Best Grilled Chicken Marinade Recipe

At Drummond Ranch, the chicken for dinner is always a winner, but after a quick dip in a tasty marinade, this grilled chicken hits the jackpot! Marinade recipes take a little longer, but the tasty results are worth it, especially when the recipe is so simple! Take a bite and you’ll see how it transforms a simple chicken into one of the best grilling recipes on the market! The trick to making the best grilled chicken is knowing how to marinate the chicken in the first place. A marinade flavors the chicken before cooking and ensures that it remains very juicy and tender (never dry). Follow the tips below to marinate chicken like a pro!

What are the components of a good marinade?

A good grilled chicken marinade includes all the flavors you would want in the finished dish: a little fat, a pinch of salt, something sweet, and a little shine. Here is what you will need:

  1. Big: Olive oil has its own fruity, buttery, and herbal flavors that work well when marinating chicken.
  2. Salt: Soy sauce is our “seasoning” of choice. Besides adding salt, it has a slight sweetness and a rich umami flavor.
  3. Candy: The brown sugar in the marinade not only balances the saltiness of the soy sauce and the acidity of the lemon juice, but it also adds a hint of caramelized flavor to the chicken. You can also substitute honey or molasses, if needed.
  4. Brightness: Lemon juice and Dijon mustard act as flavor enhancers by giving the marinade the acidity it needs. Plus, the fresh herbs provide a bright element that ensures chicken is never boring! If you want to switch up the herbs, you can swap out rosemary, oregano, or parsley.

How can I make this marinade mine?

It’s easy to customize this marinade with what’s available in your pantry. For the oil, do not hesitate to use a neutral oil, such as rapeseed oil or vegetable oil. No soy sauce? Try Worcestershire sauce. Instead of lemon juice, try lime juice or an equal amount of your favorite vinegar, such as white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar.

What’s the easiest way to marinate chicken?

Once you’ve gathered your ingredients, all you need to marinate the chicken is a one-gallon zip-top bag. This method makes cleaning easier: just throw the bag away when you’re done. This way you don’t have to worry about infecting bacteria – just seal the discarded bag, throw it in the trash and grill. Just a word of warning: the chicken needs to marinate for at least 30 minutes (or up to 4 hours) to really infuse with all that delicious flavor. When you’re ready to grill, just be sure to pat the chicken dry before cooking to prevent any flare-ups. We use bone-in chicken pieces (like drumsticks, thighs, or thigh quarters) because the bone and chicken skin help protect the meat from the high heat of the grill and keep it moist and juicy. . It’s a tasty alternative to your typical roast chicken dinner.

Should I marinate the chicken before grilling it?

You can grill chicken without a marinade, but a marinade can work in as little as 30 minutes to give your chicken tons of flavor and juiciness. In fact, making a marinade is so easy you can even make it ahead by making the marinade in a mason jar up to 4 days ahead. Store it in the fridge at the start of the week to have a grilled chicken marinade all weekend.

Can I baste the chicken with the marinade while cooking?

It’s safest to avoid using a marinade that has come in contact with raw chicken. Although the flames of the grill can theoretically kill all bacteria, this is not 100% sure. If you want to baste the chicken, reserve some of the marinade before adding the chicken, or increase the marinade recipe and set some aside for basting.

How long should chicken marinate before grilling?

If you’re in a hurry, you can marinate chicken in just 30 minutes, but if you have a bit more time, marinate it for up to 4 hours to really infuse it with flavor. Be careful not to marinate too much, it will affect the texture of the meat (12 hours would be the maximum!).

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