Tonight’s Dinner: Vanilla balsamic chicken recipe

Vanilla and balsamic are two things you don’t usually see together, but turning them into a marinade makes a plain chicken breast extra special.

Grilled chicken

Vanilla and balsamic are two of my favorite flavors. Vanilla is great in cookies, cakes and ice cream and balsamic vinegar always turns a salad or bruschetta into a wonderful appetizer or side. But I’d never thought about putting those two flavors together, let alone together for a marinade for chicken. My Recipes wasn’t so narrow minded. They knew that those two flavors would sing when put together and turn a plain old chicken breast into something special. I’m so glad I trusted them because instead of a standard salted piece of chicken, I got to eat something sweet and didn’t have to wait for dessert. Laid over some couscous, my family got a dinner that was truly special.

Vanilla balsamic chicken

Serves 4


  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup shallots, chopped
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
  • 4 chicken breasts
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
  2. Combine the chicken broth, balsamic, shallots, sugar, seeds from the vanilla bean, orange zest and orange juice in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 20 minutes.
  4. Sprinkle both sides of the chicken with salt and pepper, arrange in a roasting pan and bake for 10 minutes.
  5. Brush half the broth mixture over the chicken and bake for another five minutes. Brush the remaining broth mixture over the chicken and bake for 15 minutes or until no longer pink inside. Serve immediately over some rice or couscous.

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Other vanilla recipes

Cranberry vanilla cookies
Pineapple and vanilla dip
Vanilla risotto with spiced sausage


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