Thursday, July 5, 2012

Balsamic Grilled Chicken & Vegetables

I am always looking for new recipes for chicken.  It can get a little "blah" when you have it over and over again.  Since it's the middle of summer, it just seems so easy to throw some boneless skinless chicken breasts on the grill, which is great because it limits the amount of dirty dishes you have to take care of once meal time is over.  Unfortunately, you can sometimes end up with dry, flavorless chicken breasts that no one really wants to eat, except for the fact that they have those nice little grill marks on them.  I recently threw together a marinade that gave chicken breasts amazing flavor and kept them moist throughout cooking.  I didn't plan ahead, so the chicken didn't have much time to marinate, but the flavor was great and a real surprise.  It went together quick and there was zero clean up.  I also threw some veggies in a similar marinade then skewered them to make kabobs.  Again, zero clean up.  Score!

The next day I had some leftover balsamic grilled chicken on top of my strawberry spinach salad with poppy seed dressing, and it was TO DIE FOR!  I recommend you give all of these simple recipes a try.  You'll be glad you did.

Chicken Ingredients:
1 1/2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/4 c. balsamic vinegar
1/4 c. olive oil
2 T. brown sugar
1/2 t. garlic powder
1 t. salt
1/2 t. pepper

Preheat a charcoal grill or indoor grill pan set over medium heat.  Slice chicken breasts in half lengthwise to create two thin chicken pieces (Doing this will help the marinade permeate the meat and they will cook faster, which means eating sooner).  Set aside.
Combine vinegar, oil, sugar and seasonings in a large zip-top storage bag.  Shake bag and knead with hands until ingredients are well-combined.  Add chicken and toss to coat.  Store in refrigerator for 30 minutes to an hour, or as long as it takes your grill to get going.  Remove chicken from marinade and grill over medium flame/heat until cooked through, turning once about halfway through the cooking process.  This took about 5 minutes per side over direct heat on our charcoal grill.   

Vegetable Kabob Ingredients:
1-2 lg. sweet peppers (red, yellow, orange, green), cut into chunks
1 lg. onion, cut into wedges
1/2 lb. cremini mushrooms, cleaned and stemmed
1 small zucchini, cut into chunks
1 small yellow squash, cut into chunks
1/3 c. olive oil
1/4 c. balsamic vinegar
2 cloves minced garlic
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 tsp dried rosemary

Preheat a charcoal grill or indoor grill pan set over medium heat.  Combine oil, vinegar, garlic and seasonings in a large zip-top storage bag. Shake bag and knead with hands until ingredients are well-combined. Add vegetables and toss to coat. Store in refrigerator alongside your chicken until you're ready to grill.  Remove vegetables from marinade and place on wooden skewers that have been soaked in water for 15 minutes (or if you have one of those fancy metal kabob sets, that would be awesome).  Grill over medium flame/heat until vegetables are tender, turning occasionally, about 10-15 minutes.

Click here for the printable recipe!

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