Rosemary Balsamic Chicken

It’s been a busier week than usual and I’m not up for doing anything complicated in the kitchen. Twice this week I relied on the magic of the Bumble and Bumble Dry Shampoo since I couldn’t find the time to do the necessary hair washing (TMI?). In my zeal to de-grease my hair though I got a little too aggressive and ended up looking like a member of the Whig party.

I’m taking it easy tonight, and I’m not even taking pictures — the picture above was taken when I was in England this summer, and made this dish for a large dinner party. The one below was taken later this summer when we had some friends over for an impromptu dinner. So the point is, I make this dish a lot, because it’s easy, tastes amazing, and looks pretty if you don’t take a picture in bad lighting with a purple lighter in the backdrop like I did. This tastes a thousand times better than my picture makes it look.

I first had it at my friend Patricia’s house. We all greedily mopped up the drippings with bread, and I kept trying to think of ways to get everyone else out of the room (“Fire!!!”) so that I could drink the sauce. I begged her for the recipe and couldn’t believe how easy it was — the ROI on this is very high indeed.

In fact, I’m thinking I may save the sauce next time to start my own master sauce. Anthony Myint, one of my food heros and a fellow high school alum, in his book Mission Street Food: Recipes and Ideas from an Improbable Restaurant (you HAVE to read this book — it’s hilarious, inspiring and will change your life) writes that a master sauce is “…a fortified stock achieved by reusing the same sauce over and over. Some Western cooks find this gross, but to me, wasting perfectly good meaty broth is gross. The concentrated braising liquid results in a richer flavor, so if you’ve got it, flaunt it.” Well said, Anthony.

So this is how easy the recipe is: make a vinaigrette, essentially — olive oil, balsamic vinegar, dijon mustard and garlic; add in some rosemary and brown sugar, salt and pepper, and mix it all up. Place the chicken in the vinaigrette and let it marinate over night.

Stick it in the oven to bake, and be sure to serve with big crunchy slabs of bread to dip in the sauce.



  • 8 skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs or half-breast, fat trimmed off


  • 1/2 C balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 olive oil
  • 1/4 C brown sugar
  • 3-4 T dijon mustard
  • 4-6 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 3-4 sprigs of rosemary— remove leaves and finely chop
  • 1-2 tsp each kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, or to taste


Combine marinade ingredients and mix together in a 9×13 baking dish. Place chicken pieces in marinade for 4-24 hours (with 24 hours preferred). Ensure chicken is coated well w/ marinade.  Place dish in oven at 400 degrees, 35-45 minutes, depending on your oven (watch the skin as it burn easily from the brown sugar).  The marinade should create a nice, yummy sauce for bread dipping.

**Note if there’s too little marinade in dish, it will evaporate during baking.  If there’s too much, the chicken will “steam” rather than “roast.”

Serves 4-8.


  • October 6, 2012 - 8:25 PM | Permalink

    Oh my heavens! I wish I had this tonight! I can smell it! (I can) Thank you for sharing this, dear Sandi! 😉 miss ya, btw!xxx

    • October 6, 2012 - 10:10 PM | Permalink

      Thanks for reading, Danielle! Miss you too — I thought of you when I read Bakerella’s most recent Halloween cake pops post…those ghosts looked easy enough, what say you?

  • October 7, 2012 - 3:09 PM | Permalink

    Oh, you are right, my are RIGHT. We need to plan a holiday cake pop day! You can make turkeys and sweet potato casserole ones and I’ll make ghosts. AHAHAHA! I kid. 🙂 But we should.

  • Patricia
    October 8, 2012 - 5:42 PM | Permalink

    Does this mean I can’t cook this for you anymore? 🙂

    • October 8, 2012 - 8:37 PM | Permalink

      That’s like if I learned to make sushi and Jiro asked if he could never make me sushi again! Of course you should make it — you’re the master!!!

  • October 9, 2012 - 10:27 AM | Permalink

    This sounds so awesome!! I’m so glad it’s chicken-roasting weather again!…. well, you apparently enjoy it year-round, but our greenhouse — i mean, apartment — kind takes the fun out of roasting anything in the summer. can’t wait to try this!

    • October 9, 2012 - 12:15 PM | Permalink

      LOL, well greenhouse means that you probably get lovely light for photography! I know, roasting was almost unbearable recently…we had record high temperatures over here and all I wanted to eat was ice cream.

  • Robin Stabekis
    October 10, 2012 - 7:44 PM | Permalink

    I love it when I think I am getting so organized that planning a dinner ahead of time fits into my day. Tonight I am looking for something new to make for dinner tomorrow evening, then I find your site, and this dish that sounds and looks amazing, and realize I don’t have any chicken to marinate overnight (sigh). Oh well, this will be Friday’s dinner instead of Thursday’s. Hungry just imagining sopping up the sauce with a big junk of ciabatta! Glad I found you on FB!

    BTW, have you made this after marinating for only 4 – 6 hours?

    • October 11, 2012 - 7:05 AM | Permalink

      Thanks so much for stopping by, Robin! I am getting hungry thinking about you imagining sopping up the sauce with ciabatta! I have made this after a 4-6 hour marinade and it’s still good; the flavor is just stronger if you leave it overnight. But the sauce is equally yummy! If I don’t have time to marinate ahead of time, my go to is — really easy and tasty without advanced prep.

      • October 11, 2012 - 7:08 AM | Permalink

        Ah, I see that the link didn’t come through — my go-to is the !

        • October 11, 2012 - 7:09 AM | Permalink

          Sorry still not working — it’s Chicken with Fennel and Grapes (just go to my search box to find it) — I guess I can’t hyperlink here!

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  • Robin Stabekis
    October 11, 2012 - 5:43 PM | Permalink

    Hi Sandi,
    thanks for your reply! (I just reread my post…”hunk” of ciabatta!) I will definitely try the chicken with fennel and grapes as well! BTW, I love the name of your blog! Have a good night!

    • October 11, 2012 - 5:51 PM | Permalink

      LOL, any kind of ciabatta is good! Thanks again for reading and good night to you too!

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