It’s MONDAY!  Yay! Not really, but it is what it is. Let’s go!!

I woke my son up this morning and he said, “I am not going to school today.”  I said, “I know you are tired, but you have to go.”  He said, “Mom, I am standing my ground!”  I had to laugh. Getting up on Mondays is never fun for kids and getting ready for the week for moms is never fun.  I feel like my to-do list is a mile long on Mondays-how does stuff just appear on my list over the weekend? And, why do the grocery stores not stock until Tuesday???  Drives me NUTS! I go to the grocery on Mondays because the entire neighborhood ate all my food over the weekend and I need to re-stock for the week, but the shelves are empty on Monday.  I may start a petition for grocery stores to stock on Sunday night. Stay tuned!
Anyway, back to cooking.  Normally on Sunday afternoons I will come up with a list of 4-5 recipes for the week.  I know that we will most likely eat out one night a week, especially if a game runs late, and we never eat at home on Friday and Saturday nights so I just need to have recipes, or a plan, for Sunday-Thurs. However, I did not have a plan for last night! I finally had time to watch a movie yesterday, but when the movie was over it was 4:45pm and my son asked, what’s for dinner?? I had NOTHING! And I did not want to go to run to the grocery store (I typically make a quick run on Sundays to grab stuff for Sunday night dinner).  So, I dug through the freezer and found frozen meatballs I had made a month or so ago and I found jarred pasta sauce, half an onion and two half boxes of pasta.  I sauteed the onions, added some red wine I opened, added the jarred sauce, boiled some water and dinner was served in about 20 minutes. I always keep ingredients like these in my pantry for nights just like that! Lazy nights!
This recipe is from a dinner I made last week and my family l loved it.  My son who hates chicken even loved it! It is an easy recipe and the ingredients are pretty basic. The only ingredient you might have a hard time finding is pancetta.  But I normally find it cubed or sliced in the deli section or near the bacon.  If you can’t find pancetta then just use bacon. Don’t kill yourself trying to find pancetta.  There are very few recipes that you must use the exact ingredients-just use what you can find that is a close substitute. 
Here is the pancetta I found.  If you can’t find it pre-packaged then ask your butcher-they will have it!
Serve this dish with steamed green beans or potatoes or just a salad.
PS- I have linked necessary items below the recipe-just click to purchase


Balsamic Braised Chicken

Makes 4-6 Servings 

4 oz. pancetta, cubed (or bacon)
1 Tablespoon olive oil
4 bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts (you can use chicken thighs as well)
Salt and Pepper
14 oz. bag frozen pearls onions
3 garlic cloves, crushed
3/4 cup red wine vinegar
3/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 cups chicken stock (or broth)
2 bay leaves

Preheat oven to 350°

In a large pot with a lid, heat olive oil over medium-high heat.  Add the pancetta and cook for 3-5 minutes until crisp. Remove to a plate lined with paper towels.  

Pour off all but about 1 Tablespoon fat from pot.  

Season chicken with salt and pepper.  Sear, on both sides, in the hot pancetta oil.  This will take about 3 minutes per side and you might have to do this in batches-do not crowd the pot.

Once the chicken is browned on both sides, remove to the plate with the bacon.

Add the vinegars to the pot, scraping up all the brown bits on the bottom.  Bring liquids to a boil and let reduce slightly, about 2 minutes.  Add the stock, onions, garlic, bay leaves, chicken and pancetta. Cover with lid.  

Place in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes or until cooked through or an instant read thermometer reaches 160°-165°.

Serve the whole chicken breasts with sauce spooned over or remove the breast from the bone and slice meat with sauce spooned over.

Needed Items