Japanese Balsamic Chicken – Sharing Family History

Japanese Balsamic Chicken

As we come to the end of another school year we are making plans for all the trips and Feises we want to make this summer. So, that mean also looking at the budget. We LOVE food but not at the expense of our adventures. So, I am trying to still keep our game going but at the same time clear out our pantry and buy as little non-fresh food as possible.

Chicken drumsticks and thighs always seem to be on sale somewhere. I bought these for $.98 a pound a while back and still have a few frozen packages in my freezer. My family prefers chicken breasts but at $2.48 a pound recently I am buying more chicken thighs and drumsticks than chicken breasts. Saturday I did buy 15 pounds of chicken breasts, but it was on sale for $1.98. That is the cheapest I have seen it in Southwest Michigan in a while. So, you will be seeing lots of chicken dishes on my blog this month.

I was searching through Pinterest to find a dish that was different. My family gets tired of the same style dishes just like any other family. I recently served two different pasta based dishes two nights in a row and you would have thought I was trying to kill them. The dishes were very different, one fried and one a casserole but they both had pasta in them. It is not easy to feed this foodie family.

Japanese Balsamic Chicken - Platter

I had a conversation recently with someone who mentioned even though their family is mostly from Germany they didn’t know how to cook any of the dishes that their mother and grandmother used to make. I thought that was incredibly sad. Often as our families have spread out and we no longer live in the same towns or even the same states as our relatives we are losing food traditions within our families. Kids no longer grow up standing at grandma or mom’s stove stirring and adding ingredients. We are fearful they may burn themselves or we don’t let them help with ingredients because they are too little. We are losing a great opportunity to pass down not just food traditions but lessons. Lessons in food, life and love.

Part of what I love about cooking at home is having my children around me. I know that they are each learning life skills and family values by helping me cook dinner. We talk about why we cook what we do. Family stories are passed down and they learn the history of our families.

I found this recipe for Japanese Mum’s Chicken on Food.com. I loved the story in the description about the exchange student calling her mother in Japan to find out her recipe for chicken to make for her American family. I of course had to try the recipe but I did make a few changes to the dish.


We loved this dish. Even my rice hating daughter gobbled up the rice with the balsamic sauce poured over it. It has a nice tang to it but mellowed with a sweetness.

I made 8 drumsticks and the entire dish was gone by the end of dinner.

I served this with white rice, a side of green beans and a green side salad.

This dish was great for my mostly gluten-free son as I use all gluten-free ingredients (remember to check your soy sauce is gluten-free) and he ate the same meal as the rest of us.



  1. Place chicken and all other ingredients in a large saucepan over medium-high heat.
  2. Bring all ingredients to a boil and lower to simmer for about 25-30 minutes.
  3. As the pan is boiling skim off any foam that rises in the pan.
  4. After chicken is cooked remove from the pan and raise the heat back to medium-high. Allow the glaze to reduce until it is slightly thickened.
  5. Pour glaze over chicken and rice when serving.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. dishdessert says:

    I love your website. Nice recipe . I invete to my blog : https://dishdessert.wordpress.com

    Liked by 1 person

    1. koolaidmoms says:

      Thank you! I started following you!

      Liked by 1 person

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