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Pan-Seared Chicken Breast in Balsamic Reduction Sauce

Updated on February 8, 2017

There is a lot to adore about this dish. It's fast, simple, inexpensive, and healthy. Quick and easy enough for family meals and elegant enough for company, this fabulous treatment for chicken is savory and rich. It gets its primary punch of flavor from searing of the chicken over relatively high heat and finishes with a just touch of butter to maximize the flavor.

The sauce goes together in moments, finishes reducing while the chicken rests, and uses only three ingredients. Assemble the minimal ingredients ahead of time, and this dish will allow you to still enjoy your guests or family while you cook. That's a rockstar recipe for any day or occasion!

A couple of things to keep in mind—if you wish to cut the cost of this dish as much as possible (although it's very low to begin with) then purchase skin-on, bone-in breasts and debone them yourself. I found this particular batch for $1.38 a pound and did exactly that. The entire package was less than $6 for four good sized pieces. The remaining ingredients were less than another $1.50—and this served six people for an entire cost of about $7.50 for a terrific dish. True—you do need to watch the sales, but it can certainly happen, and skinning and boning the chicken yourself can really help.

Also, don't go crazy on the balsamic vinegar, but make sure you get one that is good because you'll concentrate the flavor for the sauce, so it does need to be a quality product. It's not necessary to use a 30-year-old variety, but make sure you find a good 5-7 year one at least. Give the plain vinegar a taste before you use it if you aren't familiar with the brand. Make sure you like the flavor and that there's none of the bitterness that can happen with some of the less expensive brands. This part might take a bit of trial and error. I've found some inexpensive varieties that are really good and some are just plain awful. If you end up with one that just isn't good, substitute red wine vinegar for the balsamic. Don't concentrate unpleasant flavors.

That's it! This one is all kinds of yummy. Give it a shot, and you'll be hooked!

The Recipe!

You'll need:

  • Boneless, skinless chicken breasts (4-6)
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 Tbl olive oil
  • 2 Tbl butter
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth (homemade if possible)
  • kosher salt and black pepper to taste
  • fresh chopped parsley, for garnish


  1. Place a large skillet over medium high heat. Add olive oil to pan and heat well.
  2. Sprinkle both sides of the chicken pieces with the garlic and onion powders, salt and pepper. Once the oil and pan are very hot, add chicken to the pan. Allow it to sear on the side without moving it for about 8-9 minutes depending on the size.
  3. Flip the chicken once, and sear the second side for another 8-9 minutes. Both sides should now have a beautiful, deep, rich golden brown crust. Remove to a platter and allow the chicken to rest.
  4. Add balsamic vinegar and chicken broth to the hot skillet, whisking well, and scraping up the fond - the brown bits from the bottom of the pan - with the whisk. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and allow the sauce to reduce by about a third, or until it thickens slightly. Add the butter to the pan and whisk in.
  5. Taste, and adjust sauce for salt and pepper, seasoning to taste. Spoon sauce over chicken on the platter, and top with freshly chopped parsley. All done!


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