Do you have a food nemesis? I do – and embarrassingly, it’s the wimpy boneless skinless chicken breasts. There was a time when I couldn’t cook one decently to save my own life – they were always either too dry or pink and icky in the middle. Ha ha. I said “was a time”… like I can cook one now. Regardless, it was a super unfortunate stage because I went through a weird “no red meat” period for a couple of years in my early 20’s and chicken was the only meat that I would eat.
Back then, eating all that chicken had its problems. Sometimes by Thursday or Friday, it seems like there are only 3 ways too cook chicken – and I did that on Sunday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. I still find myself in a rut when it comes to chicken these days. Last week, I ran across two recipes for glazed chicken that sounded intriguing – a balsamic chicken drummet recipe from Giada de Laurentiis.
I really don’t know what it is. I was never able to cook chicken decently on a Foreman grill – tough and dry. I can’t cook them in a saute pan – no matter how low I turn the heat down, I always seem to get a browned outside and a pink inside. I seem to do a wee bit better over open flame on our back patio, but that’s only if we’re not having margaritas… I have a tendency to walk away and forget that I’m grilling. And the oven is just as hit-and-miss, so when I do make a decent chicken, the world gets to hear about it!
Rice is a super quick-fix for a side and it doesn’t have to be boring. I like to toast it before cooking to enhance the flavor. The balsamic glaze is rich and so very flavorful. I ended up dipping my broccoli and scooping some of my rice into it.
Balsamic-Glazed Chicken Breasts with Toasted Rice
A rich, flavorful glaze for "plain" chicken breasts. Speed up the process by marinating the chicken the night before.
- For the chicken:
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/8 cup soy sauce
- 1 Tbsp dried rosemary
- 3 garlic cloves, crushed
- 4 boneless/skinless chicken breasts
- 1/2 Tbsp toasted sesame seeds
- For the rice:
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 cup white rice
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1 Tbsp parsley, chopped
- Combine the balsamic, honey, brown sugar, soy sauce, rosemary, and garlic cloves, in a large, re-sealable plastic bag. Shake and squeeze the contents of the bag to dissolve the honey and the brown sugar. Add the chicken to the bag and seal with as little air as possible in the bag. Place in the refrigerator and marinate for 2 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Place the chicken on a foil-lined baking sheet. Bake until the juices run clear, 20-25 minutes. Meanwhile, place the marinade in a small saucepan. Bring the marinade to a boil (in order to kill bacteria). Reduce the heat to simmer and cook over low heat until thick, about 15-20 minutes. Reserve.
- Use a pastry brush to brush some of the cooked marinade on the cooked chicken. Plate the chicken on top of a spoonful of sauce and sprinkle with the sesame seeds.
- To make the rice:
- Add oil and garlic to saute pan and cook for 2 minutes over medium heat. Turn flame to med-high and add rice, stirring to coat with oil. Cook until golden brown, stirring occasionally (6-8 minutes). When rice begins to brown, keep an eye on it - it goes from toasted to scorched in two minutes flat. Add chicken stock, dodge the steam cloud, turn heat down, and stir until all liquid is dissolved. Stir in chopped parsley and serve.
Yields: 4 servings
Estimated time: 3 hours
Yum I keep meaning to try that Giada recipe, maybe I will put it on next week’s menu. I can bake chicken okay but I cannot do it on the stove top. Alas no chicken marsala for us 🙁 Like you said mine cooks up on the outside but is very pink on the inside. It may have to do with the fact that I can never get my chicken to pound as thin as I’d like. Let me know if you figure out the magic trick!
the secret is to cover the pan when cooking chicken on the stove top!
I have the same problem cooking chicken – I usually end up over cooking for fear of salmonella. This recipe looks great – I am a huge balsamic vinegar fan, so I love anything with it!
Shawnda, this is delicious! I don’t like weird pale chicken either. 🙂
I cook with chicken so often that I am shocked I have yet to try Giada’s recipe. I have some drumsticks at home that I have no clue what to do with. This would be the perfect solution. Your food porn always makes me drool. And that rice looks wonderful.
I love the look of this! I also feel this way about boneless skinless chicken breasts, they always come out so dry and boring!
This looks like the perfect dinner, not only the chicken, but I love rice and broccoli.
I love to marinate my chicken in the fridge for 24 hrs before grilling it. It always comes out good then.
Yeah – chicken doesn’t seem to want to cooperate for me either. Although…I have gotten better with the bacon wrapped chicken and the lemon chicken I have made. This looks fabulous! I just love Giada….wish she was family! 🙂
I have a similar balsamic chicken recipe that I use. Delicious!
Yum, this is definately going on the menu this week! I cut the chicken into bite size chunks before I cook it, that way i know it cooks through and there is extra marinaded flavor in every bite 🙂
The ingredients list calls for boneless skinless breast but the cooking instructions mention drumsticks and carmelized skin..?
Sorry, I converted it from a drumstick recipe and missed that line. You’ll cook the chicken until the juices run clear (or use a meat thermometer to test doneness).
I made this recipe for a dinner party and it was a HUGE hit! It was amazing and super easy to make (because if it’s not easy, I fail at it!) The boys kept going back for the glaze to put on everything! We made the roasted asparagus with bacon vinaigrette too, which went really well with it by subbing the white wine vinegar with a balsamic vinegar. Can’t wait to try more of your recipes!!