Easy Marinated Chicken Without a Recipe

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Creating your own marinades at home is not difficult. In fact, you can pull it off without a recipe even.

We’re big on grilling around here. Lazy, sunny weekends just scream, “Fire up the barby.” But, since they are lazy, sunny weekends, I’d rather not do too much work. That’s when I just throw together a marinade.

Without measuring.

Gasp. Yes, it’s true. A marinade is really a flavor-packed dressing. You need seasonings that add flavor, a little acid to penetrate the meat, a little oil to keep the meat from sticking to the grill. Pretty simple really. Sometimes I even ditch the oil.

My staple acids for marinades would be things like

  • rice vinegar (I like Nakano Natural)
  • soy sauce
  • red or white wine vinegar
  • wine or sherry
  • citrus juice

I just take a small jar and pour in about 1/4 cup of vinegar or other acid. I eyeball it. Hint: it’s easy to guess if you use a 1-cup canning jar.

Stir in some flavorings, like a little mustard, some herbs, some garlic, some ginger, or a few shakes of crushed red pepper. Choose whatever flavors you like. Just don’t too many. This isn’t the Suicide you used to mix up at the Coke machine at the roller rink when you were a kid.

Don’t go too heavy at first. With practice you’re going to find the right combinations that suit your fancy. Stir in an equal amount of oil, about 1/4 cup, or less, depending on how crazy you feel. Pour this mixture over your chicken pieces and allow it to marinate, covered, in the refrigerator, from 30 minutes to a few hours.

Cook your marinated chicken over a hot grill, turning once, until cooked through. If the chicken is boneless, it will cook in a shorter amount of time, as little as 8 to ten minutes for a chicken tender. Dark meat with the bone in can take much, much longer. The most reliable time gauge is to use an instant read thermometer. Chicken is ready at 165°.

Mixing up marinades without a recipe is super easy to do, especially if you keep some regular staples on hand, like rice vinegar, soy sauce and ginger.

If you really must have a recipe, try this one:

Disclosure: Nakano has provided me with sample product as well as compensation for my time spent writing this post. All opinions are my own. You can read more about Nakano and other simple ways to dress up everyday foods on their Facebook page and on twitter. And don’t forget tocheck out their pins on pinterest.

About Jessica Fisher

I believe anyone can prepare delicious meals—no matter their budget.

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  1. I like to mix my marinades together in a gallon-size ziploc bag, then I can just put the meat pieces in, seal it, and squish it around. After marinating, dump the sauce down the drain and toss the bag! No dishes to wash! 🙂

  2. Pamela says

    Carrie… I do the same thing. I have also found that if you put the meat in frozen & let it sit out until it’s thawed then put in the fridge, or leave in fridge til thawed but that takes a long time. Anyway, the marinade permeates the meat even deeper. Also, if you just throw your frozen meat into a freezer ziploc with the marinade & freeze like that it is really great too. <3

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