Chicken marinade is a mixture of ingredients used to marinate chicken before cooking it. Marinating involves soaking the chicken in a flavorful liquid for a period of time, typically several hours or overnight, to enhance its taste and tenderness. Marinades are made by combining various ingredients such as acids, oils, herbs, spices, and other flavorings.
The purpose of marinating chicken is to infuse it with additional flavors, improve its moisture content, and sometimes tenderize the meat. The ingredients used in a chicken marinade can vary depending on personal preferences and the desired flavor profile. Common ingredients include:
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional, for added spice)
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- In a bowl, whisk together the olive oil, soy sauce, lemon juice, minced garlic, dried oregano, paprika, salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes (if using). Alternatively, you can combine the ingredients in a resealable plastic bag.
- Place the chicken breasts in a shallow dish or the resealable plastic bag, and pour the marinade over the chicken, ensuring that each piece is coated thoroughly. If using a plastic bag, seal it tightly, removing any excess air.
- Marinate the chicken in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour, but preferably 4-6 hours or overnight for maximum flavor. If using a plastic bag, you can gently massage the bag a few times during the marinating process to distribute the marinade evenly.
- When you’re ready to cook the chicken, preheat your grill, stovetop grill pan, or oven.
Grilling: Preheat the grill to medium-high heat. Remove the chicken from the marinade and discard the remaining marinade. Grill the chicken for about 6-8 minutes per side, or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F (75°C). Cooking times may vary depending on the thickness of the chicken breasts.
Stovetop Grill Pan: Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Remove the chicken from the marinade and discard the remaining marinade. Cook the chicken for approximately 6-8 minutes per side, or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F (75°C).
Oven: Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Place the marinated chicken breasts on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or foil. Bake for approximately 20-25 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F (75°C).
- Once cooked, remove the chicken from the heat source and let it rest for a few minutes before serving. This allows the juices to redistribute and ensures a juicy and flavorful result.