Vanilla Balsamic Chicken

Yield: 8 servings (serving size: 2 chicken thighs)
Source: Cooking Light, APRIL 2006

CL Comments: After scraping the seeds for the sauce, add the vanilla bean pod to a canister of sugar. The scent of the bean will permeate the sugar. Serve the chicken with a tossed green salad.
Comments from a cook in CA: This was interesting, and the sauce was delicious on couscous. I used chicken breasts, not thighs. Thighs would have been better. Worth making just for the interesting combination of balsamic and vanilla.

INGREDIENTS:

1/2 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup finely chopped shallots
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon grated orange rind
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
1 (2-inch) piece vanilla bean, split lengthwise
3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
16 skinless, boneless chicken thighs (about 2 pounds)
Cooking spray
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Orange rind strips (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 450°.
  2. Combine first 6 ingredients in a small saucepan. Scrape seeds from vanilla bean; stir seeds into broth mixture, reserving the bean for another use. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer until reduced to 1/2 cup (about 20 minutes). Stir in 1/4 teaspoon salt.
  3. Arrange chicken in a single layer in the bottom of a roasting pan coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle chicken evenly with remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper. Bake at 450° for 10 minutes.
  4. Brush half of broth mixture over chicken; bake 5 minutes. Brush remaining broth mixture over chicken; bake 15 minutes or until a thermometer registers 180°. Garnish with orange rind, if desired.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:

Healthy Units: 5 per serving (or CORE + .5pts)
CALORIES 209(24% from fat); FAT 5.5g (sat 1.4g,mono 1.7g,poly 1.4g); PROTEIN 27.5g; CHOLESTEROL 115mg; CALCIUM 29mg; SODIUM 371mg; FIBER 0.2g; IRON 1.8mg; CARBOHYDRATE 10.9g

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