Balsamic Vinegar Chicken with Wild Mushrooms

May 15th, 2009

Balsamic vinegar is a product of Modena, a province of the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy. True aceto balsamico requires specific sweet grapes produced in Modena which are aged in a succession of barrels made of different woods. The process can take years. For this reason it is very expensive. Most of the balsamic vinegar available today is mass produced using techniques that simulate the aging process. The bottle I got from Trader Joe’s does state on the label that it was barrel aged, but because the price was reasonable, I am assuming that it was not in barrels for any length of time. I use balsamic vinegar in salad dressings and sauteed cabbage or sprinkled over cooked greens. I love the sweetness and depth of flavor of this vinegar. It is the most assertive of all vinegars and to really experience it’s goodness try sprinkling it on strawberries for a wonderful sensation in your mouth.

I found this recipe for Balsamic Vinegar Chicken with Wild Mushrooms in an old issue of Gourmet. The article was written by David Rosengarten so I knew the results would be guarenteed. David Rosengarten is one of my favorite people in the food world. He is the author of his own cookbook called Taste and the author of The Dean and DeLuca Cookbook. For a time he had a program called Taste on the Food Network and it was one of the best productions they have ever shown. It was intelligent and insightful and David’s passion and credibility were evident with every episode. I wish the Food Network had not “dumbed down” so much. But that is another story.

We had this chicken for dinner last night and it was wonderful. There was so much depth to the flavors that it is hard to describe – woodsy and earthy from the porcini mushrooms, sweet and assertive from the vinegar, mellow from the red wine and down home good from the bacon and sauteed chicken. We are having it again tonight and I have a feeling that it will have improved with it’s rest in the refrigerator. As a matter of fact, it would make a good “do ahead” dish for guests. I served it with plain rice to soak up the juices.

1 ounce (about 1 cup) dried porcini mushrooms
6 chicken thighs, rinsed and patted dry ( I skinned them)
all-purpose flour for dredging
1/4 pound bacon, cut crosswise into 1/3 inch pieces
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup fruity red wine, such as Beaujolais
1/2 cup beef broth
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
3/4 cup drained and chopped canned tomatoes
1 teaspoon arrowroot dissolved in 2 teaspoons cold water
minced fresh flat-leafed parsley leaves for garnish
In a small bowl let the porcini soak in 1 cup boiling water for 10 minutes, or until they are soft, and drain them well, reserving the liquid. Season the chicken with pepper and dredge it in the flour, shaking off the excess. In a large heavy skillet cook the bacon over moderate heat, stirring, until it is golden and crisp, transfer it with a slotted spoon to paper towels, and let it drain. Add to the skillet the chicken, skin side down, and cook it, turning it occasionally, for 20 minutes, or until it is golden and crisp. Transfer the chicken with a slotted spoon to a plate, season it with salt, and discard the fat in the skillet. Add the oil to the skillet and in it cook the garlic over low heat, stirring for 1 minute. Add the reserved porcini liquid, the wine, the broth, and 3 tablespoons of the vinegar and boil the mixture for 4 minutes. Add the arrowroot mixture in a stream, stirring, stir in the tomatoes, and add the chicken, turning it to coat it with the sauce. Simmer the mixture, covered, for 10 minutes, stir in the porcini and the bacon, and simmer the mixture, covered, for 10 minutes. Stir in the remaining 1 tablespoon vinegar with salt and pepper to taste and sprinkle the mixture with the parsley. Serves 6.
Printable recipe

19 responses to “Balsamic Vinegar Chicken with Wild Mushrooms”

  1. That sounds so good! I have just copied and printed the recipe. Thanks Penny!

  2. Mary says:

    Wow! We have a very busy weekend but I’ll be making this next week. I think I’m really going to like this.

  3. girlichef says:

    Oh my gosh…how satisfying and delicious! Yummy.

  4. Rosabela says:

    This sounds devine!! Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  5. Donna-FFW says:

    This lookslike a picture perfect dish, delicious. Bone in thighs or boneless?

  6. Penny says:

    Bone in Donna, Thanks.

  7. Aggie says:

    Hi! Thanks for checking out my garden…my rosemary is turning into a nice bush too, it’s so hearty and did ok this past winter!! I have a small key lime and meyer lemon tree, but it’s still in a pot, I haven’t found a spot for it yet.

    I absolutely love balsamic vinegar and cooking with it, this recipe sounds wonderful!!

  8. Katy ~ says:

    Oh my, does this ever sound wonderful! Definitely on the will-do list. I’ll have to buy the wine and the arrowroot, but I know I’m going to LOVE this! Great find. Thank you so much for sharing.

  9. wild mushrooms are so healthy and delicious. I believe this is such a wise idea to cook with chicken.

  10. Love balsamic vinegar. Modena was opera star Luciano Pavarotti’s home too. I remember David Rosengarten’s TV show. Wasn’t his co-star Donna the mayor of NY’s wife at the time? I totally agree that TV has gotten away from true cooking and is leaning more and more towards entertainment and away from food.

    Great recipe with the wild mushrooms and balsamic vinegar. It certainly would make a good dinner party dish. Thanks for another great dish.

  11. Lickedspoon says:

    This looks delicious Penny. I’m always on the lookout for things which you can do ahead, so I’ll definitely save this.

    By the way, have you cooked anything on your fireplace lately?

  12. Penny says:

    No Debora, I have not cooked in the fireplace. It has been too warm and besides, we had to close the damper because a bird has built a nest in the chimney. Each morning we are greeted with the sound of chirping babies.

  13. Penny says:

    Sam, DR did have a show with Donna Hanover, but Taste was one he did on his own. Each week he dealt in deepth with one food subject, like Genoa sausages or Gruyere cheese.

    Everyone else, Thank you for your comments. Comments make my day. I am addicted to them. Keep them coming.

  14. Natashya says:

    I love balsamic vinegar too, what a great dish. I have the D&D book on my wishlist, I’ll check out the other one. I don’t think we ever had his show here in Canada though.

  15. Grace says:

    that’s what i call a mouth-watering plate of food! the balsamic is the perfect foil to a juicy, meaty chicken thigh. nicely done!

  16. Penny I love to cook with balsamic vinegar and this chicken dish looks so savory!.. I am bokmarking this to try.

  17. Lynda says:

    I love balsamic vinegar with chicken; this dish looks addictive, can’t wait to give it a try!
    Thanks for stopping by my blog today!You have some wonderful recipes here!

  18. Robin Sue says:

    This dish sounds fantastic! Chicken thighs are one of my favorite parts of the chicken as they are so juicy!

  19. Lickedspoon says:

    Penny, How lovely to hear the birds on the chimney. I suppose we’ll have to wait until next year for fireplace cooking, though it’s still pretty cold here some days.

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