Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Balsamic Honey Glazed Chicken Thighs

When I started to make these chicken thighs all I knew was that I wanted to use Balsamic vinegar; after some thought I combined it with honey and olive oil to create a glaze for the chicken.

Baking the chicken in the vinegar and honey allowed the flavours to be fully absorbed into the chicken, and as it reduced it became a glaze for the outside of the chicken. Balsamic vinegar has an element of sweetness that comes out when it is reduced, and the honey intensified this, but the acidity of the vinegar stopped it from becoming too sweet.

For the simplicity of the recipe it delivered huge flavour, and family members were fighting over who was going to take the leftovers to work the next day!

 Pre-heat the oven to 375F.

In a small saucepan, heat:

1/4 cup Balsamic vinegar
1 - 2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

In a very hot pan, using a drizzle of olive oil, sear:

12 boneless, skinless chicken thighs

When the second side of the chicken is seared, pour the balsamic glaze over the top.

Place the pan directly into the oven to finish cooking the chicken.

Bake until the chicken is fully cooked, starting to fall apart and the vinegar and honey have reduced to a syrupy consistency.

Remove the pan from the oven and place it on the stovetop again, spooning the glaze over the chicken.

I served the chicken with roasted potato wedges and steamed green beans.

  • If you use bone in chicken thighs, which take longer to cook, you can achieve more of a glaze on the meat. 
  • The recipe calls for 1 - 2 tablespoon of honey. Start by using 1 tablespoon, and add more if you feel it is needed. Balsamic vinegars are all different in sweetness and acidity levels depending on how long the vinegar was aged.
  • I think that next time I might add a sprig or two of fresh thyme to the glaze, for another layer of flavour.
  • Other vinegar can be used if you have no Balsamic vinegar, but be aware that the acidity levels of other vinegars are often higher, so adjust the honey accordingly, or add some fruit juice to counteract the acidity.
  • A sauce can be made using the pan that the chicken was baked in. Remove the cooked chicken and set it aside, keeping it warm. Add chicken stock to the pan and reduce it, whisking to incorporate all the flavour that is in the pan. You can serve it as is, or whisk some cold butter in to create a butter sauce. If you are partial to gravy, then make a gravy in the will absorb all of the flavours from the honey and vinegar.
  • This glaze can be used when cooking chicken breasts, pork tenderloin or ribs. If you are grilling, baste the meat often so that a glaze forms on the outside of the meat.

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