With summer on the way, I know my future will hold a lot of grilling – although, technically, we don't own a grill.
What we do own is a NuWave Oven, which we use for all our grilling needs, and it certainly gets the job done – although we have to do without those pretty dark grill lines.
But then again, being able to get grill-like results in the comfort of my kitchen and being able to clean my “grill” in the dishwasher?
Totally worth the sacrifice.
We typically use our Nuwave Oven for steaks, but every now and then I get adventurous and try something on the other ends of the meat spectrum. I've mentioned before that I'm a bit of a chicken breast fanatic, buying in bulk at Costco and freezing them until the mood strikes me, and yesterday I just happened to be in one of those moods.
I was absolutely craving chicken breast. And not only that, but grilled chicken breast.
It was probably all that “Memorial Day” talk that's been going around.
So when I started to research different types of marinades, one ingredient practically jumped off the screen and slapped me in the face: balsamic vinegar. I typically only have balsamic vinegar with deep fried seafood (thanks to so many trips to Captain D's as a kid) but I still keep a bottle of it on hand in our kitchen, just in case, even though I hardly ever make the “right” kind of deep fried fish to use it with.
The time had finally come to branch out and find new uses for my beloved balsamic!
Once I hunted down a recipe that met my requirements (one that must include balsamic vinegar, a short marinate time, and all the ingredients I already have in my kitchen) I got to work. And by “got to work” I mean I thawed the chicken, mixed some ingredients, and then watched the first few episodes of Grace and Frankie on Netflix while I waited for the marinade to do it's magic.
Seriously, this almost felt like cheating. Sometimes I spend so much time making elaborate meals that I forget just how easy grilling is, especially when you take out all the complications of an “actual” grill.
I could get used to dinners like this every night.
What I loved most about this marinade was not only the taste but also the effect that the balsamic vinegar had on the chicken. The chicken was extremely tender and juicy, so much so that I think it's probably the best texture I've ever had when cooking chicken. Far too often chicken can be tough and dried out, even after marinating overnight.
I was lucky enough to be able to marinate the chicken for close to 4 hours, which isn't even that long on the marinating scale, but I still think it made all the difference in the end result. So if you have the time, I highly recommend marinating for at least few hours. You will not regret it.
But on the other hand, if you're pressed for time (or don't have Netflix to help ease the wait) then a shorter marinate is still worth it, if only for the taste alone. I'm already trying to think of what else I can soak in this honey balsamic sauce. Or, more accurately, what I wouldn't soak in it.
Welcome back, balsamic vinegar. Oh, how I've missed you.
Grilled Honey Balsamic Chicken
A sweet honey balsamic marinade that makes chicken unbelievably tender and juicy. Marinates in half the time for twice the flavor!
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- 2 lbs chicken breasts boneless and skinless
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 3/4 tsp onion powder
- 2 tbsp honey
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 2 tbsp ketchup
- 1 tsp garlic minced
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- Place olive oil, salt, black pepper, paprika, and onion powder in a zip lock bag. Add chicken and toss to coat, covering chicken with spices and oil.
- In a small bowl, whisk together balsamic vinegar, ketchup, garlic, and honey.
- Divide the sauce in half. Pour one half in the bag with the chicken and store the other half in a sealed container (or bowl covered in plastic wrap).
- Shake bag with chicken so that the meat is covered in the marinade. Seal bag and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 4 hours. Also store sealed marinade in the refrigerator until ready to use.
- When ready, remove chicken from ziplock bag. Discard bag and marinade that the chicken soaked in.
- Grill your chicken per typical cook time, usually 3-5 minutes per side (or until no longer pink).
- While chicken cooks, take the marinade that was stored separately and heat in the microwave for 30-45 seconds.
- Once chicken is cooked, drizzle or brush remaining marinade on top. Serve immediately.
Please note that I am not a certified nutritionist; I am merely a quirky girl who loves food. Any nutritional information that is discussed or disclosed in this post should only be seen as my best amateur estimates. If nutrition is important to you, I highly encourage you to verify any data you see here with your favorite nutrition calculator.