Chicken Tonight just got tastier!
Need a tasty dinner in a hurry? Well then this Balsamic Chicken with Cherry Tomatoes and Spinach is for you! Once you have smelled it, let alone tasted it, you will see why this meal has been on high rotation in our house for many years. I first found this recipe in a Good Taste magazine, and could not believe how tasty it was. I must say I have shared this Balsamic Chicken and Cherry Tomato and Spinach recipe A LOT, including when I worked at the Eating Disorder inpatient service and one of the patients made it for all of us. AND ATE IT! That’s when you know you have a very successful flavour combo. It’s a real winner to have the vegies and chicken in the one dish, but finding the right sides was a bit trickier, so I have included the cous cous recipe as well.
Last week I was in a rush for our usual Tuesday night dinner, making this a great choice. Start with the chicken breasts. How did they get to be so big these days? Well, not an issue here as you are going to halve them horizontally. This makes for a more manageable portion size plus the cooking time is much quicker. Make up the marinade/sauce in a large ceramic dish. Balsamic vinegar, brown sugar and garlic go into the dish; add some salt and pepper and give it all a swish with a spoon. Add in chicken and coat on both sides then pop in the fridge to marinate for 30 minutes (if you have less time, no worries – give it as long as you can).
While the marinade is working it’s magic, move on to the cous cous. Pop two cups of instant cous cous into a ceramic bowl and pour in 2 cups of boiling chicken stock. Give a quick stir, then pop a plate over the top to trap in the steam. Toast some slivered almonds (or pine nuts if you prefer) until golden and set aside. After 5 minutes, fluff the cous cous with a fork, and stir through a little butter if you like. Leave to cool a little then stir through some parsley leaves and the toasted almonds.
Heat some oil in a large frying pan. Cook chicken for a few minutes on each side until browned. Don’t overcrowd the pan as it impacts on how golden your chicken will become. Once cooked, cover and set aside and repeat until all the chicken is done.
Add tomatoes to pan and cook for 3-4 minutes until starting to soften and skins split releasing their juices. Return chicken to the pan, along with any juices they have released, add spinach and cover until spinach wilts – about 1-2 minutes. (If you have cooked lots of chicken and it has been sitting for a while, you might want to increase this time to ensure everything is heated through.)
Stir through basil leaves and serve with cous cous and some steamed greens.
Quick, easy and delicious – who could ask for anything more??
- 3 large chicken breasts, halved horizontally
- 4 tbs balsamic vinegar
- 2 tbs brown sugar
- 3 garlic cloves, chopped
- 2 tbs olive oil
- 400g cherry tomatoes
- 150g baby spinach
- ½ cup basil leaves
- salt and pepper
- Place balsamic vinegar, sugar and garlic in a ceramic dish. Add chicken, coat well and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Heat oil in frying pan. Cook chicken for a few minutes on each side until browned and cooked through. Set aside on a plate and cover. Repeat with remaining chicken
- Add tomatoes to pan and cook for 3-4 minutes until starting to soften and skins are beginning to burst and release their juices. Return chicken (and any juices) to pan. Add spinach and cover and allow to heat through and for spinach to wilt. Stir through basil leaves and season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Serve with cous cous or rice and some steamed greens