side-why not use it to moisten a sponge cake - wouldn't that give it an interesting flavor? Or what about a burnt cinnamon ice cream?

Now first for the burning of the cinnamon - it felt a little like I was doing a cleanse to ward off evil spirits. I think that is usually done with sage but if cinnamon works too - so be it. The recipe recommended using a small creme brulee torch to burn the cinnamon sticks - like you do. …

It's Better With Butter

Why would you want to make your own butter? Because it tastes better! And it's easy. All you need it heavy cream, salt, and a mixer-although you can get away without using the mixer. If you are using a mixer, you will need to cover it with plastic wrap, unless you're really into cleaning up splatter. Pour heavy cream into your mixer. It doesn't have to be fresh. It can be close to its expiration date. This time I used 3 cups because I had an open container and an unopened one.
You just whip it for about 10-15 minutes on high. It first looks like whipped cream, then starts to deflate a bit, then starts to get a yellowish hue, until finally you hear a clunk clunk noise and you know you have separated the butter from the buttermilk (boy was that a run on sentence or what?). By this time the plastic wrap is so covered in splatter you can't see into the bowl any longer.

From 3 cups of cream you end up with about 1 1/2 cups of buttermilk. Strain the butt…