It is, and has been, disgustingly hot in Champaign. When I made this a few weeks back, it was also sticky like a warm bath in my house. I should've made gazpacho. Or a fresh strawberry salad with cold chicken. And I should've done it in a sundress with the A/C on, but I'm a glutton for punishment. There is just something about this recipe that screams "Summer!!" even though it is a bear to make on a hot day. The chicken is meltingly tender, the sauce tastes like vinegar-based BBQ sauce, and is so plentiful that you need freshly baked rolls to sop it up. Paired with fresh, lemony green beans and a glass of lemonade (or, y'know, a beer or gin & tonic or three), it is the perfect summer meal for company. It's well worth sweating over.
French Chicken in Vinegar Sauce (from Cooking Light)
-Olive oil flavored cooking spray (or a little olive oil)
-2 1/2 cups chopped onion
-8 (3-ounce) skinned, boned chicken thighs
-1/2 cup dry white wine
-1/2 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
-3 tablespoons tomato paste
-2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
-1 teaspoon minced fresh (or 1/2 teaspoon dried) tarragon
-1/2 teaspoon brown sugar
-1/4 teaspoon salt
-1/4 teaspoon cayenne
-Dash of black pepper
1. Coat a large, nonstick skillet with cooking spray; place over medium-high heat until hot. Add onion; cook 5 minutes, or until lightly browned. Remove onion from pan. Increase heat to high. Add chicken; cook 3 minutes on each side or until browned.
2. Combine wine and next 8 ingredients in a medium bowl. Add onion and wine mixture to chicken; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes until chicken is cooked through. Serve with rolls (I suggest popovers, also from Cooking Light!), and green beans.
-4 servings (2 thighs, 1/2 cup sauce)
Green Beans Amandine (from Cooking Light)
-2 tablespoons butter or stick margarine
-3 pounds green beans, trimmed
-3 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
-3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
-1/2 teaspoon salt
-2 tablespoons cornstarch
-1/4 cup water
-2 tablespoons lemon juice
-1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted
1. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add beans; saute 5 minutes. Add broth, pepper, and salt; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes.
2. Combine cornstarch and water; add to skillet. Bring to a boil, and cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in lemon juice. Sprinkle with almonds just before serving.
-Makes 8 1-cup servings
-Note: This recipe is REALLY easily halved. I bought green beans without reading the recipe and only had about 1/2 as much as necessary (3 pounds is a LOT!). So, all is well if you don't want a whole crap ton of beans. :)