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Balsamic Roasted Chicken Breasts

Balsamic Roasted Chicken Breasts


You will never say your chicken breasts come out dry ever again. The marinating step is important here, so please do not skip it, the reward is a fabulous dish. Smile: This is one of only a handful of recipes in my book that do need an extra step, so: Not too bad!


  • 1 bunch basil, leaves only (about 1 cup packed)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 6 large cloves garlic
  • Coarsely ground pepper to taste
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 5 whole medium boneless chicken breasts, skin on if you can find
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar


  1. In a food processor, form a paste with the basil, oil, garlic, pepper and wine.
  2. Transfer to a mixing bowl, combine well with the chicken, and marinate overnight.
  3. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  4. Arrange the chicken in one layer, marinade and all. Bake 15 minutes.
  5. Add the vinegar and bake 10 more minutes.
  6. Let them rest just a few minutes, then slice each breast across, you will get 3-4 thick slices per breast.
  7. Serve hot with all the cooking juices. Room temperature will be OK too.
Lévana Kirschenbaum was co-owner of Levana Restaurant on Manhattan’s Upper West Side (alas, recently closed after thirty two years), and the pioneer in Kosher upscale dining. She is a cooking teacher and cookbook author, and gets countless devoted fans for her fearless, practical and nutritious approach to cooking. She gives weekly cooking demos, and gets cooking demo engagements around the country. For more information on Lévana's demos, recipes, or latest cookbook, "The Whole Foods Kosher Kitchen: Glorious Meals Pure and Simple” visit her blog.
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Anonymous Jerusalem May 25, 2016

Can any part of this recipe be made ahead and frozen? I want to make it for Shavuot, but I have a lot of fresh basil that I just bought today. Should I freeze it raw with the marinade and then defrost and cook, or cook it and freeze it, or none of the above? Thank you Reply

Anonymous Canada April 19, 2016

my turn into a liquid not a paste. I follow the instructions carefully. What did I do wrong? Thanks
M. Reply

abigael April 14, 2016

photo Is the picture there actually of the recipe? Or is it a stock picture? I know Levana often uses stock photos. That might explain why so many of us are thinking our chicken came out wrong. Reply

Karen Maryland March 23, 2016

question I followed the instructions and got a liquid instead of a paste. What did I do wrong? Also, the chicken was green - very pretty and delicious, everyone liked it, but definitely not the look in the picture. Thank you. Reply

Anonymous December 14, 2015

Does the Basil have to be fresh? or does dried basil leaves work as well? Reply

Anonymous October 12, 2015

great stuff! Reply

Levana Kirschenbaum May 3, 2015

Just rephrasing your question, to make sure it's all clear:
Can you substitute Rosemary for the Basil?
Flavor-wise, no problem. But since Rosemary can only be used sparingly
(1-2 sprigs), you wouldn't end up with the generous bright green paste the
basil gives you here. So I would say, use Rosemary in another preparation,
and keep the basil here to ensure the texture. Reply

Sabina Baltimore April 3, 2015

Can I substitute basil with fresh rosemary Reply

Monica westwood October 21, 2014

Skillet Since I do not have an oven yet, can I cook the above recipe in a skillet? Reply

Levana September 28, 2014

Dear anonymous, please add the balsamic all the way at the end as instructed, so as not to keep the colors bright, and the flavors bright. Reply

Levana September 28, 2014

Robin a food processor is most useful in a kitchen. It will reduce your labor for the preparation of all your meals. If you don't have one, use a blender Reply

Levana Kirschenbaum New York September 27, 2014

Chicken Breast in Balsamic sauce Shelley, the recipe is tried and true: Please follow instructions as they are given: Temperature, amounts, steps. No instructions for covering, so no covering. It's amazing! Reply

Robin oklahoma September 25, 2014

What if you don't have a food processor? What then? Reply

Shelley Thornhill September 25, 2014

The pic of the chicken on this page looks great. I don't understand why it looks this nice brownish golden colour…I made it last night for dinner. The marinade comes out green from the basil, and rather unappealing. I don't see how the chicken could possibly some out the golden brown colour as shown. I found the taste also to be less than amazing. All I could basically taste was the basil. (and I followed the recipe quantities, in case you were wondering ). I would love your feedback. Reply

Shelley Toronto September 24, 2014

Shana Tova!
I am trying this recipe for dinner tonight. I ran into difficulty from the get go.
The basil, with that much oil and wine did not process into a paste, rather a sauce.
Did anyone else encounter this?
I also found the temp of 450 very high. I usually do chicken no hotter than 375.
Is there a reason it's so high?
Also, not being a terribly seasoned cook, it did not specify whether the pan should be covered or not. I think I will try covered for a bit and see how it goes.
Any help would be appreciated. Reply

Tamara p. Orange, ca April 15, 2014

Great chicken Amazeballs Reply

Silvia Israel April 10, 2014

Ooops...and I wondered about your high temperatures!!
I wish you a חג פסח שמח !! Reply

Levana Kirschenbaum New York April 10, 2014

Silvia, Your temperatures may be Celsius. These (my) temperatures are Farenheit. Begin by finding the equivalencies, right online Reply

Silvia Israel April 10, 2014

Silvia Preheat oven to 450 degrees???
My oven only heats up to 250 degrees.
So,what I"ll do??? Reply

Anonymous New York April 8, 2014

Levana, this looks great. What if we add the balsamic vinegar straightaway into the marinade? Would the flavor be too overpowering? Thanks! Reply

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