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Balsamic Butter Chicken

Active Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
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Big Kids Plate
Toddler Plate

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Why we love it:

Put this recipe literally, or proverbially, in your back pocket. It’s so easy, with so few ingredients, but delivers such a big return in tastiness.

Ingredients

  • 5 Tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar (divided)
  • 212 teaspoons Kosher Salt (divided)
  • 314 cups Water (divided)
  • 114 pounds Chicken Breast (boneless, skinless)
  • 1 cup Farro
  • 14 cup Unsalted Butter (divided)
  • 1 pound Brussels Sprouts
  • 1 teaspoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Maldon Sea Salt (or other flaky salt, optional for sprinkling over top)

Cooking Instructions

  • 1. PREHEAT THE OVEN TO 400 DEGREES
  • 2. MARINADE

    In a tupperware or airtight glass container, combine 2 Tablespoons of balsamic vinegar and 1 teaspoon of kosher salt with ¼ cup of cold water.

    Butterfly the chicken breasts - that is, place one on a cutting board, and slice in ½ parallel to the board, thinning it out all the way across. Add the chicken to the container. Turn to coat if needed.

    Ideally - marinate for 45 minutes to 1 hour. If you don't have time to marinate it, skip this step entirely and don’t waste the ingredients on the marinade!

  • 3. FARRO

    While the chicken marinades, boil farro with 3 cups of water and ½ teaspoon of salt for about 25 minutes or until tender but still with a bite to it. Drain. If desired, toss with a dot of butter or olive oil but the sauce will go on top to season it.

  • 4. BRUSSELS

    Slice off the stem end and cut in ½. Place on a baking sheet and toss with olive oil and a ½ teaspoon of salt. Place in the oven and roast for 25 minutes, stirring once or twice until tender and crispy on the edges.

  • 5. SEAR

    Remove the chicken pieces from the marinade and use paper towels to pat them dry. Set a large skillet over medium heat, then add 2 Tablespoons of butter. When it’s melted, add the chicken. Cook for 4 minutes, until the bottom of the chicken is golden, with some char around the edges. Rotate the pan and lower the heat if needed, to avoid any burning.

    Flip the chicken and keep cooking for another 2 to 3 minutes. When any pieces are fully cooked, remove them from the pan and keep cooking the rest and add in another batch with a bit more butter until all of the chicken is in the pan (or finished).

    On your last batch, when it’s been flipped and almost done cooking, add the remaining butter (about 3 Tablespoons butter) and 3 Tablespoons of balsamic to the pan. When the butter has melted and it starts to look like sauce, add the removed pieces of chicken and juices back in. Flip to coat. Simmer gently over medium low, until the sauce reduces a bit.

  • 6. SERVING

    Finish chicken with a big pinch of salt - kosher or fancy Maldon sea salt. Serve over a pile of farro, spooning sauce over top. Brussels sprouts go on the side.

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Substitutions

  • PESCATARIAN:
    salmon, cod, or shrimp. Only marinate for about 20 minutes and cook just until fish is done. Add butter and vinegar right away so you don’t overcook it
  • CHICKEN BREAST:
    thighs work well, boneless or bone in, just cook longer
  • RED MEAT:
    any cut of steak or pork would do well with this marinated and sauce technique, cook accordingly so it’s not over done
  • FARRO:
    any grain of choice, it’s nice to have something to soak up the sauce
  • BRUSSELS:
    whatever your seasonal preference is
  • BALSAMIC:
    white balsamic works - red wine vinegar would also taste great but add a teaspoon of honey to sweeten and thicken the consistency

Kid Friendly Version

Big Kids Plate
Toddler Plate

How to Tweak This Recipe for Kids:

  • Chop the chicken into finger food sized bites. If sauce could be a problem, you can sear some of the chicken in a separate pan or remove it before adding the final balsamic and butter to reduce
  • I’ve seen many kids love super crispy brussels leaves - while you prepping them peel a few completely apart so that it’s just a pile of leaves. Toss with olive oil and salt, bake. They’re like chips!
  • Add some broccoli, corn, cauliflower - whatever you kids will accept - to the baking sheet with the brussels sprouts while they’re roasting

For Toddlers

  • Chop cooked chicken up finely, you can do this before or after adding the sauce ingredients
  • Combine farro with another splash of water or stock and mash it, or puree it, so it’s a finer consistency
  • Or roast cauliflower with the brussels and mash that for a side dish

For Choosy Eaters

  • Add fruit or a roll to their plate
  • Chop the chicken without any evidence of balsamic vinegar or sauce on it. Serve with their favorite dipping sauce
  • Cook some pasta or orzo instead of farro - either in addition or if easier make the swap for the whole family

Prep Ahead & Use It Up

  1. Marinate overnight or for up to 24 hours before cooking (longer than that will break down the chicken too much)
  2. Make the farro ahead of time
  3. Trim the brussels and store in an airtight container for up to 3 days before cooking
  4. Leftovers taste great sliced and chopped up and tossed in with the farro for a warm salad
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