Roast Chicken with Balsamic Vinegar and Sage

November 11, 2009 | By andrea | Filed in: Chicken, Comfort Food, Italian, Main Dish, Recipes.

Roast Chicken Balsamic SageA good roast chicken is one of the ultimate comfort foods. This recipe, an updated version of a classic, uses balsamic vinegar which adds flavor and creates a great pan sauce that gets drizzled over the carved chicken. It’s hard to believe that something this good is so easy to make.

The recipe says it serves 6 but I guess that depends on serving size. When I make roast chicken for 6 adults, I roast 2 birds (it’s just as easy to double the recipe). My philosophy: I’d rather have too much than not enough. Whip up a few side dishes and you’ve got a wonderful dinner that’s easy enough for weeknight cooking yet delicious enough for company. Heck, you could even make this for Thanksgiving if you didn’t feel like messing with a turkey.

Roast Chicken with Balsamic Vinegar and Sage
(Pollo Arrosto al Balsamico)
-recipe from

Serves 4-6.

For cooking purposes, the less expensive commercially made balsamic vinegars will suffice. They add a pleasant sweet-tart lift to sauces and soups and form a lovely brown glaze on grilled meats and poultry.

1 chicken, about 5 lb.
12 fresh sage leaves
2 large garlic cloves, chopped
2 Tbs. olive oil
2 Tbs. balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp. sugar
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Preheat an oven to 350ºF.

Rinse the chicken and pat dry. Tuck the wings behind the back. Using your fingers, gently loosen the skin on the breast and legs, being careful not to tear the skin. Insert a few of the sage leaves and some of the garlic under the skin, distributing them evenly. Pat the skin firmly back in place. Tuck the remaining sage leaves and garlic into the cavity.

In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper. Rub some of the mixture over the chicken and pour the remainder inside the cavity. Cross the drumsticks and, using kitchen string, tie the legs together. Place the chicken, breast side up, on a rack in a roasting pan.

Roast the chicken, basting occasionally with the pan drippings, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh, away from the bone, registers 170ºF and the juices run clear when a thigh is pierced, about 1 1/2 hours.

Transfer the chicken to a carving board and cover loosely with aluminum foil.

Pour the pan juices through a fine-mesh sieve into a small saucepan. Skim off the fat. Reheat to serving temperature, if necessary.

Carve the chicken and arrange on a warmed platter. Pour the pan juices over the chicken and serve immediately.

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2 comments on “Roast Chicken with Balsamic Vinegar and Sage

  1. Memoria says:

    This chicken looks absolutely perfect.

  2. Rebecka says:

    I used this recipe card from Williams Sonoma to prepare game hens for Christmas dinner. It turned out so well my guests asked for the recipe, so I found this one to send to them.

    I modified the recipe a bit, starting out breast down over about a cup of chicken broth/water and tightly covered with foil. About half way through, while basting, I turned the birds breast-side up and recovered. Just before serving, I uncovered and browned the breasts in a 400-degree oven.

    BTW, my husband insists that vinegar is like wine–don’t cook with it unless you like how it tastes to begin with as the flavors concentrate in cooking. I guess I once made some version that he didn’t like.

    This execution was heaven…much prefered to the Tur-duck-hen also served.