This chicken marinade is a blend of garlic, herbs, olive oil, soy sauce, brown sugar and Dijon mustard. It produces perfect marinated chicken every time, and you can use your chicken marinade for baked, broiled, grilled or sauteed chicken.
Every cook needs a chicken marinade in their recipe box, and this is the best one I’ve ever had! Serve your chicken with rice pilaf and parmesan zucchini for a complete meal that the whole family will love.
In the summer I am all about grilling, and I make this amazingly delicious chicken marinade at least once a week. It takes just minutes to put together and uses ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry. This marinade produces tender, juicy and flavorful chicken that will earn you rave reviews!
How do you make chicken marinade?
This marinade is a combination of savory and sweet flavors and includes ingredients you probably already have in the house. The base of the marinade is olive oil, which is flavored with lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, minced garlic and Italian seasoning. Add chicken, let it soak in all the flavor, then cook the chicken to your liking and serve.
HOW LONG DO YOU MARINATE CHICKEN?
Chicken should be marinated for a minimum of one hour for boneless, skinless cuts. If you use a bone-in, skin-on cut, you’ll want to marinate for at least 4 hours. I typically marinate my chicken for about 8 hours to get the best flavor.
TIPS FOR CHICKEN MARINADE
- This marinade can be made up to 3 days before you plan to use it. Simply store the marinade in the fridge until you’re ready to add your chicken. The olive oil in the marinade may solidify if stored in the fridge for an extended period of time. Simply let the marinade sit at room temperature for 20 minutes and the olive oil will thaw back into a liquid consistency.
- You can really use any cut of chicken for this marinade such as boneless skinless breasts or thighs, chicken tenders, or even chicken drumsticks. This recipe also works great with chicken wings.
- This marinade contains sugar which adds great flavor, but can easily burn on the grill. Make sure your grill is not overly hot before you add your chicken! You’ll want to grill your chicken over medium heat, and if you’re using bone-in cuts that take longer to cook, place them over indirect heat.
CHICKEN MARINADE VARIATIONS
While this recipe is delicious as-is, you can add other ingredients to customize it to your tastes.
- Spicy: Add crushed red pepper flakes to taste.
- Herb Lovers: Add 1/4 cup fresh chopped herbs such as thyme, green onions, rosemary or parsley. Scrape off the large pieces of herbs before you cook your chicken.
- Asian: Use a blend of olive oil, toasted sesame oil, lime juice, soy sauce, brown sugar, ginger and garlic.
- Mexican: Use the marinade recipe listed here.
HOW DO YOU COOK MARINATED CHICKEN?
My favorite way to cook marinated chicken is on the grill. If the weather isn’t nice enough for outdoor grilling, I use an indoor grill pan on the stove. If you prefer, you can bake or saute your chicken. I recommend baking your chicken if you’re using bone-in cuts such as drumsticks or chicken thighs.
WHAT TEMPERATURE SHOULD CHICKEN BE COOKED TO?
All cuts of chicken should be cooked to an internal temperature of 165 degrees F. The easiest way to gauge if your chicken is done is to insert a thermometer into the thickest part of the chicken – be sure that the thermometer is not touching the bone. Once you’ve reached the correct temperature, remove the chicken from the heat and let it rest for 3 minutes before you slice it.
Once you try this chicken marinade recipe, you’ll find yourself using it constantly! I make marinated chicken almost every week and my family happily devours it. Even the kids love this one!
More great chicken recipes
Chicken Marinade Video
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup lemon juice freshly squeezed
- 1 tablespoon garlic minced
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- Place all the ingredients in a large bowl or resealable gallon sized bag.
- If using a bowl, whisk to combine the ingredients. If using a bag, seal the bag and shake to combine the ingredients.
- Add 2-3 pounds of chicken, then marinate for at least 1 hour, or up to 12 hours.
- Proceed with cooking method of your choice.
This post was originally published on April 10, 2019 and was updated on April 22, 2020 with new content.