fantastic five – braised chicken with onions, garlic and balsamic

Posted on October 24, 2011. Filed under: Dinner | Tags: , , , , , , |

So this is an extra special recipe because it only has FIVE ingredients.  Yes you read that correctly – only 5 ingredients from the girl who normally has to stack everything like jenga in order to fit it all in the picture.  The great part is that everything really gets to shine and each flavor comes through in a unique and delicious blend.  This recipe is a combination of chicken with an onion, garlic and balsamic sauce so if you don’t like any of those things, it may not be the best dish for you.  The flavors are all definitely in there – especially the bold and tangy balsamic.  The onions are cooked for almost an hour and almost melt sweetly into the sauce.  Then a sprinkle of crispy, salty bacon on top adds some texture and an extra layer of flavor…plus everything is better with bacon. I would recommend serving this with some roasted or mashed potatoes and some green beans (although I just ate the chicken because it was 10pm by the time I was done food shopping and cooking). It’s not the prettiest dish ever but it’s damn tasty!

# of servings:  Varies depending on how much chicken you make but I would say there is enough sauce for 4 using the quantities below.  It could easily be made to serve more if needed.

time: it takes about an hour but the last 30 minutes is relatively hands off.

braised chicken with onions, garlic and balsamic
6 strips of bacon, cut into 1/4 inch strips
1 chicken (cut into 8 pieces) or any other chicken parts you want to use.  I used boneless skinless thighs.
1 pound of onions or shallots, thinly sliced
1 head of garlic, cloves separated and peeled
1/4c of balsamic vinegar

Start by cooking the bacon in a 12-inch skillet over moderately low heat.  You want to cook it slowly to render all the fat out.  I have always found that a clean pair of kitchen scissors work perfectly to cut the bacon into strips.  Once the bacon is cooked and crispy, remove it from the fat with a slotted spoon and drain on some paper towels.  While the bacon is cooking, that gave me enough time to thinly slice the onions and peel allllll the garlic.  If anyone has a tip for how to do that faster, I’d love to hear it.

Next, brown the chicken in the rendered fat, starting with the skin side down (if you are smart enough to use chicken with the skin on).  One note on the meat – I could only find a small pack of boneless, skinless thighs.  I think the dish works best with skin-on meat but Safeway was thoroughly picked over by the time I got there on Sunday night.  Drumsticks, breasts, thighs or a mix would work very well.  Brown the chicken for about 8 minutes and transfer to a plate.  Do multiple batches if needed.  Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the bacon fat.

Lower the heat and throw the onions in the skillet next.  Cover and let cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until soft and pale golden.  Remove the lid and continue cooking for another 10 minutes, stirring, until deep golden, about 10 more minutes.  Admittedly, my onions did not get as golden as they probably should have but it was late and I didn’t want to spend extra time golding them up.

Pour 1 cup of water into the pan and add all of the garlic.  Bring to a boil and stir for 1 minute.

Add the chicken back to the skillet and nestle it into the onion mixture, turning to coat, and arranging them skin-side up.  Gently simmer, covered, until chicken is cooked and the garlic is very tender.  30 minutes should do the trick.

Transfer chicken to a serving dish (or a holding plate).  Add vinegar to the onion mixture and bring to a boil, uncovered, mashing the garlic with the back of a spoon or a potato masher, until the sauce thickens slightly.  Season sauce with salt and pepper and top the chicken with the sauce.  Sprinkle with bacon (duh!).

Now enjoy this ugly but tasty dish that is bursting with flavor!


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5 Responses to “fantastic five – braised chicken with onions, garlic and balsamic”

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good to know what I am making for dinner tonight! Sounds so yummy, I can’t wait!

Looks fantastic! These are all ingredients I could totally do.

Garlic hint:

I know what I’m making next Sunday night (which for me is Wednesday night). This looks delicious…

Doesn’t look ugly! Looks delicious!! Can’t wait to try it.

made it for dinner tonight-the chicken needed seasoning, but the onion jam was divine! Will definitely make this again-super easy and I always have the ingredients on hand. Thanks, Linds.

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