As summer morphs into fall, it’s fun to make recipes that still take advantage of the abundance of tomatoes out there (yes, it’s me again – the tomato lady, lol!) but to give them a heartier twist. And when that twist includes easy boneless-chicken breast and a simple balsamic vinegar reduction? When that twist is Balsamic Glazed Chicken Tomatoes? Well, count me in.
Everyone I’ve served this recipe to agrees, oddly enough, that even though the chicken is great, it’s the tomatoes that really steal the show.
About Balsamic Glazed Chicken Tomatoes:
If you haven’t used Balsamic Reduction much, think of it as Balsamic Vinegar to the 10th power. The reduction takes even cheaper grocery store Balsamic, makes it richer and intensifies the flavor all as it kind of mellows the sharp acidic bite. I have a little more about Balsamic Reduction on my site, and while the reduction in the recipe is great, if you’d like to change things up, check out this post.
So when you take that rich Balsamic reduction and drizzle it over the beautifully sauteed chicken breasts, and then over those end of summer tomatoes the flavors all meld together into a gorgeous alchemy of flavors. The recipe is so simple, with so few ingredients it’s almost impossible to believe how good it is.
Making Balsamic Glazed Chicken Tomatoes:
I did just mention that this recipe is simple, right? All that’s required is to make the reduction which can be done as you’re sauteeing the chicken, then scooch that chicken around in the skillet. In go the tomato halves, and it’s popped in the oven. Once out, all warm and delish, the whole works is drizzled with the Balsamic Reduction.
I used a little thyme in the Balsamic Reduction but I think this would be just as wonderful with basil. Or with basil torn up over the finished dish if you want to drive the Italian flavor of the balsamic home.
If you wish to fancy this recipe up, although I think the genius of it is the simplicity, you couldn’t go wrong with sauteing a few onions and sliced mushrooms right in the pan with the chicken, tossing in a little garlic and then proceeding with the rest of the recipe.
While I served this served with brown rice I think Balsamic Glazed Chicken Tomatoes would be fantastic served over orzo….honestly, I don’t know why I didn’t think of it earlier; it just popped into my head as I was writing this up. My only regret was not making MORE tomatoes in this dish.
Saving Money on Balsamic Glazed Chicken Tomatoes:
While it goes without saying that you should shop for your chicken breasts carefully and buy them on sale, knowing and taking advantage of those sales is key to get the best price. Chicken generally hits a low about once a quarter, so watch the highs and lows in your area and know what the low is. When you see it, prepare to stock up, if they’re in larger family packs, divide up into portions that are good for your family and add them to your deep freeze. And if you’re really interested in being frugal, you do need a deep freeze.
Of course, there’s no better way to save money on tomatoes than to grow your own. Tomatoes are always pricey and often iffy at the store, and while usually pretty good at the farmer’s market (who knows where they come from) they’re usually still pricey. And of course, the more expensive the vegetable, the more worthwhile it is to grow at home. Although, these days, it seems that just about all veggies are getting pricier.
Don’t use the best balsamic for this recipe; the whole idea of the reduction is to improve the flavor, richness and body of even a cheaper balsamic. You’ll likely have a bit of the reduction leftover, so use it as a dressing or in another recipe. It will keep, literally for weeks in a small jar in the fridge and having a little extra is like having a bit of gold. It’s precious and wonderful and you’ll find all kinds of uses for it.
Balsamic Glazed Chicken & Tomatoes
For the Glaze:
- 1 cup Balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 2 teaspoons butter
In a small, heavy saucepan, mix together the Balsamic, honey and thyme. Bring to a boil, reduce to a good simmer and reduce to about 1/2 to 1/3 cup, or until the mixture has thickened slightly and coats a spoon. Watch carefully at the end, this will take several minutes.
Remove from heat and whisk in butter a little at a time. Cool to room temperature. (This will cool faster if transferred to a bowl.)
Chicken & Tomatoes:
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
- Salt and pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon thyme
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 or three large tomatoes, halved pole to pole
- Balsamic reduction
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a large, oven proof skillet. In the meantime, trim chicken breasts of any fat and gently pound the thickest part of the chicken a few times. An even layer isn’t necessary. Sprinkle with salt and pepper as desired. Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon thyme.
Saute chicken until golden on one side, turn. While chicken is cooking, prepare tomatoes. Cut pole to pole and remove most of the seeds. If the inside portion is hard and whitish, remove some of that, too.
Turn the chicken over, add tomato halves, cut side up; nestle them in between the breasts. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until chicken is cooked through. Remove from heat. Drizzle with about half of the Balsamic Reduction.
Note: Balsamic reduction will keep in the refrigerator, tightly covered in a clean jar for two to three weeks.
I’ll be sharing Balsamic Glazed Chicken Tomatoes at our very own Throwback Thursday Link party, hosted by Quinn, Alli, Carlee & Meaghan. Click the link to check out our blogs & rules or just click the blue froggy, below.