Thursday, February 21, 2013

Roasted Chicken w/Balsamic Vinaigrette

Over the years, I have watched many a TV chef whip up delicious dishes that I have replicated at home. But of all the chefs on air and all the styles of cooking, Giada de Laurentiis is my absolute favorite.

First of all, her style of cooking is very West Coast – fresh, clean, simple ingredients with lots of bright flavors like citrus (my kind of home cookin’). Second of all, her dishes are largely healthy – no processed ingredients, lots of fresh fruits, veggies and whole grains, and lots of meatless meals. Third, she’s gorgeous – who wouldn’t want to try cooking like someone who looks like that?!

Several years ago, my husband bought me one of her cookbooks for my birthday, which has been the source of many delicious meals ever since. I have yet to prepare a single recipe from the book that has not been met with praise from my husband.

This recipe is one of my favorites. It’s super simple, affordable (all of the ingredients are staples in our house), flavorful, and an easy crowd-pleaser.

Roasted Chicken w/Balsamic Vinaigrette
From Everyday Italian cookbook (w/my notes**)

½ c. balsamic vinegar
¼ c. fresh lemon juice (from about 1 lemon)
¼ cup Dijon mustard
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper
½ c. olive oil
Chicken, cut into 6 pieces (about 4 lbs.) (**I use 1-2 lbs. of our favorite skin-on pieces from our farmer)
1 tbsp. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 tsp. grated lemon zest (from about 1 lemon)

In a 13x9x2-inch baking dish, whisk the vinegar, lemon juice, mustard, garlic, salt and pepper to blend. Whisk in the oil. Add the chicken pieces and turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate, turning the chicken pieces occasionally, for at least 2 hours and up to 1 day. (**Marinading is ideal, but not critical. It still turns out delicious if you don’t have time for a full marinade.)

Preheat the over to 400 degrees F. Roast the chicken uncovered until just cooked through, about 45 minutes.

Using tongs, transfer the chicken to a serving platter. Carefully pour the cooking liquid into a small, heavy saucepan and spoon off the excess oil from atop the cooking liquid. Boil until the liquid reduces by about half and thickens slightly, about 8 minutes.

Pour the sauce over the chicken. Sprinkle the parsley and lemon zest over the chicken and serve.

If the chicken gets too dark too quickly, cover it with aluminum foil, taking the foil off for the last 10 minutes of roasting.

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