This orange balsamic chicken recipe is a flavorful skillet meal that is ready in 30 minutes or less! A healthy dish with fresh spring vegetables that everyone with enjoy.
I’ve been on weekday dinner warrior mode. What do I mean? I’m on a mission to find fast, flavorful, low-mess and low-stress meals on those busy long work days. Virtual fist bump if you’re on the same page!
I find myself only having about 45 minutes or less to prep, cook and serve a wholesome and balanced meal. If you’re in a similar time crunch but don’t want to settle for the unhealthy drive-thru, you are going to love this quick balsamic chicken recipe! This dish is filled with fresh vegetables, lean protein, and a gorgeous two ingredient sweet and tangy sauce that is out of this world.
I prepare this white meat, at least, three times a week because it’s so versatile and I can infuse lots of different flavors. Some of our favorite meals are my one pan lemon chicken and spicy honey sriracha chicken – so tasty! I was inspired to do another speedy skillet meal with an Italian twist.
I like to purchase thinly sliced chicken breasts from the market because it cooks quicker and more evenly in the pan. Otherwise, you can slice larger chicken breasts in half through the center, or pound them out to 3/4-inch thickness and cut into smaller pieces.
The chicken gets sauteed in the pan first, then goes in all of the gorgeous garden fresh vegetables. Asparagus is in season, so they are an excellent addition, plus vine ripened baby tomatoes and savory brown mushrooms.
What makes this balsamic chicken recipe a slam dunk is a naturally sweet and tangy glaze! I used the power of reduction to create a luscious sticky sauce with only two ingredients, fresh oranges, and balsamic vinegar. Once most of the liquid has evaporated from the pan, the incredibly concentrated flavors create the perfect sauce to coat each piece of tender chicken. So GOOD! What are your favorite weekday meal solutions?
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If you make this recipe, please let me know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #jessicagavin on Instagram. I’d love to see what you come up with. Cheers, friends!
What is a Reduction Sauce?
In this recipe, you get to create a reduction sauce with the balsamic vinegar and orange juice. Water evaporates at 100°C/212°F, so you need to get the liquid pretty hot and bubbly, or it will take a long time to concentrate into a sauce. I like to use a large shallow skillet to speed up the process as there is more surface area for faster reduction. As the sauce starts to thicken, keep a close eye making sure that the hot sides of the pan don’t burn the sauce. I usually turn the heat down to medium or medium-low as the sauce is almost ready and it’s time to coat the chicken in the glaze. The natural sweetness of the balsamic vinegar and fructose in the orange juice help to create that flavorful intensified syrupy sauce. No need to add additional sweeteners or thickening ingredients!
Balsamic Chicken with Vegetables
- 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 cup orange juice, juice from about 4 large oranges
- zest of 1 orange
- 2 pounds boneless chicken breasts, skinless, pounded to 3/4-inch thickness
- kosher salt, for seasoning
- black pepper, freshly cracked, for seasoning
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 red pepper, 1/2-inch dice
- 8 ounces brown mushrooms, sliced
- 1 cup baby tomatoes, sliced in half
- 1 pound asparagus, trimmed, then cut into 2 inch pieces
- 1 teaspoon thyme, chopped fresh
- 1/4 cup basil, sliced fresh
- In a large 10 to 12 inch saute pan add balsamic vinegar, orange juice, and zest. Turn heat to medium-high so that it’s bubbling and allow the sauce to reduce until about 1/3 the volume until slightly thickened about 15-17 minutes. Meanwhile, make the chicken.
- Generously season both sides of the chicken with salt and pepper.
- In a separate large pan, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat.
- When oil is hot, add the chicken and brown for 5 minutes, turn over and cook for another 4 to 5 minutes, or until chicken is no longer pink or internal temperature reaches 160°F.
- Transfer cooked chicken to a clean dish, or add to balsamic sauce once it's been reduced to 1/3 the original volume. Allow the sauce to continue to thicken and reduce, flipping the chicken to coat several times, until the chicken has been glazed on both sides. Turn off heat and cover to keep warm. Make the vegetables.
- In the same pan used to cook the chicken, turn heat to medium and add 1 tablespoon olive oil to a pan.
- Add garlic and pepper, saute for 1 minute, scraping any brown bits from the pan.
- Add mushrooms cook for 3 minutes, until tender.
- Add sliced tomatoes and cook for 1 minute, until slightly softened.
- Add asparagus and cook for about 3 minutes, or until tender and bright green. Season with salt and pepper and turn off heat.
- Season chicken with thyme and basil. Serve with warm with vegetables.
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