This here, this be good!

I know, I know. I should use proper grammar because I am, after all, a home school Momma.

I get stuck in cooking ruts all the time. I hate it. I’m not proficient enough in the kitchen to just wing it on everything. I do toss things together and pray like a freaking madwoman for them to taste good. But my cooking seems to run the gamut of meat loaf, roast, roast chicken, grilled pork chops, grilled burgers etc. I’ve been so antsy to try something new. Something with loads of flavor. Something that seemed difficult but really was very simple and easy.

First spend days scouring the internet looking for recipes for balsamic vinaigrette dressing/marinade. Keep thinking you saw a recipe in the book you’re currently reading (Bread and Wine by Shauna Niequist), flip through the book repeatedly, looking at the recipes and finding nothing.  Then decide you’ll just use a recipe you found online. But this necessitates a trip to the store for olive oil.  Back at home you again flip through the book and hit pay dirt. Eureka! The recipe is found!

Gather your ingredients…all 5. I told you it was simple. Olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper, dijon. Pour  a batch over defrosted chicken breast.



Cover and place in your refrigerator for 4 or more hours. Really the longer you let it marinade the better it will be. When your husband gets home have him fire up the grill, toss these puppies on it and sear them. Yes, cook them quick and hot.

Meanwhile, make more of the basic vinaigrette, make so much more you’re practically almost doubling the recipe…okay forget that…you are doubling the recipe.  The good thing about the recipe (besides the way it tastes) is it doesn’t require you to refrigerate it.

While you’re waiting for the marinade to…welll….marinade, make a big salad with fresh spinach leaves, boiled eggs, cherry tomatoes (halved), peas, onion, fresh mushrooms and feta cheese. Pour a little of the vinaigrette on it. Now remember: a little goes a long way. So be a little stingy, but not too stingy.

When the chicken is finished on the grill, cut into bite sized pieces. Or if it’s tender and juicy enough (and it should be), just tear it. Put it on your salad. And enjoy.

I’m telling you it’s better than any grilled chicken salad you could get at any restaurant. (My 10 year old said it was better than The Olive Garden…high praise indeed.) You can sit back and revel in the praise of your family. They will build monuments in your name. They will erect statutes to you and your salad. They will ask for it every night. They will deem it the perfect summer salad.

And you will say, “My work here is complete.”

The Perfect Summer Salad
The Perfect Summer Salad




3 thoughts on “This here, this be good!

  1. I mixed it all up, had a hard time blending the mayonnaise into the liquid, tasted it, and despite all the flavors it only tasted like olive oil with a kick of vinegar. Like one of the other reviewers said, I was quite disappointed at the beginning, but had no alternative but to put it on the chicken. Like some of the other reviewers I added a bit of dijon to the marinade.To my delight, the chicken was juicy and tender! Just sitting in the fridge the consistency changed and there weren’t isolated chunks of mayonnaise floating through the oil. However, I still think this marinade has a DISPROPORTIONATE amount of olive oil. If I make this again, I am making it with 1/2 or 3/4 c instead. With all of the wonderful flavor in here, I’m surprised they didn’t have more punch. The predominant flavors were olive oil and lemon. Also, since “2 cups” isn’t exactly a usuable measurement, I used about 1 cup of this marinade for 4 thinly sliced boneless chicken breasts and they were well covered. So be sure it scale it down if you’re not cooking for a party!


  2. I marrinaded chicken thighs overnight in this and then grilled them. It was good, but didn’t seem to give a lot of flavor, I even reserved some marinade to put over the cooked chicken, and it still wasn’t extremely flavorful. More of a subtle flavor. I would use this again to marinade chicken that I was putting into another dish like a salad or casserole.


  3. Mark, I have to admit to ignorance, but I am not sure what coarse grain mustard is so I used regular ole French’s mustard. Other than that, followed your ingredient list exactly and blended it all together in my blender because I was too lazy to mince the garlic. This made plenty of marinade for 10 thighs which we grilled outdoors after about 6 hrs. marinating time. You are right! This is a wonderful marinade for chicken. I left the skin on the thighs for grilling because I believe it helps keep the meat moist. The combination of this marinade and grilling gives the chicken a finger-lickin’ good flavor! We will be using this recipe often.


Comments are closed.