Grilled Balsamic Honey Chicken

Monday, August 11, 2014

We're back from the beach! I'm breaking out all over from aggressive applications of sunscreen, I'm peeling on the tops of my feet and a silver dollar-sized spot on my knee where I failed to get aggressive with the sunscreen, and I'm oh so very happy to have spent a week next to the ocean.

All but one of our dinners were cooked on the grill. We had your standard dogs and brats night, a hamburger night, an extremely successful Old Bay Pork Tenderloin night, but these chicken skewers were a hit - especially with two palates under the age of 10. I enlisted the help of the 9 year old to mix the marinade and the help of the 8 year old to shake it around in the Ziploc bag. The best sous chefs are cute ones, right?

The recipe itself is from Foodie Crush. I made it twice this summer at home on our grill pan and was psyched to try it on an actual outdoor gas grill. It was worth the wait!

I started prep right after breakfast by cutting up about 3 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken breasts - there were 6 breasts total. They went into a big Ziploc with some fresh rosemary. I left it whole because it allows the flavors to infuse into the marinade and chicken, but then you take it out to cook so the kids don't complain about "green stuff" once it's on the plate.

The marinade is straightforward and delicious. If a 9 year old can do it, you can too. Promise. The basic measurements per the Foodie Crush starter recipe are 2-2-1 honey-balsamic vinegar-olive oil (she calls for 3 tablespoons of honey overall, but only 2 go in the marinade). I doubled this since we had more chicken, but tripling it would have also rocked - basically ours had the flavor infused but wasn't overly saucy. Also add two cloves of chopped garlic and as much fresh (or dried) rosemary as you like.

I let this marinate until dinner time. Once we all got back from the beach that afternoon, I put a bunch of wooden skewers into water to soak. Then I added about 5 - 6 pieces of chicken to each skewer. I also was able to photograph food with natural light instead of my regular NYC Apartment Fluorescence and was absolutely beside myself.

I also would like to give my mom full styling credit for the addition of the rosemary after strong urging to, "Make it pretty!"

This meal really was a group effort - the kids did the marinade, I did the cubing and skewering, so the husband did the grilling.

After I went back inside to finish setting up the table, he was even so kind as to snap a couple of pictures once he flipped the skewers over. Such a keeper, I tell ya.

The adults ate these alongside a fresh, tangy, and crunchy broccoli salad that Mom prepared - quickly steamed florets, craisins, pistachios, and a mayo-based dressing kicked up with a little pepper and sriracha - which was sadly not photographed. Neither was the kids' boxed mac and cheese. Everyone humored me while I took pictures of the final tray, but then we were all ready to dig in.

The chicken is divine. The sweetness from the honey and balsamic helps get those perfectly charred grill marks on the chicken. For a non-kid crowd, I might even toss in a teaspoon of chili flakes, but the garlic really does just fine in giving you a counter flavor to the sweetness. You could certainly make this on pork, too, and I think in future iterations I'd want to reserve and reduce the marinade into a glaze of sorts. The grilled chicken would even be great on top of salad! Now I'm getting carried away, so the bottom line is this: it's not difficult to make, kids loved it, and it's delicious. Enjoy!

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