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Thursday, October 22, 2009

Super Tasty Chicken

I love this savory fast dinner. Not only does it look and taste terrific, but it takes a total of 45 minutes from start to finish. Total cost of the ingredient is $7.45. Not great, considering that we try to keep to the food budget of $10/day, for the entire family. However, we usually have enough chicken and sauce leftover for a lunch so the cost is spread over 2 meals on different days.

The first time we had it, Bill said that it looked and tasted like something we would get in a elegant restaurant. I agree!

Chicken Breast with Balsamic Vinegar and Shallot Sauce

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon good olive oil
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (each about 6 ounces)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup chopped shallots
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon ketchup
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon good olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
4 cups of fresh or frozen vegetables

Heat the oven to 200 degrees F. Heat 1 tablespoon of the butter and the oil over high heat in a heavy saucepan or skillet large enough to hold the chicken breasts in one layer. When hot, add the chicken breasts, and sprinkle them with the salt and pepper. Saute, uncovered, for about 3 minutes on each side. Transfer the breasts to an ovenproof plate, reserving the drippings in the pan, and place them in the oven and continue cooking for at least 18 minutes but no more than 30 minutes. (Could be less if you have gas oven)

Add the shallots to the drippings in the pan, and cook for about 1 minute over high heat. Add the vinegar and ketchup and continue for another minute. Add the water, and cook until the liquid is reduced by half. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon butter and stir until it is incorporated.

Meanwhile, for the vegetables: Heat the butter and olive oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add the vegetables, salt, and pepper. Saute for 3 to 4 minutes, until the vegetables are cooked through.

To serve, place the vegetables on plate and spread the vegetable into a circle (place a spoon in the middle of the plate and make a circular motion, but don't push vegetables off the plate). Place the chicken breast in the center and coat with the sauce, sprinkle with chives and serve.

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