Bright and budget-friendly, this recipe for Balsamic Chicken and Tomatoes Recipe is ready to become your default weeknight dinner. Ready in about 30 minutes—just enough time to make a big salad or warm up some crusty bread to sop up all that delicious pan juice.
What you need to make this recipe:
- Chicken thighs, skin on, or skin-on chicken breasts. Because everyone loves that delicious browned, crispy skin. (Any chicken works, as long as you adjust the cooking time accordingly.)
- Cherry or grape tomatoes.
- Rosemary, basil, or oregano. Fresh, please!
- Balsamic vinegar & honey.
- Whole grain mustard. The chunky stuff is wonderful in this chicken recipe.
- Garlic. But of course! Use more or less, according to your preference.
- Olive oil.
- Salt and freshly ground pepper. As you do.
How to make Balsamic Chicken with Tomatoes:
- Mix together the honey, vinegar, mustard, garlic, and salt and pepper in a bowl big enough to hold the chicken. Add the chicken to the marinade and mix everything around to coat the chicken. Place in the refrigerator for up to an hour, if you have the time; otherwise, the chicken can sit out for 20 minutes at room temperature. Remove the chicken from the marinade and pat the pieces dry with a paper towel. Hold on to that marinade, though—you’ll need it later.
- Next, preheat the oven to 425 degrees, and find a large, oven-safe skillet. Over medium-high heat, heat the olive oil until shimmering. Brown the chicken in a single layer, without crowding, skin side down. Cook the chicken until it is nicely browned, 2-3 minutes at least, more if necessary.
- When the chicken skin is beautiful and crisp looking, flip it in the skillet and add the tomatoes. Cook until the tomatoes burst and release their juices, then pour in reserved marinade (it’s okay, it will cook and be safe to eat!) and rosemary sprigs. Bring this mixture to a boil then move the skillet to the oven to bake the chicken until finished. No need to cover the skillet, either. Keep that crispy skin in tact!
- Bake at 425 degrees for about 20 minutes. Chicken is safe to eat when its internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. Remove it from the oven, removing the stems of the rosemary if that’s the herb you chose, and let rest for about 5 minutes before serving. This lets the chicken reabsorb some of the juices, making things extra, extra juicy.
What to serve with Balsamic Chicken and Tomatoes:
It’s easy to round this lovely one pot recipe out into a complete meal. Just throw down:
- Your best, biggest leafy green salad.
- A loaf of crusty French bread for all that lovely sauce.
- Buttery mashed potatoes. How is this not a thing? Potatoes are stunning with juicy tomatoes and chicken.
- Zucchini ribbons for a low carb, high-veggie summer meal.
What is balsamic vinegar? And why is it so delicious?
Aceto balsamico, or balsamic vinegar, is a truly delicious, drinkable pantry ingredient. Believe it or not, balsamic vinegar is not technically a wine vinegar. It’s made form grapes-Trebbiano grapes and grape must— that are boiled down into a dark syrup and aged in wooden barrels with the vinegar mother, a starter that ferments the liquid and turns the syrup into vinegar.
The barrels are switched out as the vinegar reduces. This really concentrates the liquid and makes it sweet and irresistible.
It’s a labor intensive process that also needs a lot of time. Some balsamic is aged for 100 years! (Please don’t make this recipe with that precious stuff, though. Ordinary everyday balsamic is good enough for chicken and tomatoes.)
When selecting balsamic vinegar, look for a moderately priced bottle that is from Modena, Italy. More expensive varieties are labeled Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale di Modena. Avoid the cheapest balsamic you can find; less expensive varieties are much more likely to contain sulphites as a preservative. No matter what you choose, there’s a bottle for every budget.
Balsamic vinegar keeps in a dark, cool place in the pantry, but not so far away that you can’t use it in salad dressings, marinades, or even drizzled over a bowl of vanilla ice cream!
Balsamic Chicken and Tomatoes Recipe
- 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 tablespoons whole grain mustard
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (about 1 ½ pounds)
- 1 pint grape tomatoes
- 2 sprigs rosemary broken in half
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- In a large bowl, whisk together balsamic vinegar, honey, mustard, garlic, and salt and pepper to taste (I like ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper).
- Add chicken and toss to coat. Marinate at room temperature for 20 minutes or in the refrigerator for up to 1 hour. Remove from marinade (reserve marinade) and pat chicken dry with paper towels.
- In a 12-inch oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat, heat oil until shimmering. Add chicken in a single layer, skin-side down. Cook until browned, about 2 to 3 minutes.
- Flip chicken and add tomatoes. Cook until tomatoes have started to pop release their juices, about 5 minutes.
- Add reserved marinade and rosemary sprigs. Bring to boil, then transfer uncovered to the oven.
- Bake until the chicken reaches 165 degrees on an instant-read thermometer, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and remove rosemary stems.