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Chicken Fillets with Balsamic Shallot Pan Sauce

Adapted from Cooking Light

Making pan sauces is a great technique to master. Cooking the chicken (or steak, lamb chops, etc) leaves a flavorful browned residue, called a fond, on the bottom of the pan. Adding shallots and liquid to the same pan releases the fond (called deglazing), and then the liquid, thickened with cornstarch, becomes the sauce for the meat.

½ cup chicken stock (preferably homemade), divided
½ cup balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons honey
1 ½ teaspoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 chicken fillets
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
¼ cup flour
2 shallots, finely chopped

1. In a small bowl or measuring cup, combine ¼ cup chicken stock, balsamic vinegar, and honey. In another small bowl, combine remaining ¼ cup chicken stock and cornstarch. set both mixtures aside.

2. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Place flour in a shallow plate, then dredge fillets in flour, shaking off excess.

3. Heat a large skillet over high heat, then add oil to pan and heat until hot but not smoking. Add chicken to pan and cook for 4 minutes on each side, or until browned and cooked through. Remove chicken from pan and keep warm.

4. Add chopped shallots to pan, scraping to release browned bits, and cook until translucent (2‐3 minutes). Add balsamic vinegar mixture and boil, scraping up any remaining browned bits, until the liquid is reduced by half (2‐3 minutes).

5. Add the cornstarch mixture and stir constantly until mixture is thickened, about 30 seconds. Remove pan from heat and pour the sauce over the chicken.

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