Roast Chicken with Zucchini and Mushrooms

by Emily Kemme

I’m continuing on my “end of summer” tangent, and want to make sure you know about this gem, which I’ve adapted from Fine Cooking.  There is something magical about balsamic vinegar, chicken and an oven.  The vinegar tenderizes the chicken, while allowing it to develop a beautiful glaze.  Serve it up with roasted new red potatoes for a wonderful summer feast.  Or enjoy it year-round.  You’ll never tire of these simple flavors.

Summer vegetables glow with rich color and make cooking a pleasure.

Roast Chicken with Zucchini and Mushrooms

3 T. balsamic vinegar

1 1/2 T. fresh rosemary, finely chopped

1 tsp. firmly packed light brown sugar

salt and pepper to taste

2 T. extra virgin olive oil

1 large bermuda (red) onion, chopped into 1 inch pieces

1/2 lb cremini mushrooms, stems trimmed and halved

4 lbs chicken pieces (I use a combination of breasts and thighs; you can throw in a few legs if you’d like)

2 small zucchini, trimmed and quartered into 1/2″ thick pieces

1 cup red wine

Position rack in center of oven and heat oven to 400°F.

In a small bowl, mix 1 T. balsamic vinegar, 1 T. rosemary, brown sugar, 3/4 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper, stirring until sugar and salt are dissolved.  Add olive oil and whisk to combine.

In a glass or ceramic baking dish large enough to hold the chicken snugly, scatter the onion pieces over the bottom.  Add the mushrooms.  Give the vinegar a stir so all ingredients are combined, if they’ve settled. Spoon 1 T. into a second small bowl and reserve.  Brush half the remaining mixture on the mushrooms and onions.  Arrange chicken pieces, skin side up, over vegetables and brush with remaining vinegar mixture. Roast for 30 minutes.

In separate bowl, toss zucchini with the reserved 1 T. vinegar mixture.  In a measuring cup, combine wine with remaining 2 T. balsamic vinegar, 1/2 tbsp rosemary, and 1/4 tsp salt.  Remove roasting pan from oven and reduce temperature to 375°F.  Pour wine mixture around the chicken and scatter zucchini around chicken, trying to tuck it between the pieces as much as possible.  You want to leave as much of the chicken exposed so it browns nicely, and a piece of zucchini on top of it won’t help.  Return dish to oven and continue to roast until the vegetables are tender, the chicken is beautifully browned and an instant-read thermometer registers 165°F, about 20 minutes.

Remove dish from oven, and allow chicken to rest for 10 minutes.

Serve with new red roasted potatoes or mashed potatoes, and make sure you give everyone a lot of the luscious sauce!

Serves 4 to 6.  Or makes great leftovers and one less night in the week to cook!  The roasted chicken will keep in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

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