The BEST Chicken Marinade Recipe is so easy and makes the best chicken ever! Loaded with the perfect amount of flavor, this marinade recipe is made with simple ingredients.
We eat chicken a lot in our house. I prefer chicken to red meat, even though I know my husband would disagree. I just love how versatile and easy a chicken recipe is to prepare! Most often, though, we enjoy grilled chicken. And while I love to play around with all sorts of flavors and marinades, I ALWAYS come back to my most favorite…the BEST Chicken Marinade.
Once you make this chicken marinade it will be your go-to recipe!
How to Make Chicken Marinade
Making your own chicken marinade is so easy, really all you do is mix everything together and pour it over chicken! It’s really about what’s in great about a good marinade recipe is you can really make it your own, you just need a few important ingredients which you can mix and match!
- Always use an oil. I like a light oil, like vegetable so it doesn’t impart a lot of flavor, and also doesn’t firm up in the fridge!
- An acid is key to a good marinade recipe. I use vinegars a lot, but you can also use a citrus juice, or even wine. The acid balances out the oil and also help tenderize the meat.
- A little bit of sweetener in a marinade is important, but not a must. I use honey in most of my marinades, but also love brown sugar. If you are on a low-sugar diet you can leave this out.
- And finally spices are key. This is where you can get creative. This marinade recipe that I am sharing is pretty classic, and you can absolutely doctor it up with extra spices if you are looking for a specific flavor. I really like adding a little dijon mustard into my marinade, as a secret ingredient!
How long should I marinate chicken?
I get this question all the time. And the answer depends…for my Best Chicken Marinade Recipe, I feel like over night is best, but at least 4 hours. If you don’t leave the marinade on long enough…I mean, what’s the point? And too long sitting in marinade can be…well…too long. The acid in the marinade can start to break down the meat and give it a mushy texture. But don’t worry it will take a while for this to happen with the amount of acid that’s in this recipe. However, I wouldn’t recommend letting it marinade for more than 1 day. If you need to let the marinade sit longer for some reason, don’t add the acid until the last 60 minutes or so before cooking.
Tips to Add Flavor to Chicken Marinade
If you just don’t have at least 4 hours, you can tweak a marinade to pack more flavor punch.
- Use a more robust vinegar, like Balsamic, in place of the acid.
- A splash or Worcestershire sauce also will amp up the flavor.
- You can also add more flavor packed spices, like rosemary or basil!
- Even add in a little heat if spicy is your thing! Mix in 1 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes for a little spice!
AND make my AWESOME Chicken Dipping Sauce to go with it…it’s our FAVORITE!
Looking for more chicken recipes? Try These:Print
The best chicken marinade ever!
- 3/4 cup soy sauce
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 3 teaspoons minced garlic
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon ground pepper
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 2–3 pounds trimmed chicken breasts
- In a bowl whisk together all the ingredients.
- Add chicken to a large zip-top bag. Pour the marinade over the chicken.
- Press out the extra air in the zip-top bag and seal. Squeeze the chicken in the bag, to make sure all chicken is covered in marinade.
- Place the bag in the refrigerator and allow to chill for at least 4 hours or overnight.
- When ready to grill chicken, remove the chicken from the refrigerator 15 minutes prior to cooking.
- Preheat the grill to high heat. Place chicken on the grill, discarding extra marinade. Lower grill temperature to medium and cook on each side 5-6 minutes, depending on the thickness, or until internal temperature is 165°F.
- Remove the chicken from the grill and allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving.
If you would like to bake the chicken: Preheat oven to 400°F. Place chicken in a large baking dish. Bake for 25 minutes, or until juices run clear and internal temperature reaches 165°F.
NOTE – you can add add different spices into the mix to suit your own taste or dinner idea!
Keywords: chicken recipe, chicken marinade, cookies and cups, easy marinade