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Strawberry-Balsamic Chicken

It saddens me that I’m late to the strawberry-balsamic game. I’m a convert now, and I’ve made up for it with this recipe. Adding a strawberry-balsamic reduction at the end really amps up the tangy-sweet flavors. This is the same sauce that goes on the vanilla cake. Talk about versatile!

Prep time 15 minutes
Serves 8

3 pounds (1.4 kg) chicken breasts or thighs
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
4 cloves garlic
1/2 cup (245 g) tomato sauce
1 cup (235 ml) balsamic vinegar
11/2 pounds (680 g) strawberries, diced
2 tablespoons (40 g) honey

1 Place the chicken in a 4-quart (3.8 liter) slow cooker. Sprinkle the salt and pepper over the chicken. Add the mustard, Italian seasoning, garlic, and tomato sauce. Give the chicken a stir to coat evenly.
2 Cover and cook on low for 5 to 6 hours, until the chicken is tender.
3 While the chicken is cooking, combine the balsamic vinegar, two-thirds of the strawberries, and the honey in a medium skillet. Cook over medium heat for 20 to 25 minutes, until it has reduced by half and tastes sweeter and less like vinegar. Blend and set aside until the chicken is finished cooking.
4 Break the chicken into large chunks. Pour the strawberry vinegar sauce over the chicken and give it a stir.
5 Serve the chicken with the cooking juices and remaining diced fresh strawberries.