Backpacking Dad’s Balsamic Chicken Recipe, As Stolen from a Cooking Light Magazine So Long Ago He Can’t Even Find It Anymore, But He Believes In Attribution Where Attribution Is Due, So There You Go

04/02/2011 By Shawn Burns

I’ve been going through the recipes I compiled when I first began cooking, for just Emily and myself, years and years ago. We had always split cooking duties until 2003, when I took over full-time, and devoted some effort to actually learning how to make some things that didn’t involve macaroni. The first thing I did was subscribe to Cooking Light magazine. Although it is filled with user-submitted recipes instead of celebrity chef fare, so might not be what you’d choose as your go-to cooking resource, it was that amateurishness that appealed to me, the novice cook. Since the kids started eating meals with us, I’ve toned down the kinds of food I make, but we’ve grown bored enough with “salt-and-pepper pork chops with potatoes” that I decided to go back to my old stand-bys.

This chicken breast recipe uses a strong, but simple, balsamic sauce to dress up the most boring piece of meat in the world. It’s a strong enough that you don’t want to serve it with flavoured rice or couscous, because it will just overpower them. Plain rice, or plain couscous in my case tonight, works just fine as a grain.



Recipe: Backpacking Dad’s Balsamic Chicken


  1. 2 tsp olive oil
  2. 1 onion, chopped
  3. 8 cloves garlic, minced
  4. 1 lb chicken breast
  5. 1 red bell pepper, sliced
  6. 1 cup balsamic vinegar
  7. 8 mushrooms, sliced
  8. 1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes, undrained
  9. 1 cup couscous
  10. 1 tsp salt
  11. 1 tsp pepper
  12. 1 tsp sage
  13. 1 tsp oregano


  1. Sautée onion and garlic in oil over medium high heat for 3 minutes
  2. Add chicken and cook 4 minutes per side
  3. Add bell pepper, vinegar, mushrooms, tomatoes
  4. Add salt, pepper, oregano, and sage and mix well
  5. Reduce heat to medium low and cook 20 minutes
  6. Cook couscous, however the hell you usually do that
  7. Serve chicken mixture over couscous, or under it, or next to it. The world is your oyster.

Cooking time (duration): I don’t know. 35 minutes maybe? Factor in some vegetable slicing time.

Diet (other): Low calorie

Number of servings (yield): 4

Meal type: dinner

My rating: 4 stars:  ★★★★☆ 1 review(s)

Copyright 2011 Backpacking Dad’s Easy Cooking Solutions, available soon from Backpacking Dad Press, a fully-owned subsidiary of Backpacking Dad Enterprises, controlling shareholder of Backpacking Dad Inc. An unlimited liability corporation.