Balsamic Braised Chicken


Roasted, poached, grilled and fried, these are just a few of the ways I have prepared poultry this year, but during the fall and winter months, there is nothing quite like those dinners with the delicious smells that permeate your kitchen.

From the moment you lift the lid off a dish that has been happily cooking in the oven, your taste buds start to do the happy dance.

One of my favorite cooking methods, whether it’s beef or poultry is braising. Braising is a combination method using both dry and moist heat.

Typically, the food is seared to brown each side, thus enhancing the flavor. (This is a dry heat method). Then the food is transferred to an ovenproof pan and liquid of some sort is added, in this case broth and vinegar (This is the moist heat method). The pan is covered and finishes cooking creating it’s own sauce. Pot roast is a good example of braising. The roasting method uses dry heat only.

The great thing about braising recipes is that they aren’t finicky and they are even better as leftovers … sounds like comfort food to me.


  • 2 1/2 pounds boneless chicken thighs
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 leeks
  • 1 fennel bulb
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup mascarpone
  • Fresh rosemary


In a large skillet, heat butter and olive oil.
Season chicken with salt and pepper, cook in pan on medium-high heat.
Cook until browned on both sides, then transfer to a plate while you prepare the vegetables.
Cut leeks in half lengthwise (rinse out any dirt), then cut into 1/4-inch pieces.


Cut fennel into 1/4-inch slices, cook in skillet with leeks until softened (4-5 minutes).
Add broth and white balsamic vinegar, bring to a boil. Season with salt and pepper.




Transfer the fennel-leek mixture to an oven-proof dish, arrange the chicken thighs on top and add a few sprigs of fresh rosemary.
Cover the pan and cook in a 350* oven for 35-40 minutes.
Transfer the chicken to a serving platter, add the mascarpone to the sauce, simmer until it is hot.
Pour the sauce over the chicken, add a sprig of rosemary and enjoy.