Cooking Balsamic Reduction

Balsamic reduction may sound like some sort of chemistry formula, but in reality it is nothing but a finishing sauce that a lot of chefs use to give their food that extra flavor. It is used in dressings, in sauces, on meat and vegetables and seems like it is gourmet. The goal of making a reduction sauce is to heat the sauce until its moisture content is lowered and the desired flavor and consistency has been reached.

The simplest way of cooking balsamic reduction is by pouring balsamic vinegar into a pan. The idea is to let the vinegar reduce by half and thicken in the process. The pan should be on high heat. Keep whisking the vinegar before it starts boiling and even while it is boiling. The vinegar will start to sweeten when reduced, but if you like a very sweet reduction, sprinkle in some sugar. You will know when the reduction is done when the vinegar starts looking like syrup. Allow the vinegar to cool before using it.

If you want to use balsamic reduction on meat and steaks, use the above mentioned recipe and add melted butter to it. The sauce will have velvet like consistency and will really bring out great flavor in your meat.

The best part of making a balsamic vinegar reduction is that depending on your taste preference, you can add different types of herbs. If you are looking for a sweeter tasting reduction, add sugar, honey or cinnamon. If your taste buds prefer to go the tangy way add mustard or lime. Even spice can be incorporated by adding cumin powder, red chili powder, paprika or freshly ground pepper. The reduction formula is not only limited to meats but can also be enjoyed in salads, in sandwiches and over a bed of grilled vegetables. As long as you understand the basic premise of reduction, the possibilities in terms or taste are endless. Here is a recipe for chicken using balsamic reduction.

You will need the following ingredients:

500 grams boneless, skinless chicken breast cut in halves

1 tsp dried thyme herb or oregano herb

2 cloves of crushed garlic

1 tsp ginger paste

½ cup yoghurt

½ tsp each of salt and ground black pepper

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

75 ml balsamic vinegar


Rinse the chicken and let the excess water dry.

Combine the thyme, crushed garlic, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Mix well.

Place chicken in a large bowl, drizzle with oil and rub with the herb mixture. Add the curd. Your marinade is ready.

Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Preheat the oven.

Put a little bit of oil or butter on the baking pan.

Place the chicken in the pan and bake for 20 minutes, 10 for each side.

Bake for about 10 minutes or until the thickest part of the chicken is all white.

Drizzle balsamic vinegar reduction over the chicken in the pan.

Transfer the chicken to plates.

Stir in the pan liquid, and then drizzle it over the chicken.

1 comment

  1. joan Reply
    May 23, 2010 at 10:21 pm

    I found the article was good until the directions. I really didn't understand what to do. Do you make the reduction in a pot and then pour it on the chicken. What are you mixing it with in order to pour onto the chicken on the plate? What is the curd? Is that the yougurt… is this a British recipe?

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