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Chicken & Balsamic Sauce

Posted in: Dinner, Chicken,


Author, blogger, and recipe developer Jane Ward shares one of her favorite creations with Food Columnist Heather Atwood in this video. It is very easy and quick to do and makes a rich variation to a chicken breast dinner.
The Balsamic vinegar is mixed with orange juice, cumin and cayenne pepper along with some chopped onion and garlic, ending with a few whole olives. Sauté the chicken breasts first, and after they are done keep warm in a 150 degree oven while assembling the rest of the sauce. Reduce heat to the pan and sauté onions and garlic, adding orange juice and balsamic vinegar to deglaze the pan. Add the chicken back into the pan with the olives to finish the dish.


Chicken & Balsamic Sauce

8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, opened out flat like a cutlet (breasts can be substituted if you absolutely have to, but the meat won’t be as succulently moist)
2 tablespoons olive oil
6 cloves of garlic, finely minced
1 yellow onion, peeled, halved, and sliced thinly
1 teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 cup fresh orange juice (or fresh squeezed from a carton)
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
½ cup to 1 cup assorted pitted olives (I used a combination of green and Kalamata; use what you like, and in the amount that suits your taste)


1. Heat olive oil in a large heavy skillet over medium high heat.  Season chicken on both sides with salt and pepper.  Working with 4 pieces at a time, brown the chicken on both sides.  Transfer to a baking sheet lined with foil and set in a warm (150-170 degree) oven.  Repeat with second batch.
2. When all chicken is browned and keeping warm, lower heat under skillet to medium.  Add the garlic to the pan and sauté, stirring, until it begins to turn pale gold.  Add the onion and sauté this with the garlic until the onion softens.  Add the cumin and cayenne pepper and stir these around to toast them a bit, then add orange juice and vinegar.  
3. Stir to deglaze browned bits from the bottom of the skillet, then turn the heat up a bit and let sauce start to bubble and reduce by about a third. You want this to look thickened and slightly syrupy.
4. Return chicken to the pan, add the olives, and stir everything together with the sauce.  Cover, reduce heat, and let simmer until chicken is cooked through, about 10 minutes.  
5. Check for seasoning and add salt and pepper to taste if needed.
Serving suggestion: Turmeric rice flavored with a sachet of coriander seeds.
Recipe courtesy of Jane Ward, Food and Fiction, 2010.

About The Cook

Jane WardJane Ward is the author of HUNGER (Forge, 2001) and THE MOSAIC ARTIST (2011). Jane graduated from Simmons College with a degree in English Literature, the desire to write novels, and an aptitude fo

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