Balsamic Marinated Chicken Thighs

Heather says:

This recipe for balsamic marinated chicken is sort of a repeat. Why? Because sometimes you don’t want to cook a whole chicken and grab the super-value pack of chicken thighs or leg quarters when they go on sale. Like the garlic and soy chicken thighs, this recipe is simple, the only drawback is it’s much better with a longer marinating period. This is a marinate the night before kind of recipe. Sides can be super simple. I went with baked sweet potatoes and oven roasted okra -I tossed the okra in vinegar and rosemary, with a little olive oil, it was okay, but nothing to write home about. I think lentil pilaf may have been a better choice.

Looking for other chicken recipe ideas: here’s a guide to cooking and using chicken

Balsamic Chicken Thighs

: Chicken Thighs Marinated in Balsamic Vinegar

    • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
    • Juice from 1 lemon
    • 2 TBSP Dijon mustard
    • 2 TBSP olive oil
    • 1 tsp crushed red pepper
    • 2 garlic cloves, minced
    • 1/2 tsp dried rosemary – or 1 tsp fresh, chopped
    • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
    • 3 – 4 lbs chicken thighs
    • salt / fresh ground pepper


  • In a small bowl, whisk together the first 8 ingredients. In a shallow, non-reactive container (ie glass or plastic, or even zippered plastic bag) pour all of the marinade over the chicken thighs.
  • Cover and place the container in the refrigerator and allow to marinate for several hours or overnight. Turn the pieces once in a while to ensure they all have a reasonably even coating. (This is where the large zippered bag is handy, check the seal and hand it to a minion to shake)
  • Preheat the oven to 425F and make sure one of the racks is in the middle position.
  • Remove the chicken from the marinade and shake off any excess. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Place the chicken skin side up in a as small a baking dish as possible. The point is to ensure the skin is nicely browned, but the chicken isn’t spread out so far that it will dry out before it reaches a safe temperature.
  • Roast for approximately 35 – 50 minutes -this depends on whether or not you took the chicken out of the fridge as recommended in Cooking for Geeks -the whole don’t skip a temperature stage idea) Use a meat thermometer and remove the chicken from the oven as soon as it hits 165F.

Cooking time: 35 – 50

Number of servings (yield): 6



  1. Brandi Taylor on June 22, 2015 at 3:00 pm

    Hi, thank you for the recipe. I didn’t do the Dijon mustard part simply because I didn’t have any. However, still delicious and will make again. I to had boneless and skinless thighs so I kept them covered to keep it moist. Thank you for sharing πŸ™‚

  2. casey on August 5, 2013 at 4:28 pm

    Would this work with boneless skinless thighs? I bought a bunch at Costco that are taking up space in my freezer and I’m trying to come up with a prep the night before come home and stick in oven recipe for them. I assume the only difference would be cook time since there is no bone?

    • Heather Solos on August 6, 2013 at 6:39 am

      Casey, yes it would, but I would also change the cooking technique just a little. I would keep the dish covered. The skin and bone of a thigh are what contributes to the moistness of the meat. The marrow of the bone contributes moisture and the skin helps seal it in.
      As long as you keep those factors in mind? The marinade will be wonderful on your boneless skinless chicken thighs. (Also consider quickly pan frying or sauteing the thighs as an alternative.) Great question.

  3. Bonnie James on April 15, 2013 at 8:02 am

    Lucky me, I just found your great blog today. Love this chicken recipe.

  4. Bonnie James on April 15, 2013 at 7:59 am

    Just found this blog and lucky me!!! This chicken recipe looks mouthwatering. Love chicken and always trying new recipes I find. Thanks

  5. Valerie Klobuchar on April 10, 2013 at 6:11 pm

    Can you use the marinade for other parts of the chicken, say breasts? We are not thigh people!
    Thanks Heather.

    • Heather Solos on April 11, 2013 at 6:36 am

      You absolutely can, there’s a slightly longer cook time, of course. I’m not a thigh person, either, but sometimes the food budget is.

  6. Ian May on April 10, 2013 at 5:43 am

    Recipes like this ARE really useful! There’s only the two of us here, and while sometimes it’s good to buy a whole chicken (or other larger piece of meat) and have leftovers for a couple of days, we don’t always want to do that.

    Marinating overnight or all day is no problem (as long as we don’t forget to do it!).

  7. Michele Newell on April 9, 2013 at 4:49 pm

    Heather, we must have some sort of cooking-related-ESP because I made something really similar last night using soy sauce and a quartered chicken. I like the idea of the balsamic and am way into pan roasting chicken pieces these days. I’ll have to give your recipe a shot with one of the funky flavored vinegars my MIL sent me from SC! Peach balsamic chicken, anyone? πŸ™‚

    P.S. Your picture put mine to shame. *envy*

    • Heather Solos on April 11, 2013 at 6:38 am

      I’m glad someone is operating on my wavelength. Peach balsamic sounds divine, is she from the upstate?

      • Michele Newell on April 11, 2013 at 1:09 pm

        Yes, she is from the upstate. An olive oil/vinegar shop opened in downtown Greenville, and my MIL has sent me so many of their flavored oils and vinegars that I’m embarrassed to admit that I’ve yet to try them all. Stopping myself before this turns comment into an advertisement, but thanks for giving me an excuse to break open the peach balsamic this Sunday!

  8. Sue on April 9, 2013 at 11:24 am

    I do almost exactly this – chicken thighs and all – but add various vegetables to the pan, and it’s a one dish meal! I like it for using up produce that’s gotten a little soft for normal use (cherry tomatoes, wrinkly peppers, spinach that’s a little wilty) but you can also add potatoes or sweet potatoes if you’re willing to add the chicken after they’re cooked a little (since they’ll take longer to soften than the chicken will to cook). I first made it on a clean out the fridge kind of night and my husband declared it the best thing I’d ever made.

    • Heather Solos on April 10, 2013 at 8:53 am

      Sue, that sounds really good. Funny how the eh, I’ll throw this and that together dishes that are often unrepeatable end up being the biggest hits, sometimes.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.