A Quick and Healthy Dinner Idea Using Balsamic Salad Dressing
Broiled Chicken Skewers in a Balsamic Marinade
Broiling is one of my favorite ways to prepare meat and chicken, especially in the winter months when it’s too cold outside to use a grill. Food cooked under the broiler finishes quickly at the high temperatures used, and develops a wonderful flavor with a minimal use of cooking oil or fat. Yet the key to success with broiling meat is sufficient marinating before cooking, particularly with lean cuts such as skinless chicken breasts. A good marinade not only adds to the taste of the final dish, but keeps the meat moist and tender.
3/4 cup good-quality balsamic salad dressing
7 oz boneless skinless chicken breast cutlets
1 red onion
1 yellow bell pepper
1 red bell pepper
8 button mushrooms
Salt to taste
Fresh-ground black pepper to taste
1. Wash and pat dry chicken breast halves. Coat each lightly with salt and fresh ground pepper, then place inside a zip-closing plastic bag along with 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar. Place bag in refrigerator and marinate overnight, or at minimum 4 hours.
2. Preheat broiler on “Low.” Meanwhile, prepare the vegetables. Open and de-seed the peppers, cutting each in half, then quarters, then into eighths. Cut the onion into wedges of similar size to the bell pepper pieces. Wash and dry mushrooms, removing hard stem pieces. Toss onions, peppers, mushroom caps and 1/4 cup balsamic salad dressing together in a bowl to coat thoroughly.
3. Remove chicken from marinade and slice each cutlet into pieces about 1-by-2 inches in size. Using 4 metal skewers, arrange vegetables and chicken pieces in an attractive order: mushroom cap, pepper slice, onion wedge, chicken, then repeat.
4. Place skewers on broiler pan and set under broiler for 5 minutes. Rotate skewers and cook for another 5 minutes. Repeat until chicken is cooked through but not overdone, approximately 15 minutes total time. The vegetables should just have a nice char on them at this point.
5. Chicken and vegetables can either be served on the skewers or removed and placed on top of a bed of cooked rice, couscous or farro.
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The "South Jersey Foodie" is Nicole Pellegrini, sometimes known as sockii. She enjoys life as a writer, artist, webmaster, crafter and avid food-lover living in some of the last vestiges of active farmland in Gloucester County, New Jersey. She shares her home with her partner David, a podiatrist in Woodbury NJ and their six cats: Peanut, Norman, Sammo, Mischief, George and Benny.
I believe in enjoying life - and that includes enjoying as many different kinds and styles of food as possible. I am an omnivore with a personal passion for small, sustainable, ethical farming and natural foods. I have little patience for the "Food Police" or those who advocate that one dietary plan is the only "right" one for everyone. Find your personal balance and conscience; make food a joy in your life - that's my motto.