Mr. EN and I got a very late start in our garden this year. I mean L-A-T-E late. Because of that, you can only imagine my excitement when today I peered over the deer fence to see that finally….the cherry, grape, and some other little nameless-to-me tomatoes are FINALLY here. Woot woot! I quickly gathered up two very large handfuls of these beauties, hustled them inside, and within 30 minutes (not including marinating time) Mr. EN and I not only had this amazing Balsamic Grilled Chicken with Goat Cheese and Tomatoes on the table — but in our bellies!
This dish is….
- Decent for dieters. At just 421 calories per serving it’s a definite win. Plus it’s loaded with protein and healthy fat to keep you full and satisfied for a long time. Serve it over a big bed of mixed greens which contain just 20-30 calories per serving.
- High in Vitamin C and lycopene (both anti-oxidants) – that help fight illness, potentially including the development of cancer cells
- A good source of protein. If anyone ever told you the chicken thigh lie (that thighs are bad for you and that you MUST eat chicken breasts instead) think again. There is really NOT that much difference. Both chicken thighs and breasts are good sources of lean protein. However, they differ in the amount of calories and fat. For example, a 3-ounce skinless, chicken breast provides about 140 calories, and 3 grams of fat. The same amount of dark chicken meat without the skin provides 9 grams of fat and 170 calories. Yes, the thighs are fattier, however for this recipe, use thighs. They will stay more tender and juicy when grilled.
- Packed with summery basil flavor along with just the right amount of fresh lemon and garlic
- Fun and easy to make
- Choose ripe tomatoes. Not so ripe that they are soft and mushy but ripe enough so that their delicious tomatoey juices blend with the creamy goat cheese to form a silky coating on the basil and each lovely little tomato – that’s the best part!
- Grill the chicken over medium heat. If you try to speed things up by grilling over high heat, your chicken thighs will dry out. Grill it a little slower than usual, and use that time to prepare the tomato topping.
- Elevate with good olive oil. To marinate the chicken, I used Olive Ranch olive oil which I think is one of the best olive oils you can buy at most large-chain grocery stores. For the tomato dressing, I spent a little more money and used Tuscan flavored olive oil that I purchased from the Olive Cart. Use what you have.
- What kind of goat cheese? I make my own goat cheese (because I have a friend who sells me fresh goat milk) so it’s hard for me to recommend one brand over another. The important thing is – whatever brand you buy – to use a softer, more spreadable goat cheese compared to a dry crumbly goat cheese. Softer goat cheese makes the tomato topping richer and creamier – which is the goal.
Do you love tomatoes as much as I do? What’s your favorite way to eat them? This dish will work with any kind of fresh summer tomatoes so get to the store pronto and grab some chicken thighs, fresh basil (if you don’t have it in your garden) and goat cheese and make this Balsamic-Grilled Chicken with Goat Cheese and Tomatoes tonight.
Peace, love and good eats, from our empty nest to yours.
Trending in the EN Kitchen: Olive Ranch Everyday Olive Oil, purchased at our local Meijer Store
Mr. EN’s Take on This Recipe: “Loved it.”
Balsamic-Grilled Chicken Thighs with Tomatoes and Goat Cheese
Yield 2 servings
- 4 boneless skinless chicken thighs (about 10 ounces total)
- 3/4 teaspoon dried basil
- 3/4 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 ½-2 tablespoons plain olive oil
- 1 tablespoon red balsamic vinegar
- 2 large cloves fresh garlic, crushed or finely minced
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon pepper
- 2 cups cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
- 1 ½ - 2 tablespoons Tuscan flavored olive oil (or plain olive oil; this is in addition to the oil used to marinate the chicken in step 2 below)
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon grated lemon zest
- Handful fresh basil, sliced, chiffonade-style
- 3 tablespoons goat cheese
- More salt to taste
- Pat chicken dry and place in a plastic zip top bag.
- In a small bowl combine the plain olive oil, balsamic vinegar, dried basil, oregano, crushed garlic, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Mix well.
- Pour the marinade over the chicken, press it a few times so the marinade gets on all sides of the chicken, seal the bag and let sit 30 minutes to 2 hours. If sitting longer than 30 minutes marinate in the refrigerator for food safety.
- Preheat and prepare your grill.
- Remove the chicken from the marinade and grill over medium heat until the chicken thighs are slightly crispy on the edges but tender and juicy on the inside.
- While the chicken is grilling, place the cut tomatoes, Tuscan flavored (or plain) olive oil, fresh lemon juice, lemon zest, and chopped basil in a bowl. Toss to coat. Gently stir in the goat cheese. Add salt to taste.
- When chicken is done grilling place the chicken on a bed of greens and spoon the tomato/goat cheese/basil mixture on top.
- If you have fresh rosemary, chop about a teaspoon and add to the the chicken marinade.
Serving Size 2 thighs plus topping
Amount Per Serving
% Daily Value
Total Fat 28 g
Saturated Fat 9 g
Cholesterol 126 mg
Sodium 323 mg
Total Carbohydrates 14 g
Dietary Fiber 1 g
Protein 28 g
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.