Balsamic Chicken

One of my favorite restaurant meals is Bruschetta Chicken Pasta from TGI Fridays.  I haven't had it in quite a while, but that balsamic sauce served over the pasta is just killer.

I was trying to come up with a dinner plan when I got to thinking about flat breads. I'm a big fan of balsamic drizzle on flat bread, but found myself questioning my patience level for letting the dough rest during the process.  That's when I decided balsamic chicken was the right choice.


I first found a chicken with balsamic BBQ sauce glaze recipe, then also tracked down a homemade version of the original restaurant meal. The BBQ sauce sounded irresistible and I decided to make that and serve it over the pasta as well. I took a note from the other recipe and added molasses to the BBQ.

I started with the BBQ glaze, heating the balsamic vinegar, ketchup, brown sugar, Worcestershire, dijon mustard, honey, molasses, salt, pepper, and garlic powder in a saucepan until it began to simmer. For the next 20 minutes, I let the sauce simmer on low so it could reduce and thicken.  I added the honey as an afterthought; it just seemed like a good addition to the sauce.


After the sauce had thickened, I brushed each side of the chicken breasts with sauce and placed them in a cast iron skillet heated to medium with a bit of olive oil.  I cooked the chicken for 6-8 minutes on each side until it was cooked throughout.


To make the bruschetta, I cubed some tomatoes, then mixed them with basil, olive oil, white wine vinegar, tomato paste, parsley, minced garlic, pepper, and salt.  Since I didn't have a small amount of tomato sauce on hand, I used tomato paste and a bit of parsley instead.


I mixed 2-3 tablespoons of the BBQ sauce in with some pasta for each plate and then stirred in a few teaspoons of the bruschetta.  I added the chicken and dinner was served!



This sauce was utterly fantastic!  I loved the flavor the balsamic vinegar gave it, and the taste was quite reminiscent of my original favorite, but slightly thicker.  The bruschetta was awesome, and is what brought it really close to the restaurant dish, but the chicken in this version was even better.  My husband and I went crazy for this at dinner, and I brought some into work and got rave reviews from everyone who tried it.  This sauce could be great on all kinds of dishes--it would be great with some shrimp or maybe even for cooking some steaks.  Now I'm really interested in a homemade BBQ sauce!

Balsamic Chicken Recipe

Ingredients:

For the chicken:
4 chicken breasts
3/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup ketchup
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons Worcestershire
2 teaspoons dijon mustard
2 teaspoons honey
1 teaspoon molasses
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 box thin spaghetti

For the Bruschetta:
2 Roma tomatoes
2 tablespoons basil
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 teaspoons parsley
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt

Instructions:

Make the BBQ sauce, heat the balsamic vinegar, ketchup, brown sugar, Worcestershire, Dijon mustard, honey, molasses, salt, pepper, and garlic powder in a saucepan until it began to simmer. Let the sauce simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.  Spread some of the sauce on each side of the chicken, then place in a heated cast iron grill pan heated to medium-high with 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil.  Cook for about 6-8 minutes per side, until both sides are browned slightly and the chicken is cooked throughout.  In the mean time, cook pasta per package directions.  To make the bruschetta, dice tomatoes into small cubes.  Mix in a small bowl with basil, olive oil, white wine vinegar, tomato paste, parsley, minced garlic, pepper, and salt.

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