No amount of seasoning on the outside will make a chicken breast moist and juicy on the inside. Even if you’re working with a piece of dark chicken meat, it’s important to get flavor into the meat for the best results. Marinating chicken in an olive oil mixture will add both flavor and protection from the high heat during cooking. Start with a basic olive oil and lemon juice marinade, and add seasonings, herbs and other flavors to create a flavorful marinade of your choice.
Things You'll Need
Pour 1/3 cup olive oil in a bowl and add the juice of 1 lemon, 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper, 1/2 tsp. coarse salt and three cloves of crushed garlic. Stir with a wire whisk. Optional herbs and additional spices may be added as desired.
Pour the mixture into a large, resealable freezer bag.
Add the uncooked chicken and submerge it fully in the marinade. Seal the bag tightly.
Place the bag in the refrigerator and marinate for a minimum of two hours. Leaving it to marinate overnight allows the meat to absorb even more of the marinade.
Turn the bag over periodically to ensure that all of the chicken is evenly marinated.
Remove the chicken from the marinade and cook as planned – whether in a pan, the oven, or on the grill. Discard the marinade.
Always include an acid such as lemon juice, which helps slightly break down the meat to make it more tender.
References and ResourcesCalifornia Olive Ranch: Only Marinade You'll Ever Need
Martha Stewart: Basic Mariande
Start Cooking: Marinating 101: An Introduction to Marinating Beef, Chicken and Fish
Kraft Recipes: Simple Summer Marinated Chicken