Intensely flavorful and wonderfully healthy, treat yourself well and make this balsamic garlic chicken. I promise, it’s almost as easy as it gets while giving you this much health.
I don’t even want to look at the date of my last post. I can’t. I’m sorry, people. I’m sorry to my readers (mom?). I don’t want to ever go that long again without being in my food space. But here I am today and hopefully I can deliver with this springtime, happy deliciousness.
It is spring, isn’t it? Can somebody please tell the people in the 4-season control room here in Chicago that someone fell asleep on the job and forgot to flip the switch that says “SPRING” a month ago when this half of the earth collectively agreed that it’d actually be spring? For Pete’s sake.
Ok, real quick, before I get into why you bothered to come here today—I just reminded myself of something that relates to Pete.
My first day of college, I went into my very first class at 8 AM, and it was a chemistry lab course. I was anxious, a bit shy, and wanted to start my new experience off right. But right off the bat, my new instructor decided that my birth name didn’t really suit me and ‘Peter’ was definitely more me. So Peter was my name for the rest of the quarter. And the way she said ‘Peter’ was like I was in bootcamp and she was the crazy-scary sergeant you can’t really look at in the eye. PETER!!! Only thing was, she was a very petite, unassuming Chinese lady.
Is ‘Bita’ really all that difficult? For Peter’s sake.
So I don’t want to talk about Peter or how sucky the weather is in Chicago anymore. That isn’t a really lovely mixture of thoughts for me.
I want to talk about this thing that I cooked when I had no idea what to cook. My husband was out of town and so I was on my own for dinner. My body said that I needed some chicken and then the rest followed. I took what I had on hand—some organic fresh spinach that looked freaking special and delicious at the store and some almost too-ripe on-the-vine tomatoes that needed to be appreciated ASAP. I took all the leftover, rogue garlic cloves that were hidden at the bottom of my garlic bowl, sliced them all up, threw in some balsamic vinegar, a bit of lemon, and some butter for good measure. Then I called it a day. A really good day.
I don’t usually cook for myself because I’m selfish that way—I want the satisfaction of knowing that my husband enjoyed what I prepared for him. So when he’s busy at work or school, it’s not unusual to find me eating foodie-unapproved dinners (or any normal adult-unapproved dinners, for that matter) like instant ramen or two mugs of hot chocolate. I will say though, I do prefer the more sophisticated Ichiban brand which has a slightly heartier noodle texture and a bit more flavor bang for your
buck 32 cents—See, I’ve got self-respect, k?
Listen, after making this balsamic-garlic chicken, I was so happy because not only was it extremely delicious and jam-packed with flavor, it was ridiculously easy and quick to make.
Sorry Ichiban. Although you are not the epitome of a healthy meal, you are widely misunderstood. You’ll always have a special place in my heart.
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- 3 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil, divided (you can also substitute butter for olive oil, but do make sure to keep some olive oil in the pan to keep butter from burning during the cooking process)
- 2 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts
- 1 teaspoon Sea Salt
- ½ teaspoon Black Pepper
- ¼ teaspoon Cayenne Powder (optional)
- 5-6 cloves of Garlic, sliced
- 3 firm and ripe medium Tomatoes of your choice, quartered
- ⅓ cup Balsamic Vinegar
- Juice of 1 Lemon
- Optional: 1 tablespoon Butter to finish sauce
- 2 large handfuls of Fresh Spinach, rinsed (you can also steam the spinach if you prefer)
- Place pan on medium-high heat and add 2 tablespoons of olive oil (or 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of butter). Swirl it around.
- Add chicken breasts and then reduce heat to medium.
- Add ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Close lid for 4 minutes (depending on thickness of chicken breast).
- Flip chicken breasts and season opposite side with ½ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon pepper, and the optional cayenne powder.
- Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and close lid for another 4 minutes.
- Then turn heat to med-low, remove lid, and add the garlic.
- Sauté garlic for 30 seconds, just to get a touch of color and a bit of flavor.
- Add tomatoes.
- Add balsamic vinegar and ⅓ cup water. Cover and allow to simmer on medium heat until tomatoes are softened (about 5 minutes).
- Add lemon juice.
- Optional: Add in 1 tablespoon of butter right before serving to get a slight richness to the sauce.
- Serve over a bed of spinach and top with the balsamic-lemon sauce.