Chicken marinade is just one of many marinade recipes but what exactly is a marinade? Simply, any flavored liquid that is absorbed by meat or vegetables is called a marinade. It’s the act of soaking and should have an acid, an oil and other seasoning or flavorings.
It adds flavor and tenderizes via an acid base such as vinegar, lemon juice, yogurt, wine or beer. A good chicken marinade can enhance an otherwise boring piece of chicken.
The acidic ingredient in marinade recipes tenderize your food while the oil works to distribute the various seasonings and adds moisture.
Dry marinades are also known as “rubs”. They are stronger in flavor and form a flavor crust on the outside of the meat or vegetable to counter the unseasoned food under it.
Tips for using a Chicken Marinade or Any Marinade
To get the best flavor and the best results when making your own chicken marinade or meat marinade, I’ve listed below some helpful tips to follow:
- Acid based varieties should never be used in an aluminum pan. The acid can react with the aluminum altering the flavor. Always use a plastic container or a zip-lock type plastic bag.
- Use 1/2 cup of marinade for each pound of meat or vegetables to be soaked.
- Small chunks of meat or fish (after pricking with a fork) should soak in marinade for 15-30 minutes at room temperature.
- Poultry, in a chicken marinade or small meat pieces take 4 hours in the refrigerator or 1 hour at room temperature for best use.
- Larger, tough cuts of meat will take 2 days in the refrigerator
- Blend fruit juice with a different flavored jam for a twist on marinade recipes and use as a basting sauce when grilling
Six Marinade Recipes Exploring Flavor Blends
Any of the recipes listed below will work well as a chicken marinade or for other grilled foods but work equally well for baked foods when grilling isn’t an option. I use them move for baking simply because I enjoy the aroma in my house while it’s cooking.
All Purpose Marinade:
Soak 1-1/2 pounds of meat in 1/4 cup of squeezed fresh lemon juice, 1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil, 1/2 cup minced red or yellow onion, 2 minced cloves of garlic and 1/8 teaspoon of red pepper flakes.
Mix 1/2 cup peanut oil, 1/4 cup sugar, 1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce, 1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger, 1 clove of garlic minced and 2 tablespoon of sweet dry red wine.
Hot & Spicy Chicken Marinade Flavor:
Marinade chicken in 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, 1/4 cup chopped mint, 1 teaspoon thyme, 1-1/2 teaspoons chili powder and 1 teaspoon ground black pepper for 3 hours. Sauce can be used for basting while grilling chicken.
Soak 1 pound of pork for about 1 hour in 2 tablespoons of low sodium soy sauce, 1 teaspoon ginger, 2 minced cloves of garlic, and 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon. Another option would be to soak 1 pound of pork in 1 cup of apple juice, 2 tablespoons of curry powder, 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper and 1 teaspoon kosher salt or sea salt.
Soak 1 pound of seafood or fish for 30 minutes in 1 teaspoon of coriander, 1/8 teaspoon of allspice, the juice of 1 fresh lemon and a splash of extra virgin olive oil. TIP – Soaking the fish in milk first will get rid of that fishy taste.
All Purpose Meat Marinade:
Soak your meat selection overnight in 3/4 cup low sodium soy sauce, 1/8 cup Worcestershire sauce, 1 cup dry red wine, 1/2 cup chopped scallions, 1 clove of minced garlic, 3/4 teaspoon of dried oregano and 3 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice.