Yes, dinner really can be this easy: just mix balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, honey, sugar and garlic, pour it over chicken and pop it in the oven. And out comes this glorious Baked Balsamic Chicken that’s savoury, tangy, sweet and very, very sticky!
This is one for busy weeknights, lazy Sundays, and every other day in between.
When it’s this effortless to make something so lip smackingly good with ingredients that are basic pantry essentials, frozen meals and home delivery aren’t even a passing thought. No matter how nuts your household is at dinner time, no matter how tired you are, no matter how irritating and incompetent your boss is, how bad the commute home was, how miserable the weather is – you got this.💪🏼
2 minutes to make the sauce (and that includes reaching / taking lid off / measuring).
Pour over chicken and bake.
No marinating required – the glaze is so sticky and has enough flavour that you don’t need to marinate. Though you can if you want. I don’t. Don’t think I ever have. This is a quick-unplanned-on-the-fly type recipe, in my books. 🙂
And this is what comes out of the oven.
This Baked Balsamic Chicken is so sticky. You just want to grab it with your hands and suck your fingers clean. Frankly, I’m all for that. I am a huge fan of eating with hands, I just always wonder where that line is where eating with hands becomes unacceptable!
When I wrote out this recipe for this Baked Balsamic Chicken with the intention of posting it, I did hesitate for a moment at the amount of honey and sugar in the balsamic glaze. But it needs it. Not only because it’s what makes the sauce reduce down into a sticky glaze, but also because balsamic vinegar is very tangy and needs a decent amount of sweetness to offset it. Even my anti-overly-sweet-things mother, who happened to be over when I was shooting this (she does tend to drop by at rather convenient times i.e. when there’s a massive pile of washing up to do ?), declared that it’s not too sweet because of the tanginess of the balsamic.
She really liked it. She hoovered down a drumstick incredibly fast [for a woman of her age?] then reached for another before I smacked her hand away. I wasn’t finishing photographing!!!! This stuff is hard to photograph – they have a tendency to look like black blobs of coal!!! – Nagi x
No marinating required, just mix together a simple sauce, pour it over the chicken and bake. You will be amazed how incredible it tastes! It has depth of flavour (it is not flat and boring), it's sticky, sweet, savoury and tangy. The sweet is balanced out by the tang in the balsamic - I am sensitive to overly sweet things. PS If using the recipe scaler (hover over Servings), please read notes. Recipe video below! Serves 4- 5 people.
- 1 kg / 2 lb chicken thighs (5 pieces, bone in, skin on), or drumsticks or wings (any combination) (Note 1)
- 1/4 cup / 65 ml balsamic vinegar
- 2 1/2 tbsp / 50 ml soy sauce, all purpose or light (not dark soy sauce)
- 1/4 cup / 85 g / 65 ml honey
- 1/4 cup / 45 g brown sugar, loosely packed (Note 2)
- 2 garlic cloves, minced (or 1 1/2 tsp garlic paste from jar)
Preheat oven to 180C/350F.
Line a baking dish with foil and baking / parchment paper.
Mix together Sauce in a bowl.
Place chicken in baking dish, skin side down for thighs and wings. Make sure the pan is big enough so the chicken is squished up next to each other (sauce may not reduce enough), but not so large that there is more than 4"/10 cm between every piece of chicken (sauce may reduce too much).
Pour over Sauce. Bake 30 minutes. Turn chicken over, spoon over sauce.
Bake 20 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. The Sauce should have thickened.
Stand for 5 minutes, then spoon Sauce over chicken and serve.
1. You can use any of these cuts of chicken. I used 3 bone in thighs and 3 drumsticks in the photos. Normally I just use one or the other.
If using frozen chicken, ensure it is thoroughly thawed, then pat dry before proceeding with recipe. Otherwise there will too much excess liquid and the sauce may not thicken.
This recipe doesn't work with breast. Trust me, I've tried. Breast cooks in half the time, loads more juices comes out and there's no fat (which helps make the sauce nice and sticky). To make this with breast, you would be better off making the sauce separately. So sprinkle the breast with salt and pepper, baking for 25 minutes, then rest 5 minutes. Then I would double the sauce, place in saucepan over medium high, simmer rapidly until it reduces by over half to a syrup. You should end up with about 3/4 cup of balsamic reduction that you can spoon over the chicken.
2. To do this, just scoop up brown sugar and level it off. Don't pack it down into the cup then top with more sugar - if you do that, you will use about 30% more sugar.
3. SCALING: If you scale down, use a smaller baking dish. If you scale up, you need to use a larger dish. If the chicken is too snug and there's no space between them at all, then it affects how the sauce reduces and thickens. You don't need loads of space, just a bit - watch the video!
4. MARINATING: The sauce is quite intense flavoured (you wouldn't drink it!) so you don't need to marinate the chicken. You can marinate for up to 24 hours if you wish. Or freeze immediately after combining Sauce and chicken, then as it defrosts the chicken will marinate.
5. MAKE AHEAD / STORING / FREEZING: Reheats really well for up to 3 days. Just cool and refrigerate, then microwave to reheat (oven can make glaze burn). Cooked leftovers also freezes really well. See Note 4 for freezing marinated chicken.
6. Baked Balsamic Chicken nutrition per serving, assuming 5 servings.
WATCH HOW TO MAKE IT
Baked Balsamic Chicken recipe video!
LIFE OF DOZER
Superb display of canine athleticism and sheer determination to ….. well, to be the first to reach a blue rubber duck. ?