• Balsmaic Rosemary Chicken Skewers and Cipollini Onions

Balsamic Rosemary Chicken Skewers and Cipollini Onions

Balsamic Rosemary Chicken Skewers and Cipollini Onions….is there anything better than that?  Balsamic acts as a tenderizer so you get this really tender, flavorful chicken that turns a nice golden brown color on the grill or in the skillet.  My kids actually LOVE this recipe for chicken.  I added the Cipollini onions because they are small and could be easily skewered to make a really cute presentation of chicken and onions.  Same with the lemon slices.  Your guests can remove the lemon from the skewer and squeeze over the chicken when it’s on the plate  But, if you didn’t want to go to that much effort on presentation….and hey I don’t blame you….then just keep the chicken breasts whole and put a sprig of rosemary in it and serve the onions on the side.  All good.

The end of summer is fast approaching and that just makes me want to grill anything and everything I can.  Because in two months, even in California, I could be standing in the kitchen looking out at the lonely grill through a sheet of rain and wishing I’d taken advantage of the hot, dry summer.  This Balsamic Rosemary Chicken recipe is an ode to summer and the memories that carry us through until next year.

I happen to have a ton of rosemary growing in my yard so I just used that and stripped them down to about 3 inch sprigs with mostly just the stem in tact.  I tried to find really sturdy pieces of rosemary because that makes them easier to skewer and more durable on the plate.  The kind you buy in the grocery store tends to be pretty sturdy.  You can pretty much cut those in half and get 2 skewers per sprig.

The onions get a little slippery, especially once roasted.  I like to blanch mine first to get the skin off.  It just makes it easier.  Then you roast them in the balsamic and honey and rosemary marinade until they are tender and golden.  I like to turn mine at least once to ensure both sides are getting that color from the heat and the balsamic combination.  When you are actually putting them on the skewer they may fall apart a little bit but I just shoved them on there.  It didn’t matter if they were perfectly intact.  They will be followed up by a lemon slice and that really keeps the whole thing in place.

Enjoy these Balsamic Rosemary Chicken Skewers and Cipollini Onions anytime of the year – definitely try them once before summer is up!

Here’s the play by play starting with the ingredients:

Rosemary skewers

Balsamic Honey Chicken Rosemary Skewer Ingredients

For the chicken

Halve the first lemon, smash and roughly chop the garlic, and set aside your fresh rosemary sprigs.  Then rinse and dry the chicken and set aside.

sliced lemon

1 lemon sliced

fresh rosemary sprigs

fresh rosemary sprigs

four cloves garlic, Rosemary Balsamic Chicken Skewers

Four cloves garlic smashed and roughly chopped

Add the lemons, garlic and rosemary to a gallon-sized zip lock bag.

Add ingredients for balsamic chicken to zip lock bag

Add ingredients to zip lock bag

Then add in the chicken…

Rosemary Balsamic Chicken Skewers, add chicken

Add chicken breasts to zip lock bag

Season well with salt and pepper

Season with salt and pepper

Season with salt and pepper

Add about 3 Tablespoons of the honey

Add honey

Add honey

Then the 1/4 cup of the balsamic vinegar

Balsamic Rosemary Chicken Skewers, add balsamic

Add balsamic vinegar

Then 3 Tablespoons of olive oil and seal the bag.

Add olive oil

Add olive oil

Kind of mix it around gently to get all the good flavors combined and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to overnight.

Seal and gently shake to combine

Seal and gently shake to combine

For the onions

Bring a pot of water to a gentle boil and add the onion and blanch for 2-3 minutes.  Preheat oven to 350

Balsamic Rosemary Skewers, blanch the onions

Blanch the Cipollini onions

Drain the onions and set aside to cool until able to work with them.

Drain and cool the onions

Drain and cool the onions

Meanwhile make the marinade with the remaining 2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar, 1 Tablespoon honey, 1 Tablespoon olive oil, some of the fresh rosemary chopped and a little salt and pepper.

marinade for the onions

Marinade for the Cipollini onions

When the onions are cooled then peel them and add them to the marinade.

Peel onions and add to the marinade

Peel onions and add to the marinade

Place onions and marinade in an oven proof pan and roast for 25-30 or until golden brown.

Cipollini onions in marinade

Add Cipollini onions and marinade to oven proof roasting pan and roast on 350 for 25-30 minutes

Roasted onions should be tender but not mushy and a little golden brown.

Roasted Cipollini Onions

Roasted Cipollini Onions

Cool, and chop in half.

Cut onions in half

Cut onions in half and set aside

Cook the chicken

Get that grill or grill pan ready!  Drain the chicken from the marinade and set aside.  Toss the marinade.

Drain the chicken from the marinade

Drain the chicken from the marinade and preheat grill

Grill the chicken until just done or internal temp is about 155.  Set aside and tent the chicken. It will continue to cook while resting and reach 160.

Balsamic Marinated Chicken Skewers with Cipollini Onions

Grilled chicken


Cut the chicken into about 1/2 inch cubes and slice and quarter the last lemon.  Set all the ingredients aside and get the rosemary skewers ready.

Assemble Balsamic Rosemary Chicken Skewers

Diced chicken and other ingredients ready to assemble

Strip the rosemary skewers so that only about 1/4 inch of the rosemary remains and most of it is the stem.

Rosemary sprigs as skewers

Rosemary sprig skewers

Quartered lemon slices

Quartered lemon slices

Assemble by adding the chicken to the sprig, then the onion, then a quarter of a lemon and set on the platter.  Continue until they are all done.  Serve on it’s own or with a salad in the center of the platter such as the tomato and basil salad featured in the final picture.

assemble the chicken rosemary skewers

Assemble the chicken rosemary skewers with onion and lemon




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Balsamic Rosemary Chicken Skewers with Cipollini Onions

Prep Time: 15 minutes plus 2 hours for marinade time
Cook Time: 30 mins
Serves: 6 people


  • 1 lb skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • 7 oz Cipollini Onions
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 Tablespoons good quality Baslamic Vinegar, divided
  • 5-6 full sprigs fresh rosemary, plus approximatly 18 (3-inch) sprigs if using for skewers
  • 2 lemons
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 4 Tablespoons honey, divided
  • 4 Tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • salt and pepper


  1. Cut and slice the first lemon into quarters. Roughly chop the garlic. Rinse and pat dry the chicken.
  2. Add the lemons, garlic and rosemary to a resealable bag or tupperware and add in the chicken. Season well with salt and pepper then add in the 2 Tablespoons of honey, 1/4 cup of baslamic vinegar, and the 2 tablespoons of oil. Shake gently to combine and refrigerate for 2 hours or up to overnight.
  3. Bring a pot of water to a gentle boil and add in the Cipollini onions. Blanch for 2-3 minutes and drain. Preaheat oven to 350 degrees. Cool the onions and prepare the marinade by adding in the remaining 2 Tablespoons vingar, 1 Tablespoon honey, 1 Tablespoon oil, salt, pepper and a little rosemary then mix to combine
  4. Peel the onions and add to the marinade and coat well. Add the onions and marinade to a roasting pan and roast for 25-30 minutes. Cool and set aside then cut in half.
  5. Preheat a grill or grill pan. Remove the chicken from the marinade. Cook chicken until internal temp reaches 155 degrees and then tent and let rest until chicken reaches 160.
  6. Cut the chicken into 1/2 inch cubes, slice and quarter the last onion and prepare the rosemary sprig skewers (if using)
  7. Assemble the chicken skewers by adding first the chicken, then the onion, then a lemon slice. Continue until all the ingredients are gone. Place on a platter and serve

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