Balsamic Orange Chicken With Basil | 21 Day Fix Friendly
Clean eating is not boring or bland! With a few thoughtful cooking processes, you can infuse flavor in every aspect of your dish. This Balsamic Orange Chicken with Basil is a perfect example. Oh so amazing and delicious!
Hi, guys! I don’t know about you, but I get on these “kicks” sometimes where I become obsessed with a certain food or food group. Lately, for me, it has been oranges. I don’t really know why but my instinct tells me I might be lacking vitamin C……who really knows why but I am so glad that I have had that craving! Balsamic Orange Chicken with Basil. Say that fast three times…...hungry? Me too!
Unfortunately, there are not a lot of photos for this post as this was one of those “hmmm, what can I whip up that involves oranges” type deals lol, I really need to get in the habit of planning things out but sometimes the mood just strikes me and it’s on and crackin’. Lucky for me I did actually have the presence of mind to write everything down as I was going along. I learned that lesson a while ago. Flashback to an amazing dressing I made that I haven’t been able to duplicate in three years. Oh well, someday!
To Brine or not to brine (hint….please brine)
Obviously, I started with Chicken because that was my protein option for the evening. But honestly, bore easily with the same-o same-o go to chicken recipes. Let’s be honest here for a second…..chicken breasts are bland. Boring and flavorless unless you add some spice to their lives. That is probably one of the main reasons I always, always, always insist on a brine for chicken breasts. Seriously, my family thinks I should start a campaign with posters and buttons. Depending on the impact you are looking for, or what dish you happen to be cooking, brine can be anywhere from as little as 30 minutes to overnight.
This particular dish I brined for about six and a half hours. As a result, in my oh so humble opinion, this amount of time gave the proper “hydration” and flavor I was looking for in the Balsamic Orange Chicken with Basil.
I’d like to throw a disclaimer in here real quick. When I put that 21 Day Fix label in my recipe it means that I designed the dish to fit within the eating plan, with approved food options and very clean composition. It does not mean that this has been approved by anyone other than my own brain and common sense, what I know about nutrition and the guidelines.
How to make Balsamic Orange Chicken with Basil
So, now that’s out of the way, let’s get started.
The easiest thing I find to use for brining is my crockpot crock. It always seems to be a perfect size, it holds my food really well, fits in my fridge and has a lid. Really the perfect vessel IMO. lol So with that I started the brine for this 21 Day Fix Balsamic Orange Chicken with Basil. Boiling water, kosher salt, garlic, ice. Super simple. Put it in the fridge and forget about it until it’s dinner time.
Honestly, the thing I absolutely love about this recipe is the way it is broke down into components if necessary. Everything does not have to be made at once; and you guys…….the chicken can totally be set and cooked in the crockpot while you’re busy with the kids, at work or at a concert. Hey, I’m not here to judge what you do in the middle of the day! Get your party on! As an example, you can make the balsamic orange reduction one day, brine your chicken overnight, throw it in the crockpot in the morning then finish it off at dinner time. Easy peasy!
Balsamic Reduction PSA
I’ll let you in on a little secret…. I’m testing a recipe with the orange chicken again and I can tell you, 100%, no sugar added, fresh squeezed label and nothing but oranges orange juice can be used in this recipe. If you are not on the fix and just want to make it, which I highly recommend you do, your favorite orange juice is acceptable as well. I would stay away from orange juice with pulp however especially if you plan on adding the pan sauce afterward.
I will issue a warning about the Balsamic reduction. If you’ve never made a balsamic reduction before, please whatever you do, do not stand directly over the simmering cauldron and inhale. It is absolutely the worst nose burn on the planet and I’d hate for that to happen to you. You also might want to turn on your fan and possibly crack a window. HOWEVER, don’t let this discourage you, it is 100% worth it. Think “magic sauce” or “liquid gold”. Yes, it is that delicious. Guess what! The recipe allows for enough “magic sauce” for two dinners. So, the next time you want to inhale Balsamic Orange Chicken with Basil you will have one component already made and out of the way. How awesome is that? Pretty awesome 🙂
Reader opinion on Component Dishes… What do you think?
Can you do me a favor? Let me know if you like these component dishes or ideas and suggestions on what else can be done with recipes? Sometimes when I make something there are quite a few options on what else can be done with them or make them easier for the “no time” or “limited time” cooks.
**This recipe is featured at Making Motherhood Matter’s weekly meal plans
Containers: Fill your red for however many you need. If you add the Pan sauce, you might want to count a 1/2 yellow. That’s It!
Thank you! Have a blessed day everyone!
Check out some of our other delicious recipes featuring citrus
Live, Love, Eat!
21 Day Fix | Balsamic Orange Chicken With Basil
Balsamic Orange Reduction
- 2 cups Balsamic Vinegar
- 1 cup Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice
- 1 Tbs Honey
- Pinch of Kosher Salt
- 1 Quart boiling water
- 1/4 cup kosher sea or pink salt
- 1/4 cup garlic powder
Balsamic Orange Chicken with Basil
- 4 Chicken Breasts
- 2 to 3 cups of fresh squeezed Orange Juice
- 7-10 Fresh Basil Leaves
- Kosher Salt and Cracked Pepper to taste
Balsamic Orange Reduction
- Combine vinegar, orange juice, honey and kosher salt in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Reduce liquid until it coats the back of a spoon. 15 - 20 minutes.
- Combine water, garlic, and salt in a covered container (I use my crockpot). Stir until salt has dissolved. Add in two cups of ice to drop the temperature and stir until mostly melted. Add in Chicken Breasts cover and refrigerate. 30 minutes to overnight.
Balsamic Orange Chicken with Basil
- Remove chicken breasts from brine and rinse under cold water. Pat excess water off with a paper towel. Season both sides with Kosher Salt and Fresh Cracked Pepper.
- In a large pan, add the orange juice and place chicken breasts in the pan. Cover and cook over medium heat for 30 minutes. Turn chicken over and cook until internal temperature in the largest part of the breast reaches 165 degrees.
- Remove lid from pan and spoon over the balsamic orange reduction. Roll up your basil leaves and slice. Sprinkle over chicken and let cook an additional 10 minutes.
- Remove chicken from pan and let rest under tented foil for ten minutes. Slice and serve! You could also use this recipe and meal prep for the week! Add in roasted veggies and Quinoa and you have a powerhouse meal!
How to compile this dish for the "no time" cook
- This dish is a component dish. Each component can be made at separate times to put together an amazing, clean and healthy meal.
- Balsamic Orange Reduction can be made in advance and will keep in a glass airtight container for up to two weeks in the refrigerator.
- Prepare your brine the night before and keep in the refrigerator The chicken will be ready to cook when you come home. Easy Peasy
- Crockpot Friendly! Add orange juice to crock pot. Cook for 4 to 6 hours. Finish in the pan with balsamic orange glaze, basil, let rest and slice.