Mar 062013

Chicken is kind of a boring protein. Okay, maybe not, maybe it’s just me? Chicken is never my first choice when I sit down at a restaurant and look at the menu. I remember this quote from Anthony Bourdain’s book, Kitchen Confidential (GREAT book): “Chicken is boring. Chefs see it as a menu item for people who don’t know what they want to eat”. When I read that, I remember saying out loud, “Yeah! He’s right!” Chicken is boring and safe.

But it doesn’t have to be. The way I got over the “chicken is boring” lackluster feeling was experimenting with lots of different recipes. I’ve had some favorites, too; recipes that were savory and delicious and I made repeatedly. Here are just a few of my favorites:

Braised Chicken and Spring Vegetables
BBQ Chicken Thighs
Garlic and Soy Chicken Thighs
Mexican Crockpot Chicken

I wish I had another recipe to add to the list, but this recipe was missing something. It wasn’t BAD, but it was just a tad boring. I’ve seen some other bloggers write about balsamic chicken before and loved it. I wonder what this recipe is lacking that I could add? Unfortunately  I don’t remember which blogs I read that raved about their balsamic chicken!

I don’t know where I found this recipe. It was in my stack of printouts, with no website on it, so I can’t link to where I found it. But here it is:

5.0 from 1 reviews
Balsamic Chicken
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 5 ounce boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
  1. Combine all ingredients in a large ziplock bag, mix well. Seal and marinade on refrigerator at least 30 minutes.
  2. Heat a grill pan over medium heat until hot. Place chicken on pan, discarding excess marinade and cook 6-10 minutes per side, or until no pink remains and juices run clear.

The only balsamic we had on hand was the pomegranate infused balsamic vinegar. I used this because the flavor doesn’t taste like pomegranate. It’s only a hint of sweet. I also added some onion powder to the mixture.

Mix it well and then pour it into the bag. I cut two large chicken breast cutlets in half to make four smaller pieces. I let it marinade for about an hour.

I made a salad as the side dish with the chicken. The chicken was a bit on the bland side, like I said. Maybe it needs a bunch of garlic? Help me out!

QUESTION: Do you think chicken is boring?

May 052012

One of the best things that has come out of my garden from last year is rosemary. Rosemary is such a fragrant, beautiful and delicious herb. And I use it in almost everything. Most recipes I use seem to call for rosemary and it’s no wonder: it’s a lovely little herb. In fact, in the Middle Ages brides wore rosemary headpieces for their weddings.

I bring this up because it’s now April and my rosemary survived the winter and is still in my garden from last year. I was glad it was still growing because I wanted to use fresh rosemary for this recipe.

It was a gloomy Monday night–the kind of night when you really just don’t want to put much effort into cooking after a long day. I chose this recipe because it was simple and we had everything needed to do it.

Pan-Crisped Chicken Thighs


  • 2-3 lbs skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine or chicken stock to deglaze
  • fresh rosemary
  • lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Wash and thoroughly dry the chicken pieces, then liberally sprinkle with kosher salt and pepper.
  2. Heat the oil in the skillet under on a high heat until it gets hot, but does not burn. Place the thighs in the oil, skin side down (depending on how many you are using and how big the skillet is, you might want to work in two batches).
  3. After three to four minutes, the skin should be a crisp brown, and the thighs should easily lift off the skillet without sticking. Usually skin stuck to the pan indicates it has not thoroughly crisped.
  4. Turn the thighs over to crisp the other side, but this time, remove the chicken after only two to three minutes. Drain any excess oil from the pan, turn on the heat, and deglaze the pan with the wine.
  5. Add the chopped garlic, a splash more wine or even some chicken stock for moisture, and the rosemary. Put the chicken back in the pan, and leave on the stove at medium heat for a few minutes, or place in the oven at 300 degrees for five to ten minutes.



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I prepped everything needed for the recipe. Michael worked on the chicken in the skillet–sans the chicken skin. We removed the skin from the chicken thighs but that didn’t matter. The recipe still worked.

While he was doing that, I cooked some onions and kale in another skillet to go with the chicken. I sauteed the onions, added the kale and one slice of bacon chopped up and a little splash of chicken stock.

Everything came together nicely. The chicken was crispy yet juicy on the inside. The kale worked well with the chicken, too. Another bonus: dinner was less than 500 calories total.

My only complaint? The lemon juice was overpowering. The recipe did not specify how much lemon juice to use and it’s so easy to overdo lemon. If I made this recipe again I’d use way less lemon juice!

QUESTION: Are you a lemon fan?