Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Grilled Chicken with Balsamic Vinegar

Grilled Chicken with Balsamic Vinegar
This Grilled Chicken with Balsamic Vinegar is a favorite recipe I've made for years.

Here's my second grilled chicken recipe as a follow-up to how to make juicy grilled chicken breasts that are perfect every time. Check out Grilled Fusion Chicken from yesterday if you missed it. Today's recipe has actually been in the chicken section of the recipe archives for nearly two years now, but I first posted it when no one was reading my blog, and I hadn't updated it with a photo until now.

This is a great recipe, if I dare say so myself, since it's my original recipe. I once made this for a district insurance committee lunch when I was teacher's association president many years ago; several years later I saw someone who had eaten it that day and she asked me for the recipe. If someone still remembers it several years later, you know it's a good recipe!

On Monday when I shared my chicken grilling methods, I mentioned that I usually use a 2:1 ration of oil to acidic ingredients in marinades. Here I am already breaking that rule. But this marinade still has a generous amount of oil, which I think is essential to keep the chicken moist. You need to use a high quality balsamic vinegar here, since there's a lot of vinegar in the marinade. I don't mean the $40 a bottle kind you drizzle over little appetizers, but something better than the supermarket kind. I really like Fini brand for salad dressings, but a reader named Sandy recommended I try the Costco brand, Kirkland Balsamic Vinegar of Modena, and it was really excellent for using as an ingredient like this. Thanks, Sandy!

Grilled Chicken with Balsamic Vinegar
(Makes 6-8 servings, recipe can be cut in half. Recipe created by Kalyn many years ago.)

6-8 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Marinade Ingredients:
2/3 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1/4 cup olive oil
1 T dried parsley
1 T dried shallots (or 2 T minced fresh shallots)
1 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 tsp. coarse ground black pepper
1 T Spike seasoning
1 tsp. garlic powder

(Click for step-by-step photos of how to make juicy and perfect grilled chicken breasts.)

Trim all fat and tendons from chicken breasts and trim underneath side if needed so chicken pieces are all the same thickness. I like to make small slits crosswise along each chicken breast to help the marinade penetrate.

Place chicken in zip loc bag, laying them flat. Mix marinade ingredients and pour over chicken. Marinate in refrigerator 4-6 hours or more.

Preheat gas or charcoal grill to medium-high. (You can only hold your hand there for a few seconds.) Grill chicken on top side first, rotating after 4-5 minutes if you're wanting those criss-cross grill marks.
Use a spray bottle of water if flames shoot up from the oil in the marinade when you first put chicken on the grill. Cook until chicken is well browned on both sides and firm, but not hard to the touch, probably not over 15-20 minutes total cooking time. (Actual cooking time will vary depending on chicken temperature and how hot your grill is, so remove it from the heat when the chicken feels firm when pressed with your finger.) Serve hot. I love to use leftover strips of this chicken as a topping for Arugula and Gorgonzola Salad with Balsamic Vinegar.

This chicken could also be cooked in a stove-top grill pan with ridges or a George Foreman Grill with good results.

Click Here for Printer Friendly Recipe

South Beach Suggestions
This chicken is a perfect main dish for any phase of the South Beach Diet. It would taste great with Crunchy Chopped Salad with Gorgonzola and Radishes and Grilled Asparagus with Parmesan for phase one. For phase two or three, you could replace the salad with Brown Rice with Cashews and Herbs.

More Chicken Seen Hanging Around with Balsamic Vinegar:
(recipes from other blogs may not be South Beach friendly, check ingredients)
Balsamic Chicken and Mushrooms
Rosemary and Balsamic Marinated Miniature Chicken Rolls with Capers from Lucullian Delights
Chicken with Balsamic Barbecue Sauce from Baking Bites
Chicken Skewers with Dukkuh Crust and Balsamic Reduction from Smitten Kitchen
Alex's Favorite Baked Chicken from Gluten-Free Goddess
Sweet and Savory Balsamic Poached Chicken from The Unemployed Cook

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More to Chew On:


  1. I love grilled chicken with Balsamic, but I've never put the mustard in. It sounds great - next time I'll try it....when I get back to a kitchen!

  2. This sounds perfect! I love balsamic, and the addition of mustard makes my mouth water. Summer's here in San Diego - I just got gas for my grill yesterday. I'm set!

  3. Yeah, vinegar with meat is just so zingy.
    Thanks for the Kirkland recommendation, and for the mustard idea.

  4. That looks like a superb recipe! Love the grill marks on the chicken. Gorgeous photo!

  5. Katie, I hope you're having a great trip.

    Toni, summer is here too, Yeeeaaaah!!
    I think I've grilled about 5 times already.

    CC, happy blog b'day to you! I was pleasantly surprised at how good the Costco balsamic was, at about 1/10 the cost of the kind I buy for salads.

    Kristen, thanks, it is a keeper for sure!

  6. Hi Kalyn, your grilled chicken looks delicious! I will make them. But I can't get Spike seasoning in Japan. Umm Can I use something instead of it? By the way, your dressing is very popularity among my family. I made one bottle of your dressing. We have been pouring it on salad this week! Thank you.

  7. Millufe, glad to know you like the dressing. You could definitely make this without the Spike, or you could substitute anything that's a blend of herbs and spices. Spike has something like 39 ingredients, but some people tell me they substitute Mrs. Dash (which you probably can't get in Japan either.)

    Here's a post where I talk about the ingredients in Spike. I think you could combine a small amount of any of the things listed that you have on hand.

  8. Kalyn
    This sounds like another excellent recipe...balsamic is always such a great flavoring choice!

    I'm a huge fan of your "Completely foolproof 100% delicious" marinade and use that all of the time for both grilled chicken and chicken/veggie kabobs!

  9. Karen, thanks! Isn't that marinade so foolproof and delicious! I learned to make it from a guy named George and we used to make it all the time when we were camping, it's that easy!

  10. I've used this recipe three times now - including yesterday for the 4th and it is a major hit every time! Thanks so much - it's also great for people w/allergies because there is no sesame in it. We love it! Yay Kalyn. See you at BlogHer.

  11. Thanks Cynthia. So nice to hear everyone likes it. Yes, see you at BlogHer!

  12. I'm going to try this one! FYI, you can freeze meat in its marinade. For example, I usually buy chicken breasts in a five pack, and split it up. I trim the breasts into two halves and each pair goes in a separate freezer bag (there's just the two of us, so one bag is all I need for a meal). If I want my chicken marinated, I add the marinade to a bag before popping it in the freezer. When you pull out the bag early in the day, the meat marinates as it defrosts, and so cuts down on prep time later on.

  13. Super! What do you think of this marinade with salmon? Love to experiment, so I may try it. How bad could it be? Just won't marinate very long.

  14. Actually I think that's a great idea! I'd only marinate 2-3 hours for salmon.

  15. Is 24 hours too long to marinade?

  16. I wouldn't marinate that long for chicken, although it will certainly still be edible I think the flavor might get a little strong.

  17. What happens if I use regular supermarket balsamic vinegar? How do I knows high quality balsamic vinegar from a non-high quality one? Thanks!

  18. Hi Joe,
    The higher quality balsamic vinegars are much more expensive, but really you can use any vinegar that you like the flavor of.


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