Kirkland Signature Balsamic
Vinegar is made in the Modena
region of Italy, using the finest
must, and is blended to create
a well-balanced flavor. It is available at most Costco warehouses.
Chicken Under Bricks
Recipe developed by Sandra Lee
Semi-Homemade for In The
Kitchen The Costco Way
4 boneless, skinless
chicken breast halves
1 cup balsamic vinaigrette
½ cup Kirkland Signature
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons frozen orange
juice concentrate, thawed
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
2 teaspoons crushed garlic
2 bricks wrapped in
Rinse chicken under cold water and
pat dry with paper towels. Flatten
the chicken with a mallet.
Place chicken in a large resealable
bag. Add balsamic vinaigrette, vinegar, parsley, orange juice concentrate, Italian seasoning and garlic.
Squeeze air out of the bag and
seal. Gently massage the bag to
combine. Marinate in the refrigerator for 1 to 4 hours.
Set up grill for direct grilling over
medium-high heat. Oil grate when
ready to start cooking. Let chicken
stand at room temperature for
Remove chicken from the marinade;
discard marinade. Place chicken on
the hot, oiled grill and place foil-wrapped bricks on top. Cook for 3
to 4 minutes per side, or until
chicken is no longer pink and juices
run clear (170 F). Makes 4 servings.
Tip: To cook indoors, omit the foil-wrapped bricks. Prepare chicken
as directed. Preheat broiler. Place
chicken on a foil-lined baking sheet
or broiler pan. Broil 6 to 8 inches
from heat source for 5 to 6 minutes
per side, or until chicken is no
longer pink and juices run clear
(170 F). Do not overcook.
for your table
By Laura Langston
BALSAMIC VINEGAR—that delicious, almost
black liquid sometimes offered with olive oil at
Italian restaurants—is far more than a simple dip for
bread or an ingredient in vinaigrettes. This versatile
vinegar can star in appetizers, entrées, even dessert.
In fact, give it pride of place in your kitchen and it
will reward you many times over.
Balsamic vinegar dates back to the 11th century in the Modena region of Italy, where it was first
made. Back then, it was available only to the nobility, who prized it as a digestive aid and considered
it a miracle cure for everything from a sore throat
to labor pains. Barrels of the precious elixir often
passed from one generation to another, and it frequently was part of a bride’s dowry. Today, balsamic
vinegar is coveted by cooks and connoisseurs the
What makes it so special? Balsamic vinegar is a
reduction of sweet grapes that are slowly boiled to a
dark syrup (this syrup is known in the industry as
“must”). When made traditionally, the syrup is aged
in successively smaller barrels made of different
kinds of wood (juniper, chestnut or mulberry, for
instance) to allow the liquid to acquire their flavor.
The exact production process, however, has always
been something of a secret, adding to its mystique.
Over the years, as balsamic vinegar became
more widely available, the Italian government
became concerned with the number of second-rate
products being sold. Consequently, Italy passed a
law saying only two consortiums (one in Modena
and one in Reggio Emilia) are allowed to produce
traditional artisan balsamic vinegar that bears the
label “;;;;;;;;; ;;;;;;;;;; ;;;;; ;;;;;;;;;
;;;;;;;;;;;; di ;;;;;;.”
A select number of private Italian producers are
licensed to produce quality balsamic vinegar from
Modena, but to do so they must follow the strict
guidelines set out by the Italian consortium.
Acetum is one such producer, and its quality prod-
uct is available under the Kirkland Signature™ label
(see the Costco Connection box below).
That balsamic flavor can shine in a multitude of
ways. Drizzle balsamic vinegar over chunks of
Parmigiano-Reggiano. Mix it with fresh tuna, finely
chopped scallions, capers and parsley for a unique
take on tuna tartare. Blend it with tomatoes, basil
and garlic to top crunchy bruschetta. Dot it sparingly over eggs, fish or beef carpaccio, or follow the
Italians’ lead and sprinkle a few drops on strawberries or pears for dessert. You can even sip it from a
tiny glass to finish a meal.
Balsamic vinegars shine in sauces and braises
(add at the end of cooking), for roasting vegetables
and to finish pasta dishes or risotto. For the latter,
always add the vinegar at the end, when the risotto
is off the heat.
Particularly suited to vinaigrettes and marinades,
balsamic vinegar can also be gently simmered for 10
minutes to make it more concentrated for garnishing
steamed vegetables, pizzas or frittatas.
As long as it’s kept away from direct heat and
light, balsamic vinegar has a very long shelf life and
can be stored in a closed container indefinitely.
Whether it’s drizzled over cheese, dotted on
pizza, added to risotto or splashed on fresh strawberries, balsamic vinegar adds a brilliant burst of
flavor to many dishes. C
Author and cook Laura Langston writes about food
and health for a variety of national publications.
Balsamic is a versatile vinegar