by Sarah on September 30, 2010 · 3 comments

I feel a bit like I’m the redheaded Rachael Ray with this post.
First of all, it’s YUM-O!

Secondly, she loves to make up words and has a special affinity towards pun-ny humor (like someone else we know?), so the thought of Vina-GREAT! Chicken would make her proud.
More importantly, though, it’s a 30-Minute-Meal…although if I timed myself I could probably make it in 26.2 minutes, but somehow I don’t think that 26.2-Minute-Meals would be a very catchy TV show title?

I’ll stick with The Smart Kitchen.

Anyways, this recipe was inspired by Cooking Light’s Balsamic Chicken from ten years ago, but to be honest, there’s was slightly lame, in that it only included mushrooms and peppers, and my version includes pretty much any vegetable you darn well care to put in the pan. :)

I have made it with eggplant, mushrooms, assorted squash, and even spinach once. I’ve also used tofu before, so it can totally be changed up to be veg-friendly.

Basically, you combine quickly-browned chicken with whatever vegetables you have on hand….
with a can of diced tomatoes…
and a healthy dose of balsamic vinegar…
…which creates a delicious stew-like creation that can be served over rice, or pasta, or simply in a bowl.

Me? I like my Vina-GREAT! Chicken over a baked potato.

So how do you knock out this quick culinary creation? Easy.

Diced up your veggies (here I used zucchini, summer squash, and green and red bell peppers) and about half of a sweet onion.
Into your saucepan, put the onion with a clove or two of minced garlic (if desired) and some olive oil.
Then, add diced up chicken (about 2 medium-sized boneless, skinless breasts).
Brown that up…
…but don’t worry about it being COMPLETELY cooked through, because it will simmer in the sauce later.Add your peppers next, since they generally take the longest to soften up…
…then your squash and/or mushrooms and/or eggplant, depending on what you have. Also throw on a healthy pinch (or fifteen) of Italian seasoning.
Stir it up, getting the seasoning all over everything….
…and let it sautee and cook until mostly softened.
Then, empty out the can of diced tomatoes into the pan.

And, well, stir.

Bring that to a simmer, and then pour in about 1/4 cup of balsamic vinegar. Use less if your not as much of a fan, and more if you are practically a balsamic groupie.
Let that simmer away for a bit so the vinegar starts to sweet up and thicken.
Eventually the veggies will be soft and the sauce will reduce to stew-like consistency.

And then, well…aside from scooping it onto your starch of choice…you’re done.

This is a (Vina-)GREAT go-to recipe, even for company, because it tastes impressive but clearly is the easiest thing ever.

Well, except for maybe making a peanut butter sandwich, but then you have to worry about the peanut butter sticking to the roof of your mouth in front of company and depending on who it is that could be awkward.

Vina-GREAT! Chicken
(Serves 4)

2 medium-sized boneless, skinless chicken breasts, chopped into bite-sized pieces
1/2 large sweet onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups diced vegetables (zucchini, yellow squash, mushrooms, carrots, bell peppers, eggplant…)
1 can diced tomatoes
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
Italian seasoning

baked potatoes, rice, pasta (for serving)

1. In a large saucepan, saute onion and garlic in olive oil until just softened.
2. Add chicken to the pan and cook until brown and nearly cooked through.
3. Add vegetables to the pan in order of time needed for cooking (peppers then squash then mushrooms, for example).
4. Stir well with Italian seasoning and cook until vegetables are soft to the bite.
5. Add diced tomatoes and bring to a simmer.
6. Stir in balsamic vinegar.
7. Simmer until vinegar has thickened and sauce has reduced to a stew-like consistency.
8. Serve over starch of your choice, or alone, in a bowl (preferably with bread).

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookEmail this to someonePin on Pinterest

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Maria @ Oh Healthy Day September 30, 2010 at 10:55 pm

I would have never thought of putting that on a baked potato – genius! Rachael would be proud.


David October 1, 2010 at 9:36 am

I like the idea of 26.2 minute meals because a marathon is 26.2 miles. Is this a coincidence?


Missy October 1, 2010 at 11:42 am

I love ANY recipe that lists "whatever veggies you have on hand" (0:



Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: