Just a great Chicken Marinade

Posted on

This is such a great Chicken Marinade – it infuses chicken with savoury flavour as well as making it extra juicy! Particularly great chicken breast though it can be used for any cut.

Use it for a quick 30 minute marinate, though it’s even better if you can leave it for longer!

Cooked chicken breast (after marinated in Chicken Marinade) on a white plate, ready to be served

Chicken Marinade

99% of the time I use this chicken marinade, it’s an emergency eek, gotta do something with that chicken before it goes off! type situation.

And therein lies the beauty of this marinade. It’s the quick-fix for any cut of chicken, and there’s tons of substitution options so you can make it anytime without having to run out to the shops.

It’s savoury with a hint of sweet, and makes the chicken extra juicy which is especially great for chicken breast.

This chicken marinade is sensational for grilled chicken!

Cooked marinated chicken breast - great back pocket chicken marinade!

Loads of substitution options

Here are the ingredients for the chicken marinade. I’ve listed some of the obvious alternatives here, but there’s actually substitutions for every single ingredient – even soy sauce (just use salt and water, that’s a basic brine mix).

Don’t you wish there were more recipes as flexible as this where I could still guarantee a great outcome??😂

Ingredients for chicken marinade

How to cook marinated chicken

What chicken to use?

This marinade will work for any cut of chicken (bone in or out, skin on or off) though it’s especially good for chicken breast because it’s a fast acting flavour injector that adds juiciness into this lean cut of chicken.

How long to marinade chicken?

3 hours to overnight is best. But for chicken breast or boneless thigh, even 30 minutes is effective – you’ll be surprised how much extra flavour you get from such a quick marinade!

Cooking options?

You’ll see that I cook it on the stove in the recipe video below, and it’s ideal for stove, BBQ or broiler/grill because you’ll get lovely browning on the chicken.

If you want to bake this, it’s best to finish it off with a blast under the broiler/grill to get some colour on it. Because colour = flavour, especially for a marinade like this!

Cooked chicken breast (after marinated in Chicken Marinade) in black skillet , ready to be served

How to serve it

Because the chicken sucks up the marinade and makes it extra juicy, you’ll find a good amount of juices pools on the plate as the chicken rests which sort of serves as the sauce. Plus the chicken itself is loaded with juiciness so you’re not going to be missing a sauce here.

Make up a mighty chicken salad, or serve it for dinner with a side salad. It’s pictured below with a Strawberry Spinach Salad that’s coming on Wednesday. One of the best new salads I’ve tried in a while!

Otherwise, try making a big batch of Lemon Potato Salad, Coleslaw, Broccoli Salad or Macaroni Salad that you can keep in the fridge and serve up for days. I’m fond of these because they’re the type of salads that are even better the next day, and the next! ~ Nagi x

Cooked chicken breast (after marinated in Chicken Marinade) on a white plate with a Strawberry Spinach side salad, ready to be eaten

My all time Top 5 favourite chicken marinades

It was a hard call, but here’s my Top 5…

  • Greek Chicken Gyros with Tzatziki – long time reader favourite!
  • Vietnamese Lemongrass Chicken – the flavour in this is outrageously good
  • Chicken Shawarma (Middle Eastern) – the smell when this is cooking is unbelievable!
  • Marinated Thai Chicken (Gai Yang) – you will seriously think you’re in Bangkok…
  • Thai Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce – skip the skewers and just use whole chicken pieces!
  • Or browse all Chicken recipes (there’s loads more chicken marinades!)

Watch how to make it

Hungry for more? Subscribe to my newsletter and follow along on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram for all of the latest updates.

Cooked chicken breast (after marinated in Chicken Marinade) on a white plate, ready to be served

Just a great Chicken Marinade

Tap or hover to scale

Recipe video above. This is just a great everyday Chicken Marinade, one you make with things you’ve already got with plenty of sub options (see notes). It will make any cut of chicken extra juicy, infuse it with savoury flavour that’s a touch of sweet, with a hint of herby goodness. Especially good for chicken breast!


  • 700g / 1.4 lb chicken breast, tenderloins or thigh (Note 1)

Chicken marinade:

  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp olive oil (or any oil)
  • 5 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 4 garlic cloves , minced
  • 1 tsp dried oregano (or rosemary, thyme, minced herbs)
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper , ground

Garnishes, for serving (optional)

  • Finely chopped parsley
  • Lemon slices


  • Recommended: Pound breast to even thickness using a meat pounder, rolling pin, or fist. OR cut large ones in half horizontally to form 2 cutlets (steaks) for each.
  • Mix marinade in a ziplock bag (or container in which chicken fits snugly). Add chicken.
  • Marinate 3 hours to overnight, though even 30 minutes is effective. (Note 2)
  • Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat, and cook chicken per times below until deep golden (see video). If browning too quickly, lower heat.
  • Transfer to serving plate, cover loosely with foil and rest for 3 minutes before serving, garnished with parsley and lemon slices if desired. 

Cook times:

  • Whole breast and boneless thighs: 3 – 4 minutes each side (internal temp 165F/75C)
  • Cutlets and tenderloin – 2 minutes each side

Recipe Notes:

1. Chicken – marinade will work for any cut of chicken thought I mostly use skinless boneless cuts.

2. Quick Marinade 30 min to 1 hr – cut breasts in half horizontally to form 2 thin steaks. For whole thighs or breast, poke a few holes in each breast using a fork. For drumsticks, cut a couple of slashes with knife.

3. Marinade subs:

  • Brown sugar – sub 2 tbsp white sugar, 1.5 tbsp honey, maple syrup
  • Soy – any normal, all purpose soy or light soy good here, or tamari, mushroom soy sauce. If you have sweet soy or kecap manis, skip sugar. Dark soy sauce not recommended (label will say “dark soy). 
  • No soy? Dissolve 1 tsp salt in 4 tbsp water, then use in place of soy sauce.
  • Lemon – sub with less sharp vinegars like cider vinegar, white wine or red wine vinegar, rice vinegar. Or 1.5 tbsp other vinegars (normal white vinegar, balsamic)
  • Worcestershire – dollop of ketchup or BBQ sauce would be a decent sub there! Say 2 tbsp, then cut down sugar. HP Sauce, steak sauce or other savoury sauces also good.
  • Garlic – 3/4 tsp dried garlic powder good here. Also 1/4 tsp onion powder would be nice too.
  • Dried herbs – anything is the go here, go with what you like. Fresh won’t really work here, too delicate unless doing a short marinade. Exception – fresh rosemary is terrific, 1 tsp finely chopped.

4. Baking directions – stove is best to get nice browning, but to bake, cook as follows:

  • Breast and boneless thighs – bake 18 minutes at 425F/220C oven, or internal temperature is 165F/75C, followed by quick grill/broil on high to brown
  • Drumsticks, wings and bone in thighs – 50 minutes at 180C/350F, basting with juices once or twice

Nutrition Information:

Calories: 243kcalCarbohydrates: 8g (3%)Protein: 33g (66%)Fat: 7g (11%)Saturated Fat: 1g (5%)Cholesterol: 96mg (32%)Sodium: 1202mg (50%)Potassium: 622mg (18%)Sugar: 6gVitamin A: 0.9%Vitamin C: 7.2%Calcium: 2.1%Iron: 6.4%

Life of Dozer

Reunited after a week apart! It’s only been an hour or so and he’s already so sick of the smoochy hugs 😂

Dozer the golden retriever and Nagi - RecipeTin Eats

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *