Sweet Vermouth Chicken

I don't know that I've ever had vermouth before, except in a martini, but when I saw this recipe for Sweet Vermouth Chicken, my mouth started watering and I headed out to the liquor store on a mission. The woman there actually confused me as being a member of the party behind me since I was "only buying vermouth" for $3.95 a bottle...and apparently that makes me a weirdo, but it was the only sweet vermouth they had! After tasting this dish, however, it was $3.95 well spent, and perhaps she would be the one 'only buying vermouth' if she tasted it. Although some reviewers had complained about dry chicken breasts and not enough sauce, I had plenty (but I think I only made two breasts with the amount of sauce listed below, so it probably wouldn't hurt to make a little extra or even double it) and my chicken was very tender and juicy. I left out things like canned chesnuts (they're expensive!) and used mixed dried berries instead of just cranberries, and fresh pearl onions instead of frozen, because it's what I had in the house. I also modified the recipe to use dried porcinis instead of regular button mushrooms and used chicken stock instead of chicken broth, again because it's what I had on hand (I make the chicken stock as soon as I'm running low and buy dried porcinis in bulk for cheap). We loved it, and will be making it again. Best of all? It's healthy, but tastes full and rich and naughty!

Sweet Vermouth Chicken, adapted from Cooking Light Magazine

Cooking spray
4 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (I actually used bone-in chicken breasts)
1/4 teaspoon salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
1 cup dried porcini mushrooms, reconstituted
1/2 cup fresh pearl onions, peeled
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sweet vermouth
1/2 cup chicken stock
1 1/2 tsp. chopped fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh tarragon
1/8 cup dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 350°.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Sprinkle chicken with about half each of salt and pepper. Add half of chicken to pan, and cook 2 minutes on each side or until lightly browned. Place on a jelly-roll pan coated with cooking spray. Repeat procedure with remaining chicken. Bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until chicken is done, but still tender and juicy.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add mushrooms, onions, and garlic to pan. Sprinkle flour over the mushroom mixture, and cook for 2 minutes or until flour is lightly browned, stirring constantly. Add vermouth to pan, scraping pan to loosen browned bits, and boil for 30 seconds. Add broth, parsley, tarragon, and remaining salt and pepper; return to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer until sauce is reduced to 1 cup (about 10 minutes). Add cranberries to pan, and cook for 2 minutes.

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 chicken breast half and 1/4 cup sauce)

CALORIES 315(7% from fat); FAT 2.7g (sat 0.7g,mono 0.7g,poly 0.7g); PROTEIN 41.2g; CHOLESTEROL 99mg; CALCIUM 36mg; SODIUM 315mg; FIBER 1.5g; IRON 1.8mg; CARBOHYDRATE 21.4g Cooking Light, DECEMBER 2005

5 comments from you:

vlb5757 said...

...And you sid that you would never tweak a recipe! Carry on brave chef, carry on! lol! LB should be proud!

Clare Eats said...

Nice tweak job ;)

Dry vermouth is great with tonic an lemon as a drink too ;)

Melissa CookingDiva said...

This is just the begining Michelle,...I know, next you will start combining recipes, then substituting every ingredient in a recipe, and then...you will probably start a PC service :)

michelle said...

Hi Vickie!
Thank you sweet Vickie...Desperate times call for desperate measures!

Hi Clare! Do you have any recommendations for sweet vermouth? I'm assuming that it doesn't make quite as good a martini as the dry...can you use the lemon/tonic trip with it too?

Hi Melissa!
Thank you for the support! Ah, to be a chef someday! I'm so curious to see where my life will lead me!

Clare Eats said...

Hi Michelle
I haven't really had the sweet before except for one REALLY SHOCKING time at a club when I just turned 18 (our legal drinking age) and I asked for a dry vermouth and tonic and I got a sweet vermouth and bitters GROSS!!!!!!!!

I would save it for cooking ;) aand deglazing pans