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Thursday, January 14, 2010

Balsamic, Dijon & Garlic Chicken

Like so many Americans, I stuffed myself with a ton of sweets and comforting foods over the holidays.  Even though we are two weeks into January, my eating habits have not changed much, so I figured it was about time to wean myself off of those yummy fattening things and try and cook a bit more healthier... for at least one night :)

One of my favorite things to eat, besides pasta :), is grilled chicken.  If cooked right, it will be juicy and flavorful.  If cooked wrong, it will be a dry jerky-type mess.  The key to grilling chicken is leave it be!  Just like a lot of meats, you should only have to turn it once.  If you spend a lot of time flipping and squashing, you will loose all the flavor and a lot of the juices.  I know most people are worried that they are going to under cook the chicken, and I understand that, I mean who wants to cut into a piece of chicken and see pink?  Not me, that's for sure.  Boneless, skinless chicken breasts are one of the easiest things to grill.  It should only cook for 15-20 minutes (unless you have a majorly thick piece, that is, but that can be solved by pounding the meat with a meat tenderizer).  Anything longer then that and you will dry it out.  My suggestion, invest in a meat thermometer.  Chicken should have an internal temperature of 165 degree.  Another key to grilling chicken, or any meat for that matter, let it sit for a couple of minutes before you cut into it.  First, it will continue to cook as it sits.  Second, it will leave less juice on the plate.

Both Chris and I loved this recipe.  It was light and fresh.  I served it with some roasted potatoes and a side salad.  It was the perfect meal after many weeks of heavy foods.

Balsamic, Dijon & Garlic Chicken
Adapted from For the Love of Cooking 
3-4 chicken breasts, trimmed of any fat
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
1 tbsp fresh basil, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
Salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a large zip lock bag and mix thoroughly; add chicken and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.

Grill meat about 5-8 minutes on each side or until juices are running clear. Let the meat for rest a couple of minutes before cutting it. Enjoy!

***As always, if you can't grill, this would be a great dish to either bake or pan sear.  Personally, I would sear it in a skillet and then transfer to a 350-375 degree oven to finish the cooking process.

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