Chicken is such wonderful meat! It is versatile, healthy, and pretty easy to cook. But it can also be easily over or undercooked causing illness or inedible meat. The following recipes explore various marinades, rubs, and cooking methods to really get the most out of your chicken and shake things up!
The Best Chicken Marinade Recipe
The trick to marinating chicken (or really any meat) is finding the right acidic flavor profile. The acid is the main component to tenderizing and flavoring the meat so choosing the right one is imperative. In this recipe, it combines several acidic flavor profiles by using lemon juice, soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, and Worcestershire sauce. It may seem like a lot of acidity for one recipe, but that is where the balance of sweetness comes in from the brown sugar.
- 2 lbs. Chicken Breasts Tenders, or Thighs
- 1/3 – 1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil depending on preference
- 3 Tablespoons Fresh Lemon Juice
- 3 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
- 2 Tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
- 1/4 cup Brown Sugar
- 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
- 3 Garlic Cloves minced or 1/2 teaspoon Garlic Powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon Pepper
- Fresh Parsley
- In a bowl, stir together oil, lemon juice, soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, salt, and pepper.
- Pierce chicken breasts with a fork all over. Place in a large Ziploc bag. Pour marinade over chicken.
- Let marinate for at least 30 minutes. 4 – 5 hours is ideal.
- Preheat grill to medium heat. Brush grill with oil to prevent sticking.
- Place chicken on the grill. Cook for approximately 5 – 6 minutes per side, depending on the thickness of chicken. The internal temperature of the chicken should reach 165 degrees.
- Remove chicken from grill and let rest for 5 minutes.
Marinades are great for any cooking method, baking, grilling, slow cooking, roasting, etc.
Southern Style Dry Rub for Pork or Chicken
This is a cool rub recipe because it can be used for chicken but it can also be applied to pork! This is due to the clever combination of versatile ingredients that make up this dry rub.
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup paprika
- 1/4 cup coarse salt
- 2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons garlic powder
- 2 tablespoons onion powder
- 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
- Whisk brown sugar, paprika, salt, black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and cayenne pepper together in a bowl. Store in an airtight container.
The most important tip for this recipe is the whisking. If the dry ingredients are not properly whisked then the rub will not be even when applied to the chicken is pork. Dry rubs are great when you plan to cook the best on the grill or in a smoker.
Contest-Winning Chicken with Mushroom Sauce
I had to include this recipe for a chicken sauce even if it isn’t a marinade or rub. This particular recipe explores how a sauce can be made and added to. Chicken dish to delicate its flavor. This is a simple recipe that uses ingredients you probably already have in the pantry and (I believe) anyone can make!
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1/2 cup fat-free milk
- 4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (4 ounces each)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1/2 pound sliced fresh mushrooms
- 1/2 medium onion, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup sherry or chicken broth
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon pepper
- Mix cornstarch and milk until smooth. Pound chicken with a meat mallet to 1/4-in. thickness.
- In a large nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium heat; cook chicken until no longer pink, 5-6 minutes per side. Remove from pan.
- In the same pan, heat butter over medium-high heat; saute mushrooms and onion until tender. Stir in sherry, salt, and pepper; bring to a boil. Stir cornstarch mixture and add to the pan. Return to a boil; cook and stir until thickened, 1-2 minutes. Return chicken to pan; heat through.
When using a sauce to flavor your chicken, it is almost always added after the chicken is cooked or the chicken is cooked in it. This is best when using a slow cooker or a roasting pan in the oven.