Friday, June 1, 2007

Pan-Seared Chicken with Balsamic Sweet Onions and Potatoes

My santoku knife really wanted me to make this recipe. He was desperate to boastfully show off his newly-sharpened edge. Since I cannot say no to him, well, I gave in to his wish.


After a busy day of moving things into storage today, I wanted to make a hearty (and well-deserved) meal to end the day. I've had my eye on this recipe for a while now, and I decided it was long overdue to finally make it.

This is easy to prepare, and chopping the onion and potatoes was easy and fast thanks to my awesome knife. (Boast away, Sir Santoku.)

The pungent balsamic vinegar is muted slightly by the stock and along with the savory sweetness of the rosemary makes a delicious, flavorful sauce. Word to the wise, though: Stand Back As You Add The Balsamic Vinegar To The Pan!!! Whoa!!! I didn't prepare myself (or my poor nose) for that smell. I should have known better. Live and learn (and I learned I won't EVER do that again). The original recipe called for four chicken breasts, but I only used two chicken cutlets instead. Usually there is not enough sauce for my tastes in written recipes, so I always double the sauce, but this time I kept the amount of vegetables and sauce the same as the original recipe and reduced the pieces of chicken from 4 to 2 instead. However, I do think that there would be enough to make four servings of chicken with the sauce amounts below. Serve this in pasta bowls to keep the chicken and vegetables swimming in the sauce. Serve with steamed green beans. The green beans taste just as good swimming in the sauce as the main course does.

Enjoy (and please don't forget the balsamic vinegar advice)!!!

Pan-Seared Chicken with Balsamic Sweet Onions and Potatoes

Adapted from Food & Drink, Holiday 2004

Choose round waxy-type potatoes to make sure they hold their shape while cooking. Make sure the potatoes are almost tender before adding the vinegar because the acid can prevent potatoes from softening.

2 boneless, skinless chicken cutlets
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons butter
4 small potatoes (about 1 lb.), cut into ½-inch cubes
1 large sweet onion, halved and thinly sliced lengthwise
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary (or ¼ teaspoon dried)
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
1 cup turkey stock

Sprinkle one side of chicken with salt and pepper. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Add half of butter and swirl to coat pan. Add chicken breasts, seasoned-side down, and season remaining side. Brown, turning once, until well-browned on both sides. Transfer to a plate and cover with foil to keep warm.

Melt remaining butter in skillet. Cook potatoes, onions and rosemary, stirring, for 2 minutes or until some liquid is released. Cover, reduce heat to medium and cook, shaking pan often, for about 15 minutes or until potatoes and onions are almost tender and starting to brown. Increase heat to medium-high and add vinegar. Boil, scraping up any bits stuck to pan, until reduced and syrupy. Pour in stock and bring to a boil. Return chicken to pan with any accumulated juices, spooning some of the sauce over chicken. Cover, reduce heat and simmer for about 10 minutes, turning chicken halfway, or until potatoes are tender and chicken is no longer pink inside.

Transfer chicken to serving plates. Season sauce and vegetables with salt and pepper to taste and spoon over chicken.

Notes: I used Yukon Gold potatoes (which kept their shape nicely), a Vidalia onion and dried rosemary. Original recipe used chicken stock, but I used turkey stock since that's what I had on hand.

Add chicken to these ingredients...


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