Italian Baked Chicken isn’t usually the first thing you think of when you hear the words “melt in your mouth.” Maybe it should be after making this recipe. It’s moist, succulent, and rich with flavor.
Choose the Correct Balsamic Vinegar
While you can use any balsamic vinegar you have on hand, there are a few different kinds. Choosing the right one will ensure that this Italian Baked Chicken dish is not only tasty, but it also helps you save money. For the purposes of this recipe, we’ll cover two types of balsamic and their uses.
The first type is a traditional balsamic vinegar. When selecting a bottle of balsamic, always check the ingredients. You can distinguish the traditional kind from others because it is made of 100% grape must. Grape must is the juice, skin, seeds, and stems from crushed grapes. This balsamic is thick and almost syrup-like, and it tastes so good on its own you really shouldn’t use it for cooking purposes. If you cook with this balsamic, you will destroy the rich, flavorful qualities of this exquisite vinegar.
Traditional balsamic is expensive, and you should ideally reserve it to create salad dressings. If you’re looking for a good example, try this Strawberry Balsamic Dressing recipe. You can also use this syrup-like balsamic vinegar as a drizzle garnish for soups. Finally, you can use it as a topping for fresh berries or desserts. Yes, you read that correctly!
The second type of balsamic is the one you should use for cooking. Also called balsamic vinegar of Modena or “salad balsamic,” this vinegar can be aged to various degrees and may vary in thickness. You can cook with this vinegar without sacrificing quality and flavor. Additionally, you’ll spend considerably less money than you would if purchasing traditional balsamic.
Finish the Dish with Complimentary Flavors
Finally, after selecting the proper type of balsamic, it’s time for you to add the last few ingredients. To complete this dish, we like to brighten things up by adding with juicy tomatoes and zesty Italian herbs. And there you have it: a tender, juicy chicken exploding with flavor! Buon Appetito!
Yield: 4 servings | Serving size: 1 chicken breast and about 1/4 cup cooked tomatoes | Calories: 323 | Total Fat: 12 g | Saturated Fat: 2 g | Carbohydrates: 5 g | Fiber: 1 g | Sugar: 3 g | Protein: 46 g | Cholesterol: 145 mg | Sodium: 331 mg | SmartPoints (Freestyle): 2
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon dark balsamic vinegar
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 (6 to 8 ounce) boneless and skinless chicken breast
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes, cut in half
- 1/4 cup fresh basil, roughly chopped
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, Italian seasoning, salt, balsamic vinegar, and garlic. Set aside 1/4 of the olive oil mixture for the tomatoes.
- Place the chicken in a bowl and drizzle about 3/4 of the olive oil mixture over top. Mix to coat the chicken in the oil and vinegar mixture.
- Place the chicken onto an un-greased baking sheet. If there is any oil mixture left in the chicken bowl, drizzle over top.
- Combine the remaining oil mixture with the grape tomatoes in a clean bowl. Spread on to the baking sheet around the chicken.
- Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until chicken is tender and cooked through. Sprinkle the fresh basil over top and serve.
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