Balsamic Chicken

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There used to be a little Italian restaurant here in town that went out of business a number of years ago.  We loved their chef’s more unusual dishes and were sorry to see them go under.  I was thinking of that place today while I was trying to decide what to do with two large chicken breasts.  This restaurant used to serve a delicious grilled rib-eye steak smothered in a rich balsamic red wine sauce we both loved!  I wondered if that flavor might be good on chicken so I decided to get creative this evening and came up with a tasty, quick chicken dish.  Of course, I think this would be very good served over a char-grilled steak as well.  🙂   This dish is not suitable until On-Going Weight Loss (OWL) phase due to the wine.  You can substitute cream for the almond milk, which I’m sure would be very good indeed, but I was out of cream.  My husband took one bite of this and said “This one’s a keeper.”  I just love when he does that with a new creation. 🙂

INGREDIENTS:

16 oz. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut laterally into four thinner slices

2 T. unsalted butter

3 oz. onion, sliced

1 oz. sun-dried tomatoes, coarsely chopped (the ones NOT packed in olive oil)

2 T. hazelnut oil

¼ c. balsamic vinegar

4 T. white wine

½ c. unsweetened almond milk

1 c. chicken stock, low-sodium

1   6.5 oz. can sliced mushrooms, DO NOT drain off juice

1½-2 T. peppercorns, slightly broken up (mine are black, red and white mixed)

Dash sea salt

DIRECTIONS:   Preheat oven to 350º.  Melt the butter in a large non-stick skillet over high heat.  Sear the pieces of chicken until golden and nearly done through.  Remove chicken and add sliced onion to the skillet.  Saute until they begin to caramelize and slightly brown. Add diced sun-dried tomatoes and mushrooms with their juice.  I placed my peppercorns into a quart ziploc bag, zipped it up and hit them 3-4 times with a meat cleaver to break them up a bit.  Add pepper, salt and all remaining ingredients to the skillet and simmer 1-2 minutes to allow tomatoes to begin to plump up as they absorb some of the juices.  Place chicken back into the pan and spoon some of the juices over the top.  Pop into hot oven and bake for 15-20 minutes to allow the vinegar and wine to caramelize and meld their wonderful flavors together.  I don’t bother to thicken mine, but you certainly can if you are so inclined.  Serve each chicken portion with some of the sauce alongside your favorite vegetable dish.  Balsamic vinegar goes nicely with green beans, so I served mine with some of those to which I added some finely minced shallots.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 4 servings, each contains: (numbers reflect almond milk, not cream)

369 calories

17.7 g  fat

10.15 g  carbs, 1.73 g  fiber, 8.12 g  NET CARBS

37 g  protein

439 mg potassium

147 mg sodium

48% RDA Vitamin B6, 33% E, 31% Iron, 115% niacin, 58% selenium, 43% phosphorous

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