The chilly spring days have quickly turned to warmer weather and signal the beginning of the grilling season. The charcoal grill has moved to front and center as a primary method of cooking in our house. When grilling an entree, dinner gets to the table quickly, and there is little to no clean up. A win-win situation all around. Seasoning fish, chicken, beef and pork with a dry spice rub or a liquid marinade are easy and straightforward methods to impart extra flavor to grilled meats. With ingredients already available in a well-stocked kitchen like olive oil, balsamic vinegar, orange and lemon juices, mustard, garlic, and dried herbs like thyme and basil, making homemade rubs and marinades is a snap.
A marinade which is a balance of acid, oil, and spice is used to easily add flavor albeit smoky, spicy, sweet, or sour and tenderize meats. A simple homemade marinade highlighted by balsamic vinegar fresh herbs and olive oil adds bold flavor to Balsamic Caprese Chicken with Fresh Mozzarella and Blistered Cherry Tomatoes.
As opposed to store-bought marinades which can be overly salty and contain unwanted ingredients, a made-in-your-own kitchen marinade allows the cook to be in control of what goes in to it. I favor using fresh herbs when they are readily available but, feel free to substitute the dried counterparts instead. Make a double batch of this tangy herb, balsamic and mustard marinade and use it as a dressing on your favorite salad for up to a week.
Balsamic marinated chicken that is grilled and topped with fresh mozzarella, blistered tomatoes and chopped basil is a party worthy entrée or perfect for a quick dinner with your family. Fire up the grill. Not only will your dinner be delicious, but you will be happy when dinner is over and there are no pots and pan to wash.
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- 3/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1 garlic clove (finely chopped)
- 1 tablespoon fresh basil or 1 teaspoon dried
- 1 tablespoon fresh oregano or 1 teaspoon dried
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 2 pounds chicken tenderloins
- 1/2 pound fresh mozzarella (sliced)
- 1 pint grape tomatoes
- ¼ cup chopped fresh basil
- In a small bowl, whisk the first 8 ingredients. Set aside.
- Place the chicken in a resealable bag and add about 3/4 of the marinade. Reserve the remaining marinade for basting the chicken while it grills. Marinate the chicken for at least 30 minutes or up to 6 hours.
- Heat a grill to medium high. Grill the chicken for about 3 – 5 minutes per side basting with the reserved marinade. During the last minute or 2 of grilling, top the chicken with the mozzarella and continue grilling until it melts. Remove to a serving platter.
- Meanwhile, quickly grill the tomatoes in a grill basket until slightly charred about 3 – 4 minutes. Remove to the platter with the chicken. Sprinkle with the basil, salt and pepper and serve.
Recipe by Amy Casey
© amcaseycooks -2015
- Prep Time: 35 minutes
- Cook Time: 15 minutes
- Category: entree