Friday, September 14, 2012

Balsamic Braised Chicken with Swiss Chard

Is anyone else as excited for fall as I am? It is my favorite time of the year - cooler temperatures, leaves changing, pumpkin festivals, fall food, Halloween, the MLB playoffs and World Series, and football!

Jon goes out to watch his favorite team, the Buffalo Bills, at a local bar every Sunday. Before we had our daughter, I would spend all day Sunday in the kitchen prepping food for the week, making soup, and making a hearty Sunday dinner. It's a little harder to do that now, but I still love doing some good cooking on Sundays, and little by little am trying to get our little one more involved.

Last Sunday I decided to try a crock-pot recipe since we had our neighborhood block party that afternoon. I starred this recipe for Balsamic Braised Chicken with Swiss Chard from Kelsey's blog several months ago and it sounded perfect for a Sunday dinner.

I liked this dish. The sauce was tangy and the chicken took on so much flavor. I wasn't a fan of the Swiss chard, however (it was the first time I ever had it!) - it seemed to taste like beets and I was totally expecting a different flavor.

The changes I made included seasoning the chicken with salt and pepper and searing them quickly before putting them into the crock-pot. I also only used 3 chicken breasts. Additionally, I used 1 tbsp of Worcestershire instead of the anchovy. The original recipe is below.

  • 1 TBSP extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, minced
  • 5 tsp. minced fresh thyme or 1 1/2 tsp. dried
  • 1 TBSP tomato paste
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 anchovy fillet, rinsed and minced (I used 1 1/2 tsp. anchovy paste)
  • 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 3 TBSP all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 c. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 (14.5 oz.) can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1/2 c. low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4 c. dry red wine
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 12 (6 oz.) bone-in chicken thighs, skin removed, trimmed (I used 8 boneless, skinless chicken breasts)
  • 6 oz. Swiss chard, stems removed and leaves sliced 1/2 in. thick
  • Heat oil in 12-in. skillet (or super sweet slow cooker!) over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add onion, thyme, tomato paste, garlic, anchovy, and red pepper flakes and cook until onion is softened and slightly brown, 8-10 minutes. Stir in flour and cook 1 minute more.
  • Slowly whisk in vinegar, scraping up any browned bits and smoothing out any lumps. Cook until slightly reduced, about 3 minutes. Transfer to slow cooker.
  • Stir tomatoes, broth, wine, and bay leaves into slow cooker.
  • Season chicken with salt and pepper and nestle into slow cooker. Cover and cook until chicken is tender, 4-6 hours, on low.
  • Gently stir in chard, cover, and cook on high until tender, 20-30 minutes.
  • Transfer chicken to platter and tent loosely with foil. Let braising liquid settle 5 minutes, then skim fat from surface using large spoon. Discard bay leaves. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with sauce spooned over each chicken piece. Serves 6-8.  

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