Sunday, October 23

Balsamic BBQ Chicken Baked with Apples and Carrots

Let's just start this with a picture:

You know what screams Fall? Putting things in the oven, with APPLES!
Could I be any more Autumn right now? Probably not. Actually maybe I could up my leaf crunching ante. Note to self: crunch more leaves.

Speaking of leaves, you know what thing that I really miss I miss about Autumn now that I'm living in a city? Those silly orange pumpkin garbage bags that everyone in the 'burbs rakes their leaves into. You know what I'm talking about. Who's idea was that? Who was this leaf-raking aficionado who sought a way to turn the unsightly fruits of his or her labor into a Halloween decoration? Pure genius. Well, probably the least environmentally friendly practice ever, but totally a nice thought otherwise.

If you follow my blog, at this point you already know I am obsessed with this bbq sauce. AND if you follow my blog I love you so much and you are AWESOME! If you don't follow my blog, well that sucks, you should. (Juuuuust kidding!)

This dish is basically the byproduct of my attempt to make everything in my life a little more Autumn. I border on obsessed, but hey, it makes me happy. Topping the chicken with apples really works with the balsamic tang and baking the dish creates an interesting and flavorful sauce in which to cook some carrots. It smells amazing in the oven and looks just as good. Oh yea, the taste ain't half bad either! Actually, it's pretty f'ing amazing as well.

Soundtrack: Washed Out (Myspace link)

Balsamic BBQ Chicken Baked with Apples and Carrots
Serves 4-5
Inspired by Giada DeLaurentiis, Chicken with Balsamic BBQ Sauce

1 1/2 c balsamic vinegar
  • 1 1/4 c ketchup
  • 1/2 c plus 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • garlic clove, minced
  • 1 1/2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 1/2 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • salt & pepper
  • 3 chicken breasts, bone-in
  • 2 chicken thighs, bone-in
  • 3-4 carrots, peeled and cut into disks (I believe the term is "Rondelle")
  • ~1/4 chicken broth
  • 1 large apple (or 2 small, enough to cover the tops of the chicken in baking dish, should be a variety that is best to cook with)
First, prepare the bbq sauce by whisking together balsamic vinegar, ketchup, brown sugar, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, Dijon mustard, 1 tsp salt, and 1 tsp of pepper in a medium saucepan. Over medium heat, simmer the sauce for about 20 minutes. You will see a huge reduction in the amount of liquid and sauce will begin to thicken. After sauce cooks down, reserve about 1/4 of the sauce and set aside to serve with chicken later.

While sauce cooks down, preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

In an 13x9 baking dish, place chicken breasts and thighs skin up. Season with salt & pepper. Add carrots, interspersing between pieces of chicken. Pour enough chicken broth into the dish so that all of the bottom surface is covered. Place in the oven and cook for 25 minutes.

Remove chicken from the oven and cover chicken with about 3/4's of the bbq sauce still in the saucepan (I realize this is confusing, so to be clear, we are not including the 1/4 we already set aside, ignore that). Stir carrots down into the sauce. Core and slice the apple into rings, then top the chicken with the apple rings. Using a basting brush, cover the apple rings in the remain bbq sauce in the sauce pan (still ignoring the portion set aside for serving). Place the dish back in the oven for another 15-20 minutes, depending on the size of your breasts (har har har). Check for done-ness and serve with reserved bbq sauce on the side.

Oooh action shot!
Wheesk, wheesk!
Similar to peach rings, yum!

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