Sweet Balsamic Chicken and Olive Rice

Image of Team Mealthy
Rated 5.0 based on 5 customer reviews


  • Marinade
  • ½ cup chicken broth
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 lemon, juiced

  • Chicken
  • coarse sea salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 4 large skinless, bone-in chicken thighs
  • 4 thick slices sweet onion
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges
  • 5 sprigs fresh rosemary

  • Rice
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup white rice
  • 2 tablespoons chopped Kalamata olives
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest


  1. Move a rack to the center position of the oven. Preheat oven to 375°F (180°C).
  2. Stir broth, vinegar, maple syrup, and lemon juice together in a bowl until marinade is smooth. Transfer ½ cup marinade to a separate bowl and reserve for later use.
  3. Place chicken in bowl with remaining marinade and turn to coat; refrigerate 30 to 60 minutes.
  4. Heat a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high. Remove chicken thighs from marinade; shake to remove excess moisture and discard the marinade. Season chicken with salt and pepper.
  5. Sear thighs in hot skillet until marinade begins to caramelize and chicken is golden brown, about 4 minutes per side; transfer chicken to a plate.
  6. Lay onion slices into the skillet; top each with a chicken thigh. Add garlic cloves and reserved 1/2 cup marinade to the skillet.
  7. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes. Add lemon wedges and rosemary to the skillet and continue cooking in oven until the chicken is no longer pink in the center and the juices run clear, 10 to 12 minutes more. A thermometer inserted near the bone should read at least 165 degrees F (75 degrees C).
  8. Mix water and rice in a saucepan; bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and cover. Cook rice until water is completely absorbed and rice is tender, 12 to 14 minutes. Fluff rice with a fork and let cool slightly.
  9. Transfer cooled rice to a large bowl; add olives, olive oil, parsley, and lemon zest and mix. Season rice mixture with salt to serve with chicken immediately out of oven.
Mealthy tip:

This makes a fantastic dinner party dish; simply double the ingredients to make a great family-style centerpiece that everyone can dig into! Try honey or agave nectar instead of the maple syrup in the marinade. Quinoa works well instead of the rice, if you are looking for a whole grain and a little more texture. Orzo is also a good option in place of the rice. Or mix rice and orzo!


5.0out of 5 Stars

(5 Reviews)

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What others are saying

Image of Tarragon Boi

Tarragon Boi says:

I was worried that the balsamic glaze that they made would stick in my cast iron pan and create a big mess, so I did part of it in my non-stick pan and then finished it on a baking sheet. This was a huge mistake, because a week later I made it again in cast iron and it tasted SO much better. The real difference was in the onions, which caramelize in the pan and turn out great.

Image of Katie Hason

Katie Hason says:

The olive rice was so good, the parsley made it so flavorful. The chicken was also delicious! I'm thinking about adding this recipe to my holiday menu.

Image of Laura Griffin

Laura Griffin says:

I've never had olive rice before, and I was a little hesitant at first. However, it was really good! Parsley is my new favorite ingredient to cook with, and I was excited to try it in the rice. The meat was also very flavorful, a sweet and zesty combination. I felt like a real chef after making this!

Image of Stephanie D

Stephanie D says:

This was so good! I did lemon rice instead of olive rice, and it worked perfectly with the balsamic chicken. I just added lemon juice and extra zest. I also subbed maple syrup with honey. Such a delicious meal!

Image of Melissa Hunter

Melissa Hunter says:

Loved the marinade, but skipped the sweetener. The olive rice was my favorite, I plan to make this again soon. I used Jasmine rice and it was perfect, so fragrant!