Monday, November 22, 2010

Balsamic Chicken and Pasta

What you need:
        • Balsamic vinegar

        • Chicken broth
        • Sugar (granulated)
        • Garlic (whole and powdered)
    • Italian seasoning (pre-blended or use what you like)
    • Olive and vegetable oil
    Boneless chicken
    Penne pasta
     or Romano cheese

    I originally found this recipe online (here) and I've made it many times since. Instead of a straight chicken dish, I serve it as a pasta and change the preparation. You'd think that using so much balsamic would give this a really overpowering taste. You'd be wrong. Also stupid. The chicken is moist, tender, and extremely flavorful without being overpowering. The marinade/sauce/reduction/what-the-fuck-ever-you-want-to-call-it also makes a top notch pasta dressing.

    1. Combine the balsamic vinegar (1/3 cup), broth (1/2 cup), and sugar (2 tablespoons) in a bowl.

    2. Now you need to mince a clove of garlic. There are several ways to do this. In fact, I found a guide that lists 7 individual steps just to peel it. That's fucking ridiculous. Here's how it's done: pull a clove off of your garlic bulb and get a big fucking knife out. A cleaver works well. I prefer to use my hooker killing knife.

    Place the flat of the blade over the clove of garlic like so.

    Now pound it like you caught it fucking your wife. One or two whacks should do the job. If you cut yourself, please stop reading this blog. You're a fucking idiot.

    Badabing. Your garlic is peeled. Mince that shit and add it to your concoction.

    3. Add your Italian seasoning. If you don't want to use a pre-blended seasoning, use oregano, thyme, basil and marjoram... or whatever you want, so long as it's Italiany. Use as much as you want. Now whisk.

    4. On to marinating. For the chicken, I usually use breast fillets and slice them in half into something resembling a tenderloin. Feel free to use whatever you want, just make sure it's boneless. Slap your chicken in a marinating dish, pour on your marinade, and place in your ice box next to your beer. We're going to marinade for an hour, flipping the chicken half-way through. Before you start on me, yes I know it's usually a bad idea to marinate in a metal container. Since it's not a long marinade (over two hours), it isn't going to matter. Plus, I accidentally melted my good fucking marinating bowl.

    5. While that's marinating, you're going to make a half batch of your balsamic marinade. We're going to reduce this while we're cooking the chicken to add to the finished product. It doesn't look like much, but it makes a difference so stop fucking arguing with me and do it. Make it exactly the same, except half as much and instead of whole garlic, use a few shots of garlic powder. Set this aside (I recommend in a holiday themed coffee cup in the ice box). About 15 minutes before your marinade is done, you're going to put a big pot of water on to boil your pasta. Add a splash of vegetable oil in there to keep your noodles from sticking together.


    1. When you're almost done marinating, throw some olive oil in a pan and set it on medium high heat. When it's nice and toasty, toss your chicken in. Put the marinade back in the fridge... we're going to use it later.

    Brown the chicken on one side, then flip and brown on the other. It's around 8 minutes a side. You might notice it gets a bit black... that's from the marinade. You'll know it's done when you can press on it with a fork and only get clear juice coming out. Also, this strange, semi-solid white shit will seep out of it. That's just juices, water, and blood congealing, not fat. Disregard it. Whatever you do, DON'T CUT INTO YOUR FUCKING CHICKEN. That let's all the good shit out. When it's nice and brown, it's done.

    2. Now you add your pasta to your boiling pot of water. If you're like me, you'll make way too much fucking pasta. As far as I can tell, this can't be avoided. While you complete the chicken, you'll have to watch your pasta, as it'll take between 10 and 15 minutes to get perfectly al dente, which is Italian for "not fucked up". Many people have their special methods for determining when pasta is done. This ranges from strict time measurements to throwing food against the wall. I'm fucking amazed that these people can get out of bed in the morning without hurting themselves. There is only one fool proof way to know when your pasta is done, and it's sort of complicated so stay with me... every few minutes, fish a noodle out, toss it on your cutting board, and slice it in half. Now, this is the tricky part: use your fucking EYES to look at the fucking PASTA. See the middle? See that ring in there that's darker than the rest? That's UNCOOKED PASTA. When that isn't there, your pasta will be perfect.

    3. Take your extra marinade (not the remainder from the chicken) and put it in a small pot on medium heat. Let it do its thing. Meanwhile, take the remainder marinade and pour it over the cooked chicken. Normally you would NEVER reuse a marinade. It's a one way ticket to a long night on the can. However, this marinade is going to be boiled and reduced, so it's perfectly fine to use. This is a good time to start any quick side dishes or extras you might be making... corn, a frozen bread loaf, whatever.

    Let the chicken simmer in the marinade for about 7 minutes per side. This is when it starts to smell like angels fucking on your stove. I assume that would smell good. Enjoy it.

    4. You know it's done when your reduction has significantly reduced. It won't get syrupy like the marinade, but it will get concentrated.

    Also, your chicken turns dark purple and the marinade thickens considerably.

    And you're done. There are a few ways you can serve this, so feel free to mix it up. I toss some pasta in the bowl, chicken on top, pour on some marinade from the pan, and then spoon on some of the reduction. Add in some bread and you're ready to go.


    1. I don't know who the fuck you are but I am now in love with you and would be greatly appreciative if you would make this for me.

      Also, is there such thing as too much pasta?

    2. I submit that there is not, provided it's made correctly. Nothing fucking pisses me off more than fucking overcooked/undercooked pasta. It's the easiest thing on EARTH to cook... Just three steps: 1) boil water 2)insert pasta 3) don't be a fucking mouthbreathing idiot. That's all.

      I've killed for much less.

    3. "Angels fucking on the stove." This is amazing. I love it.