January 1, 2009

Giada's Balsamic Chicken

Happy 2009! I hope everyone had a fun and safe New Year's Eve! Mine was very nice...peaceful and quiet...but that is how I like it.

I have heard of a bunch of "traditions" that are supposed to be upheld on New Year's Day, when it comes to food and what a person should eat. For example, I have heard that black eyed peas bring you good luck. Also, that you should always eat pork and sauerkraut on New Years Day so the new year will be prosperous and productive (and again, I have also heard that it is good luck). I am not sure. There are years where I have done these things and I really have not noticed any difference from the years that I haven't done these things. Personally, I think it is a bunch of bunk. Typically, by the time New Year's rolls around I am still warn out by the Christmas hoopla and the last thing I want to do is fuss over more traditions. So, really my New Year's tradition is to not listen to traditional traditions. Ha! How is that for a tongue twister!?!?!?!

We are having a low-key day, by putting away Christmas decorations and goofing around the house. I have the last two pesky loads of laundry to do. I need to venture to the store to get some diapers and dog food, but that is about it. I am toying with the idea of doing my actual shopping today, since I have to go to the store anyway. However, that would require me to get out of my pajamas. I may just send the husband and the boy to the store and do my shopping tomorrow.
Since we are having a low-key day, we are also going to have a low-key dinner. I am going to make the Balsamic Chicken that Claire posted on her blog a couple days ago, which is really a Giada recipe. It sounds really good and fairly easy...plus I have all the ingredients on hand. I am not sure what cuts of chicken I am going to try this with; possibly some thighs. I need to go forage in my freezer to see what is available. For side dishes, I think I will make some wild rice and steam some frozen veggies. Nothing too exciting...just basic and yummy.

Giada's Balsamic Chicken

1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup soy sauce
5 sprigs of rosemary
5 garlic cloves, halved
10 to 12 chicken drumsticks
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Combine the balsamic, honey, brown sugar, soy sauce, rosemary sprigs, and garlic cloves, in a large, re-sealable plastic bag. Shake and squeeze the contents of the bag to dissolve the honey and the brown sugar. Add the chicken drumsticks to the bag and seal with as little air as possible in the bag. Place in the refrigerator and marinate for 2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Place the chicken drumsticks on a foil-lined baking sheet. Bake until the skin is caramelized and very dark in spots, about 30 to 35 minutes.

Meanwhile, place the marinade in a small saucepan. Bring the marinade to a boil (in order to kill bacteria). Reduce the heat to simmer and cook over low heat until thick, about 15 minutes. Reserve.

Use a pastry brush to brush some of the cooked marinade on the cooked chicken. Place the chicken on a serving platter. Sprinkle with the sesame seeds and the chopped parsley.

The Result:
This was so fantastically delicious! We all loved it. I did let the sauce simmer for about 20-25 minutes, then I let it cool before I brushed it on the chicken. By that time, it was as it should be...thick and syrupy. The recommended 15 minutes definitely was not enough time for it to develop properly. With that being said, the sauce was drinkable. Seriously. It was so yummy, I ended up spooning some on my rice and broccoli too. The chicken ended up being perfectly cooked, with crispy skin, but moist and juicy throughout. I did end up using legs instead of thighs, because the legs I had were from September (yikes!) and I needed to use those up first. This is a definite keeper recipe, we all loved it so much there are no leftovers!

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