Valentine’s Day Brown Sugar & Balsamic Glazed Chicken

Happy Valentines Day, friends!  I’ve always liked Valentines Day. I remember how fun it was in elementary school when we each had little mailboxes for classmates to leave us canies and cards. As I got older, there were years when I wanted to hide away on Valentines Day, a day I referred to as “singleness awareness day.”  Whatever your life status is– single, married, a mom, friend, girlfriend — today is a great day to tell the people around you how special thy are to you! Give lots of hugs, write some handwritten notes, call a friend you haven’t talked to in a while or make your sweetheart an amazing dinner.

J and I always celebrate Valentines Day but enjoy more of casual approach to the day. While I’ll never turn down fresh flowers (cough, cough), I’m not always into fancy dinners and grand gestures. We started our day with breakfast at Clare’s on Cedros, an adorable breakfast spot in Solana Beach and later we’ll watch the sunset and relax at home with a movie. Perfect!

If you need a recipe for tonight, I can guarantee this next recipe will impress. When I made this dish, I thought it would be good but I didn’t realize it would be SOOOO good. Seriously. SUPER tender and flavorable. I’ve added this recipe to the top of my “cook this to impress guests” list. It’s a crock pot dish so it’s super easy, too. There is about 2 minutes of prep in the morning and then you just leave it alone until about an hour before you serve dinner so you can go to work, come home, brush on the glaze and still have time to primp to empress your guy or gal.

A couple of notes:

– this recipe was originally for a pork tenderloin so you can easily swap out the chicken for 1.5-2lb boneless pork tenderloin

– I initially made this dish with a whole chicken cut into quarters. It was amazing and the meat fell RIGHT off the bones but it was a bit messy. You can totally use chicken with the bones, just be careful! I don’t want anyone choking on a chicken bone.

That said… here’s the recipe.


1.5-2 lbs boneless chicken breasts
1 teaspoon ground sage
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons soy sauce
IN THE MORNING… pull out that crock pot! Mix together your salt, pepper, sage and garlic. Rub the mixture on the chicken breasts and place the breasts in the crock pot with the water. Turn it on low and cover it. That’s it! Leave it be while you go about your day.
6 hours later (or an hour before dinner)… mix the ingredients for the glaze together in a small pot and heat over medium heat for a few minutes until the sauce thickens. Brush some of the glaze on the chicken 2-3 times in the last hour of cooking. Serve with the remaining glaze on the side.
This recipe would be great with a side like this kale salad.
Other fun gifts for Valentines Day:


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