Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Sweet Brown Sugar & Champagne Infused Whole Chicken w/ Soy Balsamic Vinaigrette

Sounds complicated? Surprisingly, it has been the cheapest, least time consuming, easiest and most delicious (in the sweet and savory variety) meal to make!

While strolling around a local Safeway to grocery shop (one of my favorite hobbies), my boyfriend and I found Foster Farms Whole Young Chicken on sale for $4. Yes, four dollars for a whole chicken; cheaper than my favorite Subway's Sweet Onion Chicken Teriyaki sub, cheaper than my favorite Rigatoni's Chicken Pesto & Pine Nuts Fettucine, ... you get the idea. The back of the package showcased their Simmered Chinese Chicken recipe, which inspired my personal take on this recipe:


1 whole chicken
Drizzle olive oil


1/3 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup balsamic vinaigrette
1/4 cup champagne
1 tbsp Trader Joe's 21 Seasoning Salute (Onion, Black Pepper, Celery Seed, Cayenne Pepper, Parsley, Basil, Marjoram, Bay Leaf, Oregano, Thyme, Savory, Rosemary, Cumin, Mustard, Coriander, Garlic, Carrot, Orange Peel, Tomato Granules, Lemon Juice Powder, Oil of Lemon, Citric Acid)

After braising in the sweet soy balsamic vinaigrette, the finished product, ta-da!~

1. Rinse chicken (remove giblets) & dry well.
2. Heat oil in a large & deep saute pan or stock pot; brown chicken evenly on all sides and corners. Time to dance the chicken! :)
3. Mix together the sauce ingredients to your tastebuds' liking. Pour the sauce over the chicken so that the sauce covers most of the chicken, about 3/4ths way. (I actually had to make double the sauce because we used a wok instead of a standard pot, so depending on what you use, you might need to make more sauce!)
4. Adjust the dial of your stovetop so that the sauce is simmering, and turn over the chicken as needed to make sure it cooks even and thoroughly.
5. After simmering for about 15-20 mins, test the doneness of the chicken (no translucent flesh, no leaky blood). When it has passed the test, the chicken is ready to be chopped and served! :)

Isn't my boyfriend a great butcher? :)
The simmered sauce left in the wok was also a great accompaniment to the braised, oh so juicy and tender chicken! The variety of flavors from the sauce were amazing; there was the sweet brown sugar, crisp champagne flavor, savory soy sauce, tart balsamic vinaigrette and spice medley of the 21 Seasoning Salute that created this delicious meal.

Give this dish a try and let me know what you think! Feel free to share your whole chicken recipes as well!