Get Grilling: Everything You Wanted To Know About Chicken Marinades

Grilled Asian Chicken

Get Grilling: Everything You Wanted To Know About Chicken Marinades


It’s Barbeque SEASON!! And that means marinades. Here’s my perfect primer to marinading chicken.


Maybe it’s because my nickname is Chicky, but I’m a big fan of the chipper chicken. Oh, sure there was that time that I was a lacto-ovo-pesco vegetarian for about four years (it’s a long story which can be blamed on a fashion designer and a plate of sweetbreads.) During that sad and dark period, I didn’t eat anything that had a face (as Linda McCartney used to say.) Yes, fish have faces, but they’re squished, and I wasn’t giving up shrimp and lobster for anyone.


Anyways, I’m back on chicken in a big way. But, as Franck (Father of the Bride reference), said, while chicken can be cheerful, it can also get boring. Luckily, I’ve mastered the art of the marinade. (Marinahde if you’re getting fancy.)


Marinades make everything taste better. And, it’s so easy to change up the flavours, depending on your mood and the other dishes you plan to serve. Make sure you prepare your chicken and marinade it for at least one hour before grilling or baking.


I’m not a chemist, but this is what I know what a good marinade needs to have:

  • An acid (vinegar, lemon juice, wine)
  • A moisturizer (like olive oil, vegetable oil, sesame oil, mustard)
  • Flavourings and herbs (Garlic. Always garlic)
You can put together any combo that tickles your fancy. Creating the perfect marinade is like parenting. Too much of anything and it can go terribly wrong, but the perfect balance can create something absolutely delicious.


Some of my fav marinade ingredients are:
  • Balsamic vinegar (I seriously put balsamic in just about everything).
  • Mustards (grainy mustard, green mustard, horseradish mustard. Mustards are perfect for adding flavour and moisture.)
  • Worcestershire sauce (for some reason, this hard to pronounce-and spell-brown sauce makes marinades sink in a work faster. Unless it’s asian flavours I’m after, I alway add a splash.)
  • Garlic, garlic, and more garlic
Chicken Marinade Ingredients

Chicken Marinade ingredients


One more tip: Don’t marinade in BBQ sauce. The sugar content will make the outside of your meat char before the inside can cook. Brush on about 3/4 through the cooking process and you’ll be as good as gold.


Now, I know some of you are not of the ‘pinch of this, pinch of that’ school, so here are some guaranteed to be hits marinades for you to try.


If you want to go real simple:
  • Olive Oil
  • A splash each of lemon juice, balsamic, & Worcestershire Sauce
  • Finely chopped fresh garlic
  • Freshly ground sea salt and black pepper
  • A handful of freshly chopped herbs (thyme, rosemary, sage)
If you want to be me…
  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • Grainy mustard
  • Generous amounts of La Grille Montreal Chicken Spice
  • Once around the bowl with Olive Oil and a generous splash of Worcesteshire Sauce
If you’re after a taste of the mediterranean…
  • Olive oil
  • Fresh lemon Juice
  • Green mustard (you can buy it at some specialty grocers. I get mine at Longos Markets in Toronto.)
  • Once around the bowl each of balsamic vinegar & Worcestershire sauce
  • Finely chopped fresh garlic
  • Oregano
  • Freshly ground sea salt & black pepper
If you’re a Canuck…
  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • Maple Syrup (not too much-see the point about bbq sauce)
  • Beer
  • Finely chopped fresh garlic
  • Rosemary
  • Olive Oil
  • Freshly ground sea salt & black pepper
If you’re looking for the slow boat to Asia…
  • Soy sauce
  • Finely chopped fresh garlic
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • About 1 tbsp of chili garlic sauce (more garlic more garlic more garlic)
  • A good splash of sesame oil
  • Finely chopped fresh ginger (optional, my husband hates ginger)
  • About 1 tbsp of chopped cilantro (optional)
  • You can sprinkle with sesame seeds if you’re baking, or garnish with them if you’re bbq’ing
 What’s your favorite chicken marinade?


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