Weekday Dinner Party: Part Deux

Where this next recipe has been all my life I have no idea and how I did not discover it until this year is also beyond me. It has been in a cookbook I have owned for well over five years now and was always looked over. So sad.

I think the main reason I always passed this by was my fear of making a roast chicken.  I know, I know it is one of the easier things to make but for some weird reason it always terrified me and I thought it was well beyond my skill level.  I settled for purchasing rotisserie chickens at food stores but never getting up the guts to make one myself.

The only chicken that I cooked were boneless, skinless chicken breasts and I was getting bored of these fast. That is when I decided to look beyond the boneless, skinless chicken breast recipes and venture into the world of bone-in, skin-on chicken. My world was rocked. The chicken just comes out tasting so juicy and tender, much different than the almost dried out chicken breasts I was cooking. Clearly I had not yet learned my new butter trick.

Flipping through my old cookbooks new recipes were suddenly now available to me and that is when I found Giada’s Roasted Balsamic Chicken. It was a life changer. I have seriously made this recipe now more than a dozen times.  It is so easy to make, so delicious, and works for a dinner party of 2 or 14. Yes I have tried both. So when it came time for choosing what I would make that would travel well for this week’s weekday dinner party I knew exactly what to pick.

Don’t believe me that something that looks that amazing and tastes that great is so easy to make?

Ok so here is the gist. You take bone-in skin-on chicken and cut each piece into two pieces.  So split a breast in half to two smaller pieces or separate a thigh from a leg. Then you marinate them in olive oil, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, dijon mustard and garlic. I usually prepare this the night before and marinate for 24 hours turning 2 times. Turn the oven on to 400 degrees and place in the oven for 45 minutes. When the chicken is done, remove from the oven and pour the sauce into a sauce pan and reduce. Finally plate the chicken with sauce, lemon zest and parsley. That’s it!

It basically comes out perfect every time. Well almost perfect. The one piece that alluded me until this time was reducing the balsamic sauce to pour back on the roast chicken. I would pour it in a small saucepan and heat over medium high heat but nothing. This time I think I had the perfect storm of events. First, the chicken was a lot smaller than usual providing more surface area in the pan for it to reduce. Second, I decided to try a larger sauce pan for more surface area. Third, I finally thought ahead and preheated the saucepan over medium high heat so it was hot when I poured in the sauce.  Finally, I watched as the balsamic started to carmelize and the sauce reduce.

So yummy! The new parents thought so too and even asked for the recipe.  In my mind that is the biggest compliment.


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