Monday, April 09, 2007

Mm-Mm Monday

I plan the meals out for the whole week before I go shopping on the weekend. It really helps me to know what's for dinner and we avoid overspending by eating out when I'm too tired to think of something to make (or don't have all the ingredients).

Sometimes, it's a challenge to think of new and exciting recipes. I like the staple meals but I'm a big fan of trying new foods. I think others struggle with the same thing. So, I decided I would start Mm-Mm Mondays - something to look forward to on that unusually hard day, and maybe something that you can cook this week or the next. If you have one you would like to share, let me know.

Here's a great, easy recipe I just tried - Balsamic Poached Chicken. The chicken turned out so tender and the Balsamic Sauce was a nice change. It's really a complete meal because it calls for roasted potatoes and asparagus which also turned out really tasty.
Their tip at the end of the recipe is a good one: just remember to open some windows before you start cooking 'cause that Balsamic Vinegar will linger :o)

Balsamic Poached Chicken
From Real Simple

1 pound new potatoes, halved or quartered
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 pound asparagus, trimmed
1 14.5-ounce can low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Heat oven to 400° F.

Place the potatoes in a roasting pan. Drizzle with the oil. Season with 3/4 teaspoon of the salt and the pepper, and toss. Roast for 30 minutes, shaking the pan once.

Add the asparagus to the pan with the potatoes, season with the remaining salt, and toss. Roast until the asparagus is tender, 12 to 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a saucepan, bring the broth and vinegar to a boil. Rinse the chicken and pat it dry with paper towels. Pound the chicken to an even thinness. Add the chicken and, if necessary, enough water (up to 1/2 cup) to cover it. Simmer for 1 minute. Cover, remove from heat, and set aside until cooked through, about 15 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board.

Return the liquid to medium-high heat and simmer until reduced to about 1/3 cup, about 10 minutes. Thickly slice the chicken. Divide the ingredients among individual plates. Drizzle with the balsamic mixture.

Tip: The pungent smell of simmering vinegar can linger long after you remove the pan from the stove. To reduce the odor, open the windows or turn on a fan early in the cooking process.

Yield: Makes 4 servings

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