This Balsamic Chicken Marinade adds rich color and amazing flavor to your favorite cut of chicken. Cook it on the grill or stovetop for an easy meal any time of year.
This herb-infused Balsamic Chicken Marinade is a sure-fire way to add a ton of flavor to your menu. It takes just minutes to mix together, then just add your favorite cut of chicken, get it in the fridge, and let the marinating magic happen.
Besides the incredible flavor, the thing I love most about marinade is the rich color and nice caramelization it adds to grilled chicken. It’s rustic, beautiful, and really tasty.
Table of contents
- Chicken – I use boneless skinless breasts and thighs. Any cut of chicken you like will work but I suggest using skinless pieces so the chicken can really soak up the flavor from the marinade.
- Oil – Extra virgin olive oil helps to prevent the chicken from sticking to the grill.
- Balsamic vinegar
- Honey – A touch of sweetness to balance the acidity of the vinegar. Honey does a great job of creating a caramelized exterior when grilling.
- Mustard – Dijon or stone ground mustard.
- Minced garlic
- Seasoning – Dried rosemary, dried oregano, salt, and freshly ground black pepper. I use dried herbs because they are potent and I always have them in my pantry which makes it economical and convenient.
- Fresh herbs – I like to slice the grilled chicken and garnish it with a little chopped fresh parsley.
If your chicken pieces are very thick, pound them with a meat mallet to an even thickness of about ½-inch. This will help them cook more evenly and avoid a burned exterior.
How to Make Balsamic Chicken Marinade
- Make the marinade – Combine the marinade ingredients in a resealable plastic bag.
- Refrigerate – Add the chicken, press out as much air as possible, and seal the bag. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours and no more than 8 hours.
After marinating, the chicken can be cooked on the grill or stovetop.
- Grill: Cook on a charcoal or gas grill over medium heat Cook until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of chicken reads 165 degrees F or no pink remains when sliced through the center. Cooking time will depend on the cut and thickness of the chicken.
- Stovetop: Heat a little olive oil in a large skillet or grill pan over medium heat. Add the chicken and cook for several minutes per side. Remove from the heat when the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F.
- Let it rest: Transfer the cooked chicken to a cutting board and let it rest for about 10 minutes before slicing to help it retain it’s juices.
Yes! Balsamic vinegar is an acid and it will begin the process of breaking down the proteins in the meat which will make it tender and juicy when cooked.
Lean cuts like chicken marinate quickly in vinegar-based marinades. I suggest marinating it for 2 hours and no more than 8 hours.
While it is safe to cook and eat chicken that has been marinated overnight in an acidic marinade, it is not recommended. If marinated too long, the acid can break the proteins down to a point where it affects the texture of the meat in a negative way.
Yes! This marinade works well with steak, pork chops, and pork tenderloin.
Vegetables: Serve it with any simply prepared vegetable, like the green beans pictured in this post. For even more flavor, try my Pesto Green Beans. Or try my Zucchini and Sweet Corn with Feta or Skillet Corn with Jalapeño.
Transfer leftovers to an airtight container and refrigerate within 2 hours of cooking. The leftover chicken can be served cold or reheated in the microwave, if desired.
Balsamic Herb Grilled Chicken
- 2 pounds chicken pieces, I use boneless skinless chicken breasts and thighs
Balsamic Herb Marinade
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon dried crushed rosemary
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves, optional for garnish
- Combine marinade in ingredients in a small bowl.
- Place chicken pieces inside a gallon size plastic storage bag and add the marinade. Seal the bag and turn it over a few times to distribute the marinade. Refrigerate the chicken for at least 1 to 2 hours but no more than 8 hours.
- Prepare your outdoor charcoal or gas grill for MEDIUM heat. Remove the chicken from the marinade (discard remaining marinade) and cook for 4 to 6 minutes per side or until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of chicken reads 165 degrees F or no pink remains when sliced through the center. Cooking time will depend on the cut and thickness of the chicken.
- Heat a little olive oil in a large skillet or grill pan over MEDIUM heat. Add the chicken and cook for several minutes per side. Remove from the heat when the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F. Discard any remaining marinade.
Rest and Serve
- Allow chicken to rest for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.
- If grilling boneless breast, slice it and garnish with chopped fresh parsley, if desired.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated using generic ingredients, and is an estimate not a guarantee. For more accurate results, please refer to the labels on your ingredients at home.
This post was originally published July 16, 2016. It has been updated with new text and images.