Thursday, January 26, 2006

Unattractive but tasty

Balsamic Chicken
Cooking and Canning With Mamma D’Amato
Copyright 1997

¼ cup flour
salt and pepper
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, halved, totaling about 2 lbs I used tenders
4 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon oregano
6 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Season flour with salt and pepper and dredge chicken breasts in seasoned flour. Heat oil in a large heavy skillet and brown on both sides over medium heat. Add minced garlic, oregano, and vinegar, then cover and cook over low heat until chicken is tender, about 15 minutes. (I cooked this just about through before adding the vinegar which was a good thing because the vinegar reduced quickly and the chicken started getting very dark and sticky almost immediately.)

Serves 4 to 6

This was a very tasty dish. The chicken was really tender and as Mama D'Amato said in the book, the vinegar gave this a 'piquant taste similar to wine'. Unfortunately, the appearance of the chicken wasn't that great - it was very dark and sticky and not very photogenic at all. I probably wouldn't serve this to company but I would make it again for ourselves. It was so fast and simple to prepare. I've had to shop around for an affordable balsamic vinegar that I liked to cook with - some just aren't very good, I've found. I actually buy a not-too-expensive store brand, but they package it in a fancy bottle just like the more expensive vinegars.

This really is a great cookbook. It's a simple book lacking pictures of the food and including only brief comments with the recipes but you really feel as if you're standing in her kitchen cooking with Mama D'Amato. I bet it was very hard for her to sit down and write out these recipes because I'm guessing she doesn't use recipes to cook.


Heather said...

Can you make a suggestion on the balsamic vinegar? I have no clue how to even compare them.
I think this sounds great.

The Cookbook Junkie said...

I'm not an expert, Heather. All I know is that nothing I used to make using balsamic vinegar tasted very good. I would buy 'popular' brands, although not necessarily a brand that specialized in vinegar (for example, I think I've tried Progresso brand in the past). This store brand caught my eye once (it comes in a fancy, tall, dark bottle with gold trim) and now I'm hooked. It's Weis brand for anyone in PA. You know how it goes, your local supermarkets might have the same exact vinegar bottled with their name on it.

Maybe someone else reading this can suggest a good nationally-available brand.

Michele said...

Sounds delicious!

Robbie said...

This was SO GOOD! I used 8 tablespoons of vinegar, and added mushrooms. It was way better tasting, and better looking
than I thought. I took your advice and cooked the chicken longer before added the vinegar. I also flattened the chicken breasts a bit and no oregano. Thank you again for this awesome blog!

Also, I always use balsamic vinegar of Modena. Cost Plus World Market is a great place to find good inexpensive varieties.

Sarah, RN said...

best balsamic vinegar is by Lucero. They have all sorts of delicious flavored ones but the traditional is absolutely delicious. I tried the potatoes with it tonight, awesome.