How to Marinate Chicken Breast in Balsamic Vinegar

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Plan on a half cup of marinade for every pound of chicken.
Plan on a half cup of marinade for every pound of chicken. (Image: Polka Dot Images/Polka Dot/Getty Images)

Marinating chicken breasts adds flavor and necessary moisture to the meat, as it's a low-fat protein usually served skinless to suit these calorie-conscious times. A balsamic vinegar marinade supplies plenty of taste, but as an acidic base it can actually toughen the chicken if marinated for too long. Less than two hours is fine. Avoid salt, since it dehydrates the meat, and use a nice olive oil to balance out the flavor. Plan on using a half cup of marinade for every pound of chicken you're preparing.

Things You'll Need

  • Knife
  • Two boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • Ziplock bag
  • Whisk
  • Bowl
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Crushed peppercorns (to taste)
  • Herbs and spices (to taste)

Use a knife to remove any excess fat from two boneless, skinless chicken breasts and trim them so they are the same size and thickness.

Place the chicken in a plastic ziplock bag and seal.

Whisk together in a bowl a half cup of balsamic vinegar, a quarter cup of olive oil and crushed peppercorns, garlic powder and other herbs and spices to taste. (Experiment with the herbs and spices — rosemary, chives, garlic, oregano, thyme and parsley go well with chicken.)

Pour the marinade into the bag with the chicken and reseal. Shake the bag to cover the chicken, and refrigerate for 30 minutes to two hours.

Remove the chicken from the marinade and cook or grill it as you wish.

Tips & Warnings

  • Cut the chicken into strips and marinate for a stir-fry.
  • Discard the marinade as soon as you remove the chicken to prevent cross-contamination. Never use marinade exposed to raw meat for basting. If desired, double the marinade recipe at the outset and reserve half for basting purposes only.

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