Marinated in a simple mix of balsamic vinegar and fresh herbs, this chicken takes almost no effort to make. Perfect to serve on its own or toss with salad for added protein.
A couple of weeks ago I had a group of friends over for lunch and found this recipe buried in my blog. It’s one of the first recipes I made for the blog, and the photos definitely reflected that. In other words, time for an makeover. I also updated the ingredients and recipe notes, because I couldn’t find fresh basil at the store, but found that rosemary works just as well.
Note to self– life is less stressful when you go with the flow. Even if that means changing a recipe. Or a dietary lifestyle.
Over time I’ve considered vegetarianism. Way back in seventh grade there was a three month period where I went through with it. Obviously that didn’t last, and frankly I prefer it this way. People tend to put so much pressure on themselves and others to conform to certain labels. So often we box ourselves into rigid categories and then feel guilty for even toeing the line. A teacher I’m still close with put it really well. Just be honest with yourself in what you do, and if someone has a problem with that then tell them to go out the window. (The expression is usually more along the lines of “show them the door,” but you get the point.)
So yes, I eat mostly plants. No, I’m not vegetarian. And that’s more than okay.
Other than when my friends came for lunch, I haven’t cooked myself chicken in a long time. At first it was no big deal, but since I’ve taken out dairy because of Whole30, my protein options are more limited. There’s only so many times I can eat eggs and fish. Besides, I felt hungry after eating, a sign that either I didn’t eat enough or my body needed something more substantial. A trick I use sometimes to see if I’m actually still hungry is to wait a bit, drink some water, and then reevaluate. After that it was clear that this feeling was not going away, so I knew it was time to honor that.
Finally having chicken again left me feeling truly satisfied for the first time all week. I don’t know how vegetarians do it, but kudos to you if you do.
This is the first chicken I’ve ever made on my own, and there were definitely some mishaps along the way. For one thing, I accidentally shut off the oven instead of the timer. Mistakes are there to learn from, right? Second time around it was a piece of cake. Or a piece of juicy, flavorful chicken. I say go for the latter, no question.
One of my favorite parts about this recipe is that it’s actually tasty hot or cold. This is really important when you’re usually stuck with leftovers. I honestly am usually too lazy to reheat anything and just eat it straight out of the fridge. But if it’s not served cold, then it has to be hot; room temperature bothers me. Weird, I know. It actually came up recently, forcing me to try (and fail) to explain it.
I love cutting up some of this chicken and adding it to salads, because the balsamic and herbs go perfectly with my standard vinaigrette. It also pairs well with this mustard roasted cauliflower. Regardless how you serve it, I hope you make it and enjoy it as much as I do!
If you try this recipe, I’d love your feedback. Leave a comment below, save it on Pinterest, or tag #lensesandlentils on Instagram to share!
- 2 lbs chicken breast
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 2-3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp minced fresh thyme
- 2 tbsp minced fresh basil/rosemary
- Mix all ingredients except the chicken in a small bowl. Put chicken in a large Ziploc bag and pour marinade over it. Let sit in fridge for at least one hour to overnight.
- Before taking chicken out of the fridge, preheat oven to 350°F.
- Lay chicken out in large baking dish. Bake 10-15 minutes, checking to see if underside of chicken is cooked. Flip and cook 10-15 minutes more, until fully cooked.
- Serve hot or cold. Store in fridge for 1 week.
*Cooking time varies on your oven and the thickness of the chicken breast. Start checking the chicken at the lower end of cook time, so that the chicken does not get dried out.