Balsamic vinegar is a wonderful condiment to have in the kitchen. Its mild acidic and sweet flavor is great in vinaigrette dressings, and only a few drops of it on Mozzarella cheese, or strawberries, are enough to elevate their flavor to new levels. Marinating meats in Balsamic vinegar adds deep flavors and color, and the dish I have here is a good example for it. If you’re into bold flavors and aroma, you’ll love this dish.
* As much as this is a simple dish, it is important to remember that the dish is only as good as the Balsamic vinegar you’re using. That doesn’t mean only aged and expensive vinegar should be used; these are best kept for when one needs only a drop to enhance flavors. However, I do urge you to make the effort and use a medium level Balsamic vinegar from Modena, which was aged in wood barrels even for the shortest time. The difference in flavor and color is huge.
* Date syrup is available in many health stores or online. Its deep color and unique sweetness beautifully complement the Balsamic vinegar. It is available in gourmet stores, or online. If you can’t find it, honey or maple syrup can be used instead.
* Pomegranate molasses is concentrated cooked pomegranate juice. It is available in gourmet stores, or online.
Prep time: 20 minutes
Marinating time: 2 hours
Roasting time: 1 hour
For the marinade:
¼ cup good quality Balsamic vinegar
¼ cup Date syrup (see notes)
1 Tbs aged Balsamic vinegar
1 Tbs Balsamic-fig glaze (or honey)
1 Tbs pomegranate molasses
1 Tbs salt
½ freshly ground black pepper
For the chicken:
2 medium size chicken legs, separated
1 medium onion
3 medium carrots
2 Tbs olive oil
1. In a medium bowl, mix all the marinade ingredients and keep at room temperature.
2. Pat dry the chicken. Peel the onion and slice lengthwise. Add the chicken and onion to the marinade bowl and mix well. Cover with plastic wrap and keep in the fridge for 2 hours, mixing occasionally.
3. Peel the carrots, cut into quarters and add to the chicken bowl. Mix well and transfer into a baking dish. Drizzle the olive oil on top . Keep at room temperature for 15 minutes before roasting.
4. Preheat the oven to 400F (205C). Roast for 1 hour (basting occasionally in the first half hour), until the chicken is deep brown in color and the carrots and onions caramelize.