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Raspberry Balsamic Glazed Chicken

I love how fruit adds the perfect sweetness to a savory meat dish.

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With Raspberry Balsamic Glazed Chicken, you get the wonderful fruity sweetness of raspberry that’s nicely balanced with balsamic vinegar.  You end up with a delicious glaze that’s just perfect over thyme seasoned chicken.

Yes, I’m using thyme again. There’s been a lot of herb action going on in my kitchen lately.  Last week I shared Lemon Thyme Olive Oil Cakelets and I have more recipes using fresh herbs coming up soon. When you have fresh herbs ready and waiting, it’s always good to use them wherever you can to add wonderful flavor to both sweet and savory dishes.

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Raspberry Balsamic Glazed Chicken has been a favorite of mine for a long time.  It’s one of those recipes that has survived the transition from single girl life, to married life to family life.  It’s a very quick recipe to make, it’s a light dish, you make it all in one pan and it’s impressive enough to serve to company.  And, my kids like it.  Win. Win. Win.

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Some tips to remember for this dish:

  1. I like to use thin boneless skinless chicken breasts. Thin cooks faster and I like the ratio of meat to glaze better when it’s thin.  You can buy thin cutlets at the store but I just take a normal breast, place my hand on the top to press down, then take a sharp knife and cut it right through the middle ending with a thin top half and a thin bottom half.
  2. Use seedless raspberry preserves. When I went to my pantry to get the preserves, I didn’t realize that I didn’t have any seedless.  I’ve never made it unless I had seedless.  But this wasn’t just for the blog post, it was also our dinner and with no extra time to get to the store, I used the seeded preserves.  So, in the pictures, you’ll see seeds.  It was still delicious and it adds nice interest to the pictures, but use seedless.  No need for that extra texture when you’re eating it.
  3. Use good balsamic vinegar. You want an aged vinegar that has some sweetness to it.  If you use a lesser quality, the vinegar taste might be a bit strong for the chicken.  Or, it might be perfect for you, if you like that extra tang from the vinegar and don’t want your sauce to get too sweet.

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That’s it.  Armed with those tips, the dish is simply started with some chopped red onions.  The chicken is seasoned then sautéed in the same pan.  Then, the pan is deglazed with the vinegar and preserves and all of those wonderful flavor bits left in the pan get loosened and whisked into the flavorful sauce. I normally add the chicken back into the pan and fully coat it with the sauce before serving.  But for the post, I spooned it over the chicken so that you could get a better sense of the color and texture of this delicious sweet and savory glaze (and, you know, for dramatic effect :)

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I like to serve this chicken with Perfect White Rice and either a simple salad or steamed vegetables.  If you start the rice first, it should be done by the time you finish with your chicken.  This could easily be a 30 minute meal…

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that looks like it took far more than just 30 minutes.

 

Raspberry Balsamic Glazed Chicken

Servings 4 servings

Ingredients

  • vegetable or olive oil
  • cooking spray
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onion
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 4 4 ounce thin boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/3 cup seedless raspberry preserves
  • 2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepper
  • Perfect White Rice

Instructions

  1. Heat a teaspoon of oil in a large non stick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium high heat until hot.
  2. Add onion, saute for 2-3 minutes.
  3. Season chicken on both sides with about 1/4 teaspoon salt and the thyme. Move the onion to the sides of the pan and add the seasoned chicken to the middle. Add oil to the pan if necessary. Saute for about 5 minutes on each side or until done. Cooking time will vary with the thickness of your chicken.
  4. Remove the chicken from the skillet and keep warm.
  5. Reduce heat to medium low. Add 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper, the preserves and vinegar, stirring constantly until preserves are melted.
  6. Add chicken back into the pan to coat with the sauce, or spoon sauce over chicken. Serve over hot rice, if desired.

Recipe Notes

*I mentioned it in the post, but the flavor of the sauce will vary widely with the quality of vinegar you use. You can adjust to taste, however. If it tastes too strong, add a bit of water or chicken stock to dilute it and add a bit of sugar. Or, if it's too sweet for you, you can add more vinegar.

*If you have to do more than one batch of chicken and you think your onions will overcook if you leave them in the pan, take them out with the first batch of chicken and set them aside. Add them back in at the end with the sauce.

Recipe from Cooking Light, January 1998

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