{Recipe Corner} Raspberry Balsamic Glazed Chicken

This dish really awakens the taste buds. I made this for Christmas Eve, as it makes a lovely holiday dinner, but a few tweaks can make it enjoyable all year long. My husband loves this dish, and requested this be for our 1st married Christmas Eve dinner, which I was delighted to make, and more so delighted by his enjoyment!

Ingredients:
2 boneless chicken breasts
2 shallots or 1/2 red onion, finely chopped
1/3 c. seedless raspberry preserve/jam
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1/4 tsp. pepper-reserved for glaze
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

1. Heat olive oil in a medium sized skillet on med-high heat, a tad to the med side-you want the skillet hot, but not too hot as you have oil heating, and chicken might sizzle and splatter. Add in your shallots or red onion, sauteeing them till translucent, about 4-5 minutes, you don't want them to crisp up and turn brown, so attention here is key. Once translucent, remove from pan and set aside in a bowl.

2. Keep pan on same heat, add in a touch of oil if needed. Pat chicken breasts dry with paper towel, rub on salt, pepper and thyme, a generous amount of salt and pepper might be needed, if more than the recommended thyme is needed, add a bit more as well. Hover hand over skillet to test heat, if you feel good warmth, throw the chicken breasts on. Begin browning chicken, about 5-6 minutes on each side. If you wish to cover pan with lid, this helps in lessening the splatters, and helps chicken to keep juices inside. Turn chicken over, using tongs works best for me to keep arm at a distance from sizzling pan, using a fork works well, but be careful.

3. While chicken is browning, get your portions of vinegar and raspberry preserve ready, and the reserved pepper. Once chicken breasts are golden brown, and making sure white on the inside, NO PINK!, remove chicken, place onto a plate and cover with another plate, and wrap this with a towel, to ensure no heat escapes, keeping the chicken moist.

4. This next step goes by pretty quick. Turn the heat on the skillet down to low-medium heat. Add back in your chopped shallots or red onion, reintroduce them to the pan, getting them warm again. Add in the raspberry preserve, balsamic vinegar and pepper. The heat of pan will melt the preserve. You are creating the glaze now, so you might use a spatula. Stir the glaze for about 1-2 mins. Now you can uncover your chicken, plate them, and pour the glaze over the breasts, et voila!

How to tweak this? Instead of raspberry preserve, try apricot preserves, and instead of balsamic, use white balsamic, this would be lovely on a spring or summer night!

What to serve on the side? Although I didn't mention what another burner was doing, I bought Safeway Select 4 cheese risotto, and it is fabulous-I do this because so much going on, but I do make risotto, and will post that another day. Buying boxed 4 cheese risotto relieves you of stress of constantly stirring and adding in liquids. I also added in frozen baby peas to add a splash of color (keeping with a holiday appearance), and added a sprinkle more of parmesan I happened to have on hand. I've also served this dish with garlic mashed potatoes. Broccoli or asparagus on the side gives the vegetable component, as well paired with a baby spinach salad with balsamic dijon vinaigrette. You be the chef and decide what you want to serve.

Bon appetit!