Budget Friendly Balsamic Chicken Thighs

With the new year upon us, I am making an extra effort to save money and stick to a budget.  I've always been pretty strict with my budgeting, and have used Budget Simple for years, but often my food purchases trump all other priorities.  Let's face the facts, I love food.  Grocery shopping is an experience for me.   It is very rare that you will catch me rushing through the aisles grabbing things.  I like to look, and feel, and smell.

Alas, this year will be different.  I am going to challenge myself to make meals that my family loves, and that we can comfortably afford.  I'm going to make a game of it; how much money can I really save?  I bet tons.

I came across a blog called Budget Bytes last year and have been following it religiously for several months.  Beth, the author, prides herself with cooking on a budget, and boy is she ever amazing at it.  I love her recipes - they are quick and easy, and use pantry staples with the occasional "splurge". 

I made her Balsamic Chicken Thighs tonight, and they were amazing (not that I'm surprised!).

The only change I made was using bone-in chicken thighs rather than boneless. This picture is from her website, and her recipe is below, although I removed the parsley - I don't really garnish any of my recipes.  Yes, they make the dish look beautiful, it's just not my thing. 

Make sure you check out the rest of her fabulous blog - there are hundreds of wallet friendly recipes on there.  There's no excuse not to eat well on a budget!

2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 cloves garlic
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp soy sauce
Freshly cracked black pepper
4 boneless skinless chicken thighs
Fresh parsley for garnish (optional)
Mince the garlic and combine it in a bowl with the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, soy sauce, and a healthy dose of freshly cracked pepper (about 20 cranks of a pepper mill). Place the chicken thighs in a shallow dish or heavy duty zip top bag and pour the marinade over top. Marinate the chicken in the refrigerator for 1 to 8 hours. (You can do this before you leave for work in the morning.)  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Pour the chicken and marinade into a baking dish. Place the chicken in the oven and bake for 45 minutes. Use a spoon or baster to bathe the chicken with the juices from the bottom of the dish once or twice during baking.  Remove the chicken from the oven after 45 minutes and sprinkle a handful of freshly chopped parsley over top.
This marinade would be enough to flavor six boneless, skinless chicken thighs, if needed.
Full disclosure-  I have never met or spoken to Beth, I'm just obsessed with her blog.  I hope you love it (and this recipe) as much as I do!