Saturday, September 12, 2009

Balsamic chicken with orzo salad

I'll be honest, I think Giada DeLaurentiis is quite attractive and loves to wear "flattering" clothing, but until tonight I've never had any success with her recipes. Well, let me tell you, this dinner was insanely good. We had a very nice evening with Rob's family and everyone loved the chicken and salad. Included in the "Everyday Italian 'Dressing up BBQ' " episode was a summer tomato salad which I did not make, but am dying to (I'll keep you posted). It was pouring all day today, so I decided to just grill the chicken briefly and then bake it to finish cooking. It was moist, flavorful and just downright addictive. The salad I tweaked as I do not really like ricotta salata cheese and decided to substitute dried cranberries for dried cherries. I'm honestly a little sad that summer seems to be drawing to a close, because this is a perfect summer evening meal.

Balsamic BBQ chicken (courtesy of Food Network)

1 cup balsamic vinegar
3/4 cup ketchup
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1. Combine all ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat and cook until reduced by 1/3, about 15-20 minutes.
2. Salt and pepper desired chicken (I used a "whole cut-up chicken, and split chicken breasts). Spread 1/2 of bbq sauce over chicken pieces.
3. Grill chicken about 5-6 minutes over medium-high heat on skin side, or until skin is partially charred.
4. Remove chicken to baking pan and top with remaining sauce.
5. Cover and bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes or until cooked through.

Orzo salad (courtesy of Food Network)

pound orzo pasta
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus 1/4 cup
2 cups fresh arugula (about 3 ounces), chopped roughly
3/4 cup crumbled goat cheese
1/2 cup dried cranberries
12 fresh basil leaves, torn
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1. Cook pasta until al dente in salted stockpot.
2. Drain and place in serving bowl, drizzle olive oil over to prevent clumping. Cool.
3. Mix remaining ingredients and refrigerate for at least two hours.

Here is the recipe for the tomato salad...if anyone tries it, let me know how it is!

1 cup balsamic vinegar
1 cup pitted green and black olives, halved
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
3 anchovy fillets, drained and chopped
2 tablespoons capers, rinsed and drained
1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
8 fresh basil leaves, shredded
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound vine-ripened tomatoes (about 3 tomatoes)

1. Cook the balsamic vinegar in a small
saucepan over low heat until thick, syrupy, and measuring 1/4 cup, about 20 minutes. Set aside to cool.
2. Combine the olives, parsley, anchovies, capers, garlic, basil, pepper, and olive oil in a small bowl and toss to combine.
3 To serve, slice the tomatoes into 1/4-inch thick rounds and place, slightly overlapping, on a serving plate. Spoon the olive and parsley mixture over the tomatoes. Drizzle the reduced balsamic over the salad and serve.


  1. i'm going to try the salad this week- what aisle do you get anchovies in? :)

  2. another awesome meal, kirs..thanks!