Balsamic-Braised Chicken with Swiss Chard

There are some days where I come home and I want dinner instantly made. I really want a personal chef to make whatever I am craving right there and then. Pregnancy cravings are something that I have not had much of aside from my weekly visits to Rubio’s for their shrimp burritos. (I’m totally cool at my local Rubio’s – they already know my name and order.) Then I smack myself out of my fantasy-like world, and realize that I don’t have that luxury like those from the “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.” I am my own personal chef, and all I need to do is plan ahead and dinner can be instantly made. With the little help of a slow cooker or crock pot, dinner can be ready by the time I come home from a full day’s work.

Once I saw this dish on Kelsey’s blog, I knew that this was an instant winner. Braised chicken with yummy fixings over creamy polenta. YUM! Plus, I am totally random with foodie items that I have in my pantry, and happened to have anchovy paste in my spice drawer. No, I was not using anchovy paste on pizza, ice cream or anything pregnant-crazy like that. I had another recipe that called for it, and I never made the dish. I’m so thankful that I didn’t because this dish was comfort food at it’s best. You can barely taste the anchovy, and I think it adds a great depth to the dish, too. The only prep work that I had to do to complete the meal was a side of creamy polenta which took less than 25 minutes.

Best served with this creamy polenta and I substituted Parmesan cheese.

Balsamic-Braised Chicken with Swiss Chard
Adapted from Apple A Day
Printable Recipe
Ingredients: 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil 1 onion, chopped, about 1 cup

5 teaspoons minced fresh thyme or 1 1/2 teaspoon dried

1 tablespoon tomato paste
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 teaspoon anchovy paste or (1 anchovy fillet, rinsed and minced)
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup dry red wine
2 bay leaves
8 to 12 bone-in chicken thighs, skin removed, trimmed
6 to 8 ounces Swiss chard, stems removed and leaves sliced 1/2 inch thick


In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat until lightly shimmering. Add onions, thyme, tomato paste, garlic, anchovy paste, and red pepper flakes. Cook until onion is translucent and has softened about 8-10 minutes. Stir in flour and cook 1 minute more.

Slowly whisk in vinegar, scraping up any browned bits and smoothing out any lumps. Cook until slightly reduced, about 3 minutes. Transfer to crock pot/slow cooker.

Stir in the diced tomatoes, chicken broth, red wine, and bay leaves into crock pot/slow cooker.

Season chicken with salt and pepper and nestle into slow cooker. Cover and cook until chicken is tender, 4-6 hours, on low.

Gently stir in chard, cover, and cook on high until tender, 20-30 minutes.

**This step I totally ignored since there was not much fat to skim off. You can opt to do this step, or forgo it and skip it.** Transfer chicken to a serving platter and tent loosely with foil. Let braising liquid settle 5 minutes, then skim fat from surface using large spoon. Discard bay leaves.

Taste for seasonings, add salt and pepper to taste. Serve with sauce spooned over each chicken piece.

Yield: Serves 6 servings (2 or 3 chicken thighs per person depending on quantity)

Review: Absolutely heavenly. I loved every last bite of this braised chicken including the swiss chard. Plus, I forgot how easy and tasty polenta is since the last time I made it was when I made my anniversary dinner. SoCal weather has finally hit some low temps, and I’m all about one pot comfort food dinners. This is the perfect cure for winter blues. Pin It

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