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Delicious Dish: Vanilla Balsamic Chicken

January 13th, 2011 No Comments

This recipe sounds unusual which is exactly why I chose it from Cooking Light.  I am get bored of the same old flavors, ya know!  But it only requires one pot and one pan, which you know is crucial for me :)

Once you make the reduction (which is super easy), you’ll question whether or not it will be too intense, but I assure you, it’s damn good.  Serve with something salty.

Minor Adjustments I Made:

After reading some of the reviews, I decided to make a few changes I think improved the dish.

  1. Cut the recipe in half
  2. Used chicken breasts with the skin on the bone to keep the meat juicy
  3. Substituted white wine for half of the chicken broth
  4. Substituted vanilla extract for vanilla bean
  5. Decreased orange rind
  6. Added sliced honey apples towards the end of the baking time to lighten the flavor, which completed the dish in my opinon

Vanilla Balsamic Chicken from Cooking Light – April 2006


  • 1/2  cup  fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2  cup  balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4  cup  finely chopped shallots
  • 1/4  cup  packed brown sugar
  • 1/4  teaspoon  grated orange rind
  • 1/4  cup  fresh orange juice
  • 1  (2-inch) piece vanilla bean, split lengthwise
  • 3/4  teaspoon  salt, divided
  • 16  skinless, boneless chicken thighs (about 2 pounds)
  • Cooking spray
  • 1/2  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper
  • Orange rind strips (optional)


Preheat oven to 450°.

Combine first 6 ingredients in a small saucepan. Scrape seeds from vanilla bean; stir seeds into broth mixture, reserving the bean for another use. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer until reduced to 1/2 cup (about 20 minutes). Stir in 1/4 teaspoon salt.

Arrange chicken in a single layer in the bottom of a roasting pan coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle chicken evenly with remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper. Bake at 450° for 10 minutes.

Brush half of broth mixture over chicken; bake 5 minutes. Brush remaining broth mixture over chicken; bake 15 minutes or until a thermometer registers 180°. Garnish with orange rind, if desired.

Nutritional Information

Calories: 209 (24% from fat)
Fat: 5.5g (sat 1.4g,mono 1.7g,poly 1.4g)
Protein: 27.5g
Carbohydrate: 10.9g
Fiber: 0.2g
Cholesterol: 115mg
Iron: 1.8mg
Sodium: 371mg
Calcium: 29mg
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