When watching what you're eating and trying to lose weight, a lot of times chicken becomes a go-to dish. However, after a while, chicken can become boring and predictable.
I mean, how many chicken recipes are there? Buffalo chicken, BBQ chicken, chicken salad, chicken wraps, chicken nuggets, chicken noodle soup. After a while you start sounding like Bubba from "Forrest Gump."
Well, let's add balsamic vinegar chicken strips to the list.
Tired of boring chicken??Balsamic vinegar chicken strips, shown here and below, are a nice break from traditional chicken recipes.
Tribune Chronicle photos / Dana Sulonen
What I loved about this recipe was that it simple and it gave a nice break from another night of chicken.
The marinade is easy to make - and the longer you can let it sit in the chicken, the more flavors you can get out of it. The 30 minutes that the original recipe recommended is plenty of time, but there is no harm in letting it sit for longer.
When I found the original recipe, it did not specify on whether to cook the chicken with the marinade or without. I did it with, and personally, I loved the way it turned out. It really cooked in the flavors and gave plenty of the leftovers to make an ample amount of sauce.
Balsamic chicken tenders
2 pounds (or 3) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 cup of balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons of minced garlic (or to taste)
2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil (divided)
1 tablespoons of butter
2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons of honey
Salt and pepper to taste
Red pepper flakes to taste
Defrost the chicken breasts and slice them into strips. Pending on how big the pieces of chicken are, you can slice them into three, sometimes four strips per breast.
Place the chicken strips in a quart-sized zip lock bag along with the 1/2 cup of balsamic vinegar, the garlic, one tablespoon of the olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Let the chicken marinate in the bag for at least 30 minutes in the refrigerator.
When ready to cook, take the other tablespoon of olive oil and warm it in a large skillet over medium heat. When the pan is warm, cook the chicken strips until browned on both sides. Depending on your skillet size, you may have to do two batches. You can cook them without the marinade or with, either way it will turn out just fine.
Once the chicken is cooked and removed from the skillet, turn down the heat to medium-low and add the butter and two tablespoons of balsamic vinegar to the skillet. Use a spoon to stir the mixture and dissolve the sticky remains off the bottom of the skillet. Once the mixture has dissolved together, add the honey, increase the heat, and allow the sauce to simmer until thickened.
Once the sauce has thickened, season with salt and pepper to taste as well as the red pepper flakes. Add the chicken back to the skillet and toss to coat in the warm balsamic sauce.
Using two pounds of the chicken gave plenty to eat, so I had some leftovers. But like so many chickens, the leftovers were easily used in a salad the next day.
Dinner and lunch that was easy to make and wasn't hard on the wallet. Now that's my kind of cooking.