Maple-Balsamic Chicken with Saffron Rice Pilaf

  • 8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (can substitute 4 boneless, skinless breasts if you like)
  • ¾ tsp sea salt
  • ¾ tsp paprika
  • ¾ tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 can chicken broth (14 ½ oz)
  • 1/3  cup maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar (did you know that the quality of balsamic vinegar is denoted by the number of grape leaves on the label?  Who knew!?)
  • ½ tsp freshly ground pepper
  • ¼ tsp ground red pepper (cayenne)
  • 3 tbsp. chunky peanut butter

Sprinkle the chicken evenly with salt, paprika, and thyme.  Saute in hot oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat for 2 minutes on each side or until golden brown.  Stir in chicken broth and next 4 ingredients and bring to a boil.  Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 15 minutes.  Remove chicken to a serving platter and keep warm.  Reserve liquid in skillet.  Whisk in peanut butter to the reserved liquid and boil over medium-high heat, uncovered, for 5 minutes or until sauce is thickened.  Spoon evenly over the chicken.

Because I like to keep things simple, I use packaged saffron yellow rice mix.  You can find this either in the ethnic foods section of most grocery stores or in the rice/beans/boxed dinners section.