Recipe by Chef Jonathan Bardzik
Balsamic vinegar is one of fall’s classic flavors. A reduction glazes chicken to show off the complex sweetness, while a vinaigrette made with balsamic and red wine vinegars balances the sugars pairing perfectly with this week’s salad blend.
4 boneless chicken breasts, 6-8 oz each
1 cup aged balsamic vinegar (see tip)
4 cups Salanova salad blend
1 cup celery and amaranth blend
1/2 cup toasted pepitas
1 shallot, finely minced
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 cup olive oil – the good stuff!
Make vinaigrette: In a medium bowl combine shallot, vinegars, and mustard. Season with salt and pepper. Whisk and let sit for 15-20 minutes while flavors combine. When ready to dress salad, drizzle in oil, while whisking, to form a creamy emulsion.
Cook chicken: Season chicken with salt and pepper on both sides. Let sit for 20-30 minutes. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, reduce balsamic vinegar to about 1/2 cup.
Grill: Sear chicken on both sides over direct heat. Move to indirect heat and cook to 160° F. Brush each breast with 1 tbs balsamic reduction, flip and cook for one minute over direct heat. Brush tops with remaining balsamic reduction, flip and cook for 1 minute longer. Let rest for 5 minutes before slicing.
Stove top and oven: Preheat broiler and set a rack 6” from heating element. On stove, warm 2 tbs olive oil in a 12” skillet over medium-high heat. Sear chicken on both sides, 3-4 minutes per side. Reduce heat to medium and cook through to 160° F, turning once. Brush each breast with 1 tbs balsamic reduction and place pan in oven. After 2 minutes, remove pan from oven, turn breasts and brush with remaining balsamic reduction. Place under broiler for 2 minutes to finish. Let rest for 5 minutes before slicing.
Assemble salad: combine salad shoot mix in a medium bowl. Dress lightly. Divide greens among 4 plates and top with chicken and microgreens. Sprinkle each plate with 2 tbs pepitas.
TIP: Balsamic vinegar can be aged for different time periods resulting in different viscosity. My 18 year is fairly thin, like maple syrup and needs to be reduced so it doesn’t just run off the chicken. A 24 year or anything labeled balsamic glaze may already be thick enough without further reduction.