Friday, October 23, 2009

Rosemary Balsamic Chicken Salad

4 boneless chicken breast halves (or thighs--cook longer if using)
1/2-3/4 cup good balsamic vinegar
1-2 tsp. (or more if you like it) Dijon mustard
3-4 Tbsp. brown sugar or honey
Fresh rosemary and thyme--to taste, about 1 Tbsp. each
(if using dry herbs, only 1 tsp. and crush in your palm before adding)
Freshly ground black pepper
1-2 cups low-sodium chicken stock
2 Tbsp. cold butter

Mix the vinegar, mustard, sugar, garlic, and herbs in a bowl or large ziploc bag. Add the chicken breasts. Refrigerate for thirty minutes, or up to several hours. (The longer you marinate, the more tender and juicy the chicken.)

Heat a large skillet over med-high heat. Drizzle a little olive oil to cover the bottom of the skillet. When oil shimmers, the pan is ready. Remove the chicken from the marinade, but reserving the marinade for later. Sear the chicken breasts for about 2 minutes per side, or until dark brown. Lower heat and add the reserved marinade. Continue to simmer over low heat until the chicken has cooked through and the marinade has started to thicken. You may add chicken broth at this time. Add the amount you want according to how thick or thin you want your sauce.

Remove chicken from skillet and place on a warm plate. Cover with foil and set aside. Let the sauce thicken a little more. Adjust seasonings--more sugar if you like it sweeter, etc. When the sauce has thickened to desired consistency, add cold butter and whisk it quickly into the sauce to incorporate it.

Serve over romaine lettuce with candied pecans, dried cranberries, Parmesan cheese, green onions, and applies. The sauce can be used as the dressing.

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