by Amy Hunt
A good marinade can make all the difference when you are cooking chicken. Marinades can be as easy as a can of Sprite, or a fresh squeezed lime and some spices. Anything acidic, like wine, any type of vinegar, and even salsa will make a wonderful marinade and tenderize the meet.
Using a marinade usually takes a little planning. Some require the meat to marinate for a few hours while others are as quick as 20 minutes. The extra planning is well worth it. Meat that is marinated often produces a more flavorful and juicy dish.
If thinking ahead to a marinade is simply too challenging, there is a simple cure—flash marinate. When you get home from the store, divide your chicken into your typical usable portions. Place the portions into freezer bags and toss in your favorite spices and other marinade ingredients. Freeze immediately.
When you are ready to use the chicken, just place it in the refrigerator in the morning before you start your busy day. By the time dinner rolls around you have thawed and marinated chicken waiting for you in the fridge. This method will also work if you buy the bags of frozen breasts.
** When using the flash marinate technique, be sure to use the chicken within a month as the marinades will reduce the usual freezer time.
Italian Chicken Marinade
1 (16 ounce) bottle Italian-style salad dressing
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1. In a shallow baking dish, mix the salad dressing, garlic powder, and salt. Place the chicken in the bowl, and turn to coat. Marinate in the refrigerator at least 4 hours. (For best results, marinate overnight.)
2. Preheat the grill for high heat.
3. Lightly oil grate. Discard marinade, and grill chicken 8 minutes on each side, or until juices run clear.
Korean BBQ Chicken Marinade
1 cup white sugar
1 cup soy sauce
1 cup water
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 tablespoon lemon juice (optional)
4 teaspoons hot chile paste (optional)
1. In a medium saucepan over high heat, whisk together the sugar, soy sauce, water, onion powder, and ground ginger. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, and simmer 5 minutes.
2. Remove the mixture from heat, cool, and whisk in lemon juice and hot chile paste. Place chicken in the mixture. Cover, and marinate in the refrigerator at least 4 hours before preparing chicken as desired.
Basic Chicken Marinade
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
In a medium bowl, mix together oil, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, wine vinegar, and lemon juice. Stir in mustard powder, salt, pepper, and parsley. Use to marinate chicken before cooking as desired. The longer you marinate, the more flavor it will have.
3/4 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/3 cup lemon juice
2 tablespoons dry mustard
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons finely minced fresh parsley
* DVO welcomes your kitchen hints and cooking or nutrition questions! Email us and we'll post your hints and Q/A's in upcoming newsletters! *