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5 Chicken Marinades

5 Chicken Marinades

Chicken is excellent as a midweek meal option as it is usually very easy and takes a short time to cook. Previously we have covered our favourite chicken breast fillet recipes which will give you plenty of recipe options that are perfect for a variety of tastes and occasions, from a home cooked style Punjabi chicken chicken curry to a classic restaurant favourite Chicken Parmigiana. We also have a fantastic BBQ recipe ideas blog post that has a wonderful recipe for a traditional Tandoori Chicken marinade.


Marinating chicken is one of the easiest ways to ensure that you have a wonderfully tender and juicy chicken dish that is also packed with flavour. Marinades are also very versatile, and can be used on all types of chicken dishes including chicken breasts, chicken goujons, chicken supremes, chicken drumsticks, and chicken thighs. In a previous blog post we covered the science of marinades and how they work to both add flavour and texture to meat. We have also covered our favourite beef steak marinades and pork marinades.


These marinades are perfect for adding flavour to your choice of chicken options. They are fantastic for adding a little zing to chicken cooked as part of a midweek meal, but also a great way to prepare chicken to be grilled on the BBQ. One of the best things about marinating meat is that the main preparation for the meal is done in advance which makes it perfect for those that like to meal prep. If you are having a BBQ this also means you can focus all of your attention to grilling your meat to perfection.


Preparing the marinades below could not be simpler. All you have to do is tip all of the marinade ingredients together in a bowl, then stir, whisk or blend until all of the ingredients are fully combined. Then simply tip your marinade into a freezer or sandwich bag. At this point it is a good idea to use a fork to make small holes into your chicken breasts, or ‘score’ other bigger chunks of chicken by cutting small slits in to the skin of the chicken. This allows for more of the marinade to penetrate the meat deeper which adds extra flavour and means the marinade can work into the deeper layers of the meat and make it more tender. Then simply add your chicken into the freezer or sandwich bag, coat with the marinade, then seal up the bag and place in the fridge. Each of these marinades should be enough for about a kilo of chicken bits or breasts, and can be easily scaled up or down.

Ideally, you want to marinade chicken for at least one hour, although leaving chicken for 5 to 6 hours or overnight is even better. You want to leave the chicken long enough so that there is time for the chicken to absorb all of the flavours of the marinade, but not too long as the acidity and enzymes in the marinade that work to make your meat more tender can actually start to break down the meat too much and make it a little bit mushy.

 

BBQ Chicken Marinade

This marinade is perfect for grilling chicken, whether indoors or outdoors. It has a fantastic blend of simple ingredients that work harmoniously together to create a depth of flavour that will appeal to many. Combining sweet, salty, and tangy ingredients together for a delightfully tasty grilled chicken dish this is sure to be a firm favourite for any BBQ party.

Ingredients:

  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed then minced
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp black pepper

 

Teriyaki Chicken Marinade

This Japanese style marinade can also be used on other types of meat including beef steaks. It also goes incredibly well with pork steaks and pork chops. Containing a satisfying mix of sweet and sour ingredients, the result is meat that is packed with flavour, extremely tender and develops a satisfying sear when grilled. An extra portion of the marinade can also be mixed and simmered together until a thicker consistency develops, which makes for a fantastic sauce that can be served on the side for dipping or drizzled over the meat depending on preference.

Ingredients:

  • 5 tbsp soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp honey
  • 3 tbsp sesame oil
  • 3 tbsp dark brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed then minced
  • 2 cm fresh ginger, grated

 

Honey Mustard Chicken Marinade

This marinade is made from the classic combination that is honey and mustard. The result is a delicious marinade that is crisp, tangy, tart, and sweet in equal measure and adds a fresh and zingy flavour to chicken. Perfect for flavouring chicken to be grilled and served as part of a salad for a refreshingly light, tasty, and easy meal.

Ingredients:

  • 4tbsp olive oil
  • 4 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 4 tbsp honey
  • 4 tbsp Dijon mustard, or wholegrain mustard

 

Jerk Chicken Marinade

Jerk style cooking has its origins in Jamaica and refers to either dry rubs or marinades created with a blend of herbs and spices. Very commonly used with chicken, jerk cooking is extremely popular across the world as a home-cooked dish with the Jamaican diaspora as well as being a restaurant and takeaway favourite. The blend of spices results in meat having an extremely complex flavour. Jerk seasoning tends to be smokey, sweet, spicy, and fragrant. Definitely one for those that like their food with a bit of a kick. Unlike the other marinades on this list, because of the onion, you will need to first blend all of the ingredients together in a blender and then use this mixture to marinate your meat as usual.

Ingredients:

  • 3 spring onions, chopped finely
  • 1 onion, chopped finely
  • 2 Scotch bonnet peppers, less if you don’t like your food too spicy
  • 8 tbsp soy sauce
  • 7 tbsp vinegar
  • 4 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp dark brown sugar
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp ground allspice

 

Chicken Fajita Marinade

This simple marinade is perfect for marinading chicken and peppers together, then grilling to perfection and having the chicken and pepper together in a tortilla wrap for a classic Mexican fajita. This recipe is very versatile though and can be used to make a Mexican style chicken to be served by itself, or in other Mexican dishes like burritos or nachos. You can add a bit of chilli powder to your liking if you want your chicken to have a little bit more heat.

Ingredients:

  • 4 tbsp oil
  • 1 tbsp ground coriander
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed then minced
  • Juice from 3 limes