I am so excited to share this recipe with you. When I was approached by Whitney at IndriVanilla, who asked if I would interested in some free vanilla bean samples, I couldn't pass it up. I had all these ideas of all these yummy desserts I could make... then it hit me. Why not try and create a savory dish with them? I very rarely see savory dishes that call for vanilla beans, outside of certain curry dishes, that is. So I set out to do just that.
My first test....vanilla balsamic chicken - grilled of course - but I wanted to go a bit further. You know me and my love for sauces.... why not create a sauce to go over it. Enter the garlic vanilla cream sauce... mmmmm!!! Put it all over a bit of pasta and you have yourself a savory dish using vanilla beans!
How did it turn out? Well, honestly.. the chicken was kick ass. It had this perfect mixture of tanginess and sweetness, that worked together amazingly well. The sauce.. the sauce was just a tad bit too sweet... but that can easily be fixed, so all in all, this dinner rocked! Would I make it again... hell yes!! Would I encourage you to try it? Most definitely!!
And, just one more word on the vanilla beans. I seriously thought that for the price of the vanilla beans that they would not be of the best quality. I was 100% incorrect in that thinking. So far I have used the "low grade" beans that Whitney sent me and I can say to you, I see no difference in the vanilla beans I have used before - even the expensive, most coveted, Madagascar beans. So, don't wait any longer, hop on IndriVanilla and order your own beans right now.... seriously, they will package them in how every many beans you want.... but go now... you are going to LOVE not only the price, but the actual beans themselves!!
Vanilla Balsamic Chicken over Pasta with Garlic Vanilla Cream Sauce
Chicken recipe adapted from Cooking Light, Sauce recipe created by Jenn's Food Journey
1/4 cup chicken broth
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
2 Tablespoons orange juice
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
pinch of salt
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
For the sauce -
1 Tablespoon vanilla balsamic sauce (which you will be making with above ingredients)
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 vanilla bean, split and scraped
1 Tablespoon butter
2 Tablespoon flour
2 large garlic cloves, minced
salt and pepper to taste
10oz whole grain penne pasta (or whatever kind of pasta you want to use)
In a saucepan over medium heat, add 1/4 cup chicken broth, balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, orange juice, vanilla bean, and salt. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil and reduce heat. Let simmer for 10-15 minutes, or until the sauce thickens. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Remove 1 Tablespoon of the sauce and set aside. Place the chicken in a shallow dish and pour all but 1 Tablespoon (you'll use this to baste the grilled chicken with) of the sauce over the chicken, cover, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
Preheat grill to 375 degrees F and oil the grill grates. Place the chicken directly over the fire and grill for 6-10 minutes per side, or until the chicken is cooked through. Brush with reserved sauce. Remove from grill and allow to rest for 5 minutes. Once cooled a bit, slice into bite size pieces.
Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to package directions; drain. Mix together 1 Tablespoon of reserved sauce, chicken broth, cream, and vanilla bean until well combined. In a sauce pan over medium heat, add the butter and let melt. Add the garlic and allow to cook for 1 minute. Add the flour and stir to combine everything. Slowly whisk in the cream mixture. Allow to come to a slow simmer. Simmer for 5-10 minutes or until the sauce thickens just a bit. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Place pasta on a plate or in a bowl, top with chicken and sauce. Serve immediately. Enjoy!
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