making food from anywhere, with anything

# # There are more than 150 million sheep in Australia, and only some 20 million people.

Hello everyone.

Hope you enjoyed that fun fact for this evening.  It’s an oldie, but goodie.

Anyway, I had no idea what I was doing for dinner tonight.  I knew it would involve chicken, but had no other plans.  Today was not conducive to planning out a meal.

So, I threw a bunch of random things into a pot (and then a pan), and called it a meal.   It came out tasting, well, really damn good.

chicken with a balsamic and caramelized onion reduction


2 chicken breasts

3/4 cup balsamic vinegar

1/2 cup water (or good chicken stock if you have any)

1/3 cup soy sauce

4 or 5 sprigs of thyme

1 bay leaf

1/2 onion, thinly sliced

freshly cracked black pepper





extra virgin olive oil


1. in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, add the balsamic vinegar and half the water.  bring to a light boil so the acid cooks out.  i’d give this about 10 minutes (you’ll know the acid has been cooked off once it doesn’t sting your nose when you take a whiff).  if the level of the liquid seems to be too low, add the other half of the water.

2. meanwhile, in a large saute pan with sides, heat 1-2 tbsp butter and 1-2 tbsp olive oil over medium heat.  once the butter is foaming, add the chopped onions and cook until brown and caramelized.

3. add the soy sauce, bay leaf, and thyme to the balsamic vinegar.  turn the heat down so it simmers.  if need be, add more water.

4. rinse and pat the chicken dry.  sprinkle liberally with turmeric, basil, and ginger.  i tend to go light on the ginger because i’m least fond of it.

5. once onions are browned, add the vinegar mixture to the pan.  scrape up any brown bits and give it a stir.  add the chicken and cover.  cook on medium heat for about 7-10 minutes (depending on the size of your cuts of chicken).  after about 10 minutes, turn the chicken over and cook for another 7-10 minutes.  remove the chicken to a plate once cooked, and crank the heat up to high.  boil the sauce so it reduces by about half.  there should be barely enough liquid in the pan to coat the entire bottom.

For whatever reason, I thought this worked really, really well.  The turmeric and basil are a weird combination, but it worked for me.  It was a weird….pan-asian, italian fusion.  The chicken came out really tender, too, which is always a plus.  I’ve been eating a lot of dark chicken meat lately (it’s cheaper), and have forgotten how much I enjoy white meat.  People argue white meat has no flavor.  I disagree – its flavor is just different than dark meat, and it’s just as good.

One response

  1. mom

    australian lamb! Yum!

    22/04/2010 at 8:48 am

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