The Best Chicken Marinade Recipe makes chicken extra juicy and flavorful. This savory marinade makes grilled chicken mouthwatering!
The Best Chicken Marinade Recipe
When we were newly married, we lived near Dean's brother, his wife, and two kids. We were living in an apartment, going to college full-time, and working crazy hours to pay the bills. We were poor little college students and would love when Deron and Sarah would invite us over for dinner. Their go-to meal was grilled chicken in a delish marinade. They knew how much we loved it so we ate it almost every time we had dinner at their home.
So I had to ask her what was in this amazing chicken marinade recipe. It is beyond simple! I decided to tweak it and add a few more flavors to make it extra tangy and zesty.
This Grilled Chicken Marinade Recipe is made with extra virgin olive oil, freshly squeezed lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, salt, and pepper. You have such a variety of seasonings in this marinade.
The extra virgin olive oil keeps the chicken extra moist and juicy. The fresh lemon juice and balsamic vinegar break down the fibers in the chicken to make it tender. The soy sauce and Worcestershire sauce give it a salty depth of flavor. The brown sugar adds some rich sweetness and gives the chicken a nice crust when grilled. All of the ingredients work together in such harmony to make the perfect chicken marinade!
The key is to let the chicken marinate for at least 30 minutes. Pierce the chicken breasts with a fork all over to ensure the marinade can seep into the chicken to make it juicy. An idea marinating time is 4 - 5 hours.
To grill the chicken, set your grill at medium heat. Allow it to preheat before adding the chicken. To keep the chicken from sticking, brush a bit of oil on the grill. Cook for about 5 - 6 minutes per side, depending on the thickness of the chicken breast. The chicken needs to reach 165 degrees to ensure that it is completely cooked through.
Use whatever types of chicken you prefer -- chicken breasts, thinly sliced chicken breasts, chicken tenders, or chicken thighs. Chicken tenders and thinly sliced chicken breast will cook much quicker than thick chicken breasts so watch carefully.
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Happy Cooking, my friends!
So I used this, it was delicious. I don’t normally measure things out, so I kinda eyeballed everything. I also forgot the brown sugar, added onion powder, and then when the chicken was on the grill I sprinkled on some crushed red pepper. Big fan. Definitely a good marinade!
Could I use this marinate for chicken legs and thighs or is it better to use chicken breast?
Debbie Ja - You can absolutely use this marinade on chicken legs and thighs! It is so delicious.
I air fried these thighs after marinating them for about 7 minutes at 380 degrees F. They were so juicy, and the flavor was excellent. They were definitely a huge hit and we'll make them again. Thank you for this!
7 minutes each side or total?
If weather is bad, can the chicken be cooked in the air fryer after marinating? I know it can be baked but do love my air fryer! Thank you and this marinade is delicious as we have already used it for grilling. Piercing the breasts is a great way to absorb the flavors and make the chicken more tender!
Have you tried with pork tenderloin? Chicken was really good
I used this recipe on shrimp. Yum Yum!!!!!!!
This recipe is awesome… even though I missed one ingredient and also added additional two ingredients in this it came out sooo goood. So i missed Worcestershire Sauce and added some chilli powder as i love spicy and a little bit of garam masala and chicken masala. With some coconut powder( made by my mom) and its sooo goood
I have read so many posts on the topic of the blogger lovers however this post is really a pleasant piece of writing, keep it up.
So good! I make a double batch and use half for the marinade and then I reduce the other half to a glaze (add a tablespoon of honey). Delish!
I will like to use this recipe in Nigeria for my customers. They will love it
We just BBQed chicken for dinner and once again, I used this marinade. There is not a better marinade when you are cooking chicken on the grill. It never fails. We love it!
This is my absolute go to for chicken marinade. My whole family loves it and we use it often. I eliminate the brown sugar since we try to stay away from sugar as best we can, and the flavor is still fabulous!
Thank you so much, Josie, for taking the time to comment. So happy your family loves this marinade. Thank you for sharing the tip!
There is a no sugar substitute called Swerve. There is a brown sugar version. Also granular. I use that if my diabetic friends eat over. Tastes exactly the same, with no aftertaste. Also a cookbook out from The No Sugar Baker. I saw her on tv once.
I made this tonight but I subbed honey for brown sugar (I just didn't have any on hand) and it turned out great!
Hi CJ! I love that idea of swapping out the brown sugar for honey. Thank you for sharing that tip!
Had company coming for supper last night and wanted something different. Made up a batch of this marinade, dumped it into a gallon ziplock bag with six big boneless, skinless chicken breasts. Set the bag in a glass baking dish in case of leaks, popped it in the fridge for about five hours, turning the bag over every hour or so to be sure the marinade got everywhere. Put the chicken into the griddle of my Ninja Toaster Oven, dumped about a cup of the marinade over the top of them for added flavor, and baked them for about 10 minutes total (5 mins per side). They were a hit with everyone. Very sweet tasting and delicious. Super easy and quick to make the marinade, they tasted like I had cooked all day long, and cleanup was a breeze. Best of all, even my most picky (and I do mean P-I-C-K-Y) eater loved it enough to ask for the recipe. Definitely something I will make again!
Thank you so much, Kat! Thank you for sharing another option of cooking the marinated chicken in the oven. That's a great option too! I am so happy to hear that even the pickiest eater loved the chicken marinade. I appreciate it!
HI I have made this before ,Just a Amazing Marinade...Want to Use this for Chicken then freeze it to take away...While its defrosting it will then continue to marinade...Have you Frozen this altogether..?
Hi Lori! Yes this chicken marinade freezes well. When it defrosts, you will have some extra liquid as the ice melts but the marinade will still flavor the chicken.
Thank you for this recipe. I use it all the time when we grill chicken and it makes the chicken so flavorful and moist.
Thank you so much for trying my grilled chicken recipe. Flavorful, juicy, and moist chicken is what we are going for!
Made this last night and it was fabulous! Served with mashed potatoes and salad. I enjoyed how easy it was to make, and the sauce while admittedly a bit oily, was very tasty!
Thank you so much for taking the time to comment. That sounds like the perfect meal. I appreciate you trying my chicken marinade recipe!
Gotta say, this was delicious! We sliced the chicken and put it on top of a big salad. So good, and so easy too!
I appreciate your kind comment and I am so glad you loved the grilled chicken. That is a great idea to put it on top of a salad.
Tried this on the grill a few weeks ago and it was yummy! I was hoping to do it again tonight, but stormy weather is preventing my grilling plans. Can this be done in the oven or air fryer?
Hi Marguerite! I apologize for the delay. I hope you loved the chicken marinade. You can cook this chicken in the oven. You can bake it at 350-375 degrees for about 20-25 minutes, depending on the thickness of the breast. You can check the internal temperature of the chicken to determine doneness by using a meat thermometer. The internal temperature should be at least 165 degrees. I hope that helps!
Can I cook the chicken in the oven with the marinade? I am making it tonight and hope my husband likes it. Thank you
These are my questions exactly. Thank you for asking them! I'm looking forward to trying this recipe tonight at my in-laws' house, but since it's not my home, I think I will just bake it as well. I'm using 5 lbs of bone in thighs, so I will double the recipe. I like to bake them covered for an hour to an hour and a half to make the chicken tender and juicy, and you can even suck on the softened bones.
Yes it can be baked. Instructions are listed in the comments under "Modern Honey".
I have to say that this is the most amazing marinade. We both agree that it made our chicken the best we have had. Have used it several times. We eat a lot of chicken and I like to try new recipes but I wi will definitely keep this in my rotation.
My kids, who despise chicken because it’s always dry and tasteless, have asked for this recipe again and again. I do velvet the chicken beforehand, but i have not tried it without velveting. Thank you for a simple easy delicious recipe! The flavors are delicious.
I love when I hear that kids love recipes because they are the pickiest taste testers. 🙂 I am so happy they loved the chicken marinade recipe. Thank you so much for sharing and for trying my recipe.
Can this marinade be made in advance? Going camping and would love to take it with us ready to use!
Hi Mary! Absolutely. You can make this a week ahead of time and just keep it in the refrigerator until ready to use. I would suggest marinating the chicken about 1-2 hours before you ready to cook it. Have so much fun camping! I love making food outdoors -- it just tastes that much better.
THE ABSOLUTE BEST chicken marinade! I will never use anything else again.
Thank you so much for the kind comment. I am so happy to hear you love the chicken marinade recipe!