Grilled Balsamic Chicken

Grilled Balsamic Chicken turns out moist and flavorful. I love how it starts cooking in the oven but then finishes on the grill. It's a real crowd pleaser and can be served hot, warm or chilled. Plus – scroll down for a video showing how to cut up a chicken starring Vince Krekeler, a St. Louis butcher who's been cutting up chickens since he was eight years old. You won't believe how quick-quick he can cut up a chicken. Plus, Vince shares his family recipe, the simple Vince's Baked Chicken, a great family dish.
Grilled Balsamic Chicken ♥, moist & flavorful, starts in oven, finished on the grill. A real crowd pleaser, serve hot, warm or chilled. High Protein. Low Carb. Weight Watchers Friendly.

Meet Your Butcher

“All it takes is a sharp knife and a little experience.”

St. Louis Butcher Vince Krekeler, a butcher at Freddie's Market in Webster Groves, Missouri

That’s the advice of butcher Vince Krekeler, who began cutting up chickens at his dad’s grocery in Maplewood, Missouri at age eight and is now one of five meat cutters, the modern title, at Freddie’s Market in Webster Groves.

“Cutting meat is a lost art,” says Vince. If he sounds rueful, it’s because working butchers are increasingly rare. In the St. Louis area, only Freddie’s, McDonnell’s Market Place [closed in 2011] and Straub’s still cut meat behind the counter.

"Artful" is exactly how to describe the 50 seconds of swift, sure, practiced knife work that Vince uses to separate one of Freddie’s fresh, ice-packed chickens into wings, drumsticks, thighs, breasts and the back, all for an extra 10 cents a pound. That, good cooks, is art for a price we might all happily invest.

What It Takes to Cut Up a Chicken: "A Sharp Knife and a Little Experience"

At the Krekeler house, Wednesday night is Chicken Night, when Vince bakes chicken for wife Linda and the rest of the family, especially granddaughter Jade who looooves her grandpa’s baked chicken. Vince's easy "recipe" is how I bake chicken all the time, it's so simple! Here's the recipe, Vince’s Baked Chicken.

Chicken Hot off the Grill

Grilled Balsamic Chicken ♥, moist & flavorful, starts in oven, finished on the grill. A real crowd pleaser, serve hot, warm or chilled. High Protein. Low Carb. Weight Watchers Friendly.

Grilled Balsamic Chicken is perfect for dinner or a crowd. The "fire" in the photo comes from burning dogwood leaves. I've read about a chef who adds smoke to his grill, not with the typical hickory or mesquite wood, but from fresh basil, fresh rosemary or, in our case, all that was on hand, a few leaves from a nearby dogwood tree!


Start in the oven, finish on the grill
Hands-on time: 20 minutes
Time to table: 24 hours
Serves 8
  • 1 whole chicken, cut into pieces, skins removed
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon cracked pepper
  • 1/3 cup chopped green onion

Place the breasts, thighs and drumsticks in a large ziplock bag. (Save the back and wings for Homemade Chicken Stock.) Mix the marinade ingredients and pour over the chicken. Seal the bag and refrigerate for 24 hours (seal-side up to avoid leaking!), be sure to keep the meat submerged, turning if needed.

Heat oven to 325F/160C.

Place the chicken in a baking dish in a single layer, pour the marinade over top. Bake for 30 – 40 minutes or until the chicken reaches the safe internal temperature of 165F/75C . (If making in advance, cover and refrigerate. Return to room temperature.)

Heat the grill, wipe the rack with wad of paper towels dipped in vegetable oil. Finish the chicken on the grill, cooking each side 4 - 5 minutes, brushing with marinade.


ABOUT CHICKEN & RINSING Many of us were taught to rinse raw chicken under running water before preparing it for cooking. That's no longer the accepted protocol. The worry is that rinsing the chicken will transfer bacteria onto counters, sinks and drains. RESOURCE

ABOUT CHICKEN & MARINADES When you marinate raw chicken in a marinade (yes, the "verb" is marinate with a "t" and the "noun" is marinade with a "d"), the marinade itself is no longer safe to eat – unless or until it's been fully cooked. In this recipe, the marinade cooks with the chicken in the oven; just be sure the marinade goes onto the chicken right away, when the chicken first goes into the oven. For anyone who wants to take extra care, transfer the excess marinade to a saucepan and bring it to a boil (let it boil for 1 - 2 minutes) before pouring it onto the chicken and putting the whole kaboodle in the oven to bake. This recipe always gives me pause, putting the marinade straight on. But it's okay! RESOURCE

ABOUT CHICKEN & SAFE INTERNAL COOKING TEMPERATURE The safe internal cooking temperature for whole pieces of chicken is 165F/75C. If you cook drumsticks and thighs along with the thicker breasts, the pieces will reach the safe temperature at different times. That's why I typically cook not a whole chicken but multiple chicken pieces of the same kind, all legs, all thighs, all breasts, etc. In addition, if you plan to move straight from the oven to the grill, I'd recommend cooking the chicken only to 160F/70C, then finishing the last few degrees on the grill. But if you're making ahead in the oven, then reheating on the grill, be sure to go all the way to the full safe cooking temperature. RESOURCE To test for the safe cooking temperature, use a digital thermometer My Disclosure Promise
ALANNA's TIPS Grilled Balsamic Chicken is a great party recipe too since the chicken tastes great served hot, warm or cold. For potlucks, I use chicken thighs and drumsticks, smaller portions when the table is laden with other goodies. For budget meals, I use chicken "quarters" – that's a leg and a thigh, still joined. The balsamic flavoring really sticks in the chicken skins but to save a ton of calories, I usually remove the skins before marinating the chicken.
NUTRITION INFORMATION Per Serving (assumes 3oz cooked chicken breast per serving): 155 Calories; 1g Tot Fat; 0g Sat Fat; 65mg Cholesterol; 165mg Sodium; 6g Carb; 0g Fiber; 5g Sugar; 27g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS Old Points 3 & PointsPlus 3 & SmartPoints 3 & Freestyle 1

VINCE's BAKED CHICKEN Just season chicken pieces with poultry seasoning, salt and pepper. Bake for an hour at 325F/160C in a baking dish covered with foil. This is how I bake chicken all the time, it's so simple! I do recommend chicken that's never been frozen, it makes all the difference!

NUTRITION INFORMATION Per Serving (assumes 3oz cooked chicken breast per serving): 140 Calories; 2g Tot Fat; 1g Sat Fat; 72mg Cholesterol; 62mg Sodium; 0g Carb; 0g Fiber; 5g Sugar; 26g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS Old Points 3 & PointsPlus 3 & SmartPoints 2 & Freestyle 0

HOMEMADE CHICKEN STOCK For homemade chicken stock, throw the back and the wings into a pot with onion, celery, a few peppercorns and cover with water. Let barely simmer for an hour or so, strain and refrigerate. For more detail, see Homemade Chicken Stock or No-Big-Deal Homemade Chicken Stock.

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Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Quick Suppers are Kitchen Parade favorites and feature recipes easy on the budget, the clock, the waistline and the dishwasher. Do you have a favorite recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail via How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription. If you like Kitchen Parade, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. If you make this recipe, I'd love to know your results! Just leave a comment below.

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Alanna Kellogg
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A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.


  1. Great post! And kudos to you for tackling the video thing. Michael and I keep talking about it but then the kids run around the kitchen screaming and I wonder how it will ever come to fruition. :-)

    The chicken looks delicious!

  2. Great use of video. It makes everything so clear.

  3. Anonymous6/13/2008

    I need to take my laptop into my kitchen and put this on pause after every step. He makes it look so easy!

  4. Really a good video! That's something I just haven't tackled yet but yours came out so well. Love the sound of this chicken dish too!

  5. Nice chicken-cutting in the video, Alanna. It's always good to see a pro in action!

  6. Anonymous6/15/2008

    I am 60 and have been cutting up chickens for as long as I can remember. I don't even remember when I learned. I can probably cut it up in about a minute if the knife is sharp. My mom always said that when you buy a chicken already cut up, you can't be sure all the parts belong to the same chicken! Ha.

  7. Anonymous6/16/2008


    I am new to your website and I must say I really enjoy reading all the recipes and the great stories. I signed up to receive the e-mails.

    Mary in NJ

  8. Hi Mary,

    Thanks so much for taking the time to write! I hope you find plenty of recipe (and story!) inspiration.


  9. That chicken looks really good. And you've reminded me that I have to get some more Worcestershire sauce! ; )

  10. “All it takes is a sharp knife and a little experience.” Vince Krekeler.

    Experience, that is the key. Good gracious, he makes it look so easy. Everytime I try to cut any piece of meat, all I can think about is keeping my fingers out of the way. I figure if I can come away without a nick or cut, I've done well.
    By the way, great post! The video really drives the point of home very well. I will most likely follow Ali's advice and take my laptop into the kitchen, hitting pause at every step. Too bad I don't have a remote control. The recipes look great! I am going to try the balsamic chicken. Thank you.



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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. But I also love hearing your reactions, your curiosity, even your concerns! When you've made a recipe, I especially love to know how it turned out, what variations you made, what you'll do differently the next time. ~ Alanna