This Balsamic Roast Chicken recipe is pretty enough to serve at a gathering of friends, with a nice glass of wine, but easy enough to throw together in a pinch. It’s one of my favourite ways to eat roast chicken, especially served alongside roasted fingerling potatoes and tomatoes.
Lately I’ve had a crush on balsamic, that lush black liquid mixture of sweet and tart all at the same time. I made a balsamic reduction, and the simplicity amazed me. I’ve always bought the pre made stuff and assumed it was difficult to make at home but it’s totally easy and you save a bit of coin. If you aren’t familiar with balsamic reduction, also known as balsamic glaze or syrup, it is the essence of the vinegar in sultry gooey form. It’s much sweeter than regular old balsamic, though Nigella Lawson adds additional sugar in her recipe for balsamic syrup (for use with desserts). A word of caution when making balsamic glaze, if you aren’t paying attention it can turn into one of those pots you have to throw away because whatever you burned in it is there for life. Eek. Yeah so just keep a watchful eye and it’ll be fine. The same goes for coconut oil and raspberry sauce, which I once forgot about and burnt down half of the bake shack at the restaurant I worked in. After I made this balsamic reduction we went for a little drive, for some reason I thought I’d left the burner on and we turned the car around, speeding home and praying for the house not to be on fire. Thankfully I was just being overly cautious, pretty sure balsamic would be nearly explosive in terms of fire starting foods. You can smell it strongly as it reduces, a saving grace, and if you have an overhead fan, you are lucky, my whole house infused with balsamic.
How to make Balsamic Reduction
-4 C balsamic vinegar
Firstly, you can make a large amount or small, double the recipe or halve it. The original amount of balsamic vinegar will reduce by about half if you desire a thin reduction or reduce it down to 1/4 if you’d like a thicker glaze like consistency. This is the basic formula, all you need to do is bring the vinegar to a simmer and stir it every now and again until it thickens up to coat the spoon and pan to your liking. Just keep a hawks eye on it, you wouldn’t want this black gold to burn.
-drizzle over sweet fresh berries
-use as a final touch on special dishes
-mix with olive oil for dipping bread or dressing potatoes
-great with pork chops and grilled steaks dishes
-serve on grilled peaches or nectarines with a nice soft cheese
-mix with melted butter to dress steamed green beans or beets
- 1 whole chicken (free run if possible)
- 1 lb fingerling or new potatoes
- 6-8 small fresh tomatoes, halved
- 10 fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
- 2 Tbs balsamic vinegar
- 2 Tbs balsamic reduction
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 Tbs olive oil
- 1 Tbs dijon mustard
- ½ tsp sea salt
- fresh cracked pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 400F.
- In a roasting pan arrange chicken in the center, spread the potatoes around the chicken.
- In a small bowl, mix together the balsamic vinegar, reduction, olive oil, mustard, garlic, sea salt and pepper and half the basil. Pour over the chicken and potatoes evenly. Put a lid on the roasting pan and place in the oven for about an hour and a half or until internal temperature has reached 175-180F ( cooking time depends on the size of your chicken- 1½ hours would be for a 3 lb. chicken)
- Place the tomatoes on a separate roasting pan and sprinkle with sea salt, roast the tomatoes for about an hour.
- Serve with extra fresh basil and balsamic reduction drizzled on top.