The Best Chicken Marinade (+Video)
This really is the best grilled chicken marinade! It’s easy to prepare and makes any chicken taste like restaurant-quality chicken. So good!
A SUPER FLAVORFUL GRILLED CHICKEN MARINADE
I started making this chicken and marinade about 20 years ago when we were stationed in London. Many of us Americans would get together and have Super Bowl parties. It was a comaraderie thing. Nothing like being with your fellow countrymen and eating all your favorite foods from home. My little chicken on a stick soon became a favorite of our friends and it was regularly requested at get-togethers. And I’m happy to say it is still a favorite in our home.
WHY USE A MARINADE FOR CHICKEN?
Chicken on its own is pretty bland. Especially chicken breasts. Like most marinades, this one has a base of oil and acid (the lemon juice.) Marinades generally have some sort of acid, like vinegar, that helps to tenderize the meat slowly. What really gives this marinade that oomph of flavor is the soy sauce, mustard and garlic. You’ve got a bit of salty, a bit of tang and the garlic just pushes it over the top. It may sound like a really odd combination of flavors, but I promise that they end up working perfectly together. If you wanted to take it a step further, you could serve these with a little Alabama White BBQ Sauce – scrumptious!
INGREDIENTS NEEDED: (FULL RECIPE AT THE BOTTOM OF THE POST)
- olive oil
- soy sauce
- lemon juice
- mustard (Dijon or yellow)
- Worcestershire sauce
- minced garlic
- black pepper
- chicken tenderloins (or chicken thighs)
HOW TO MAKE THE BEST CHICKEN MARINADE:
Combine all marinade ingredients and whisk together well.
Put chicken tenders into a lidded container (or a Ziploc bag) and pour marinade over top of chicken.
Make sure all the chicken is coated.
Snap the the lid on. And pop it into the fridge for at least 4 hours or overnight.
When chicken is ready, soak your wooden skewers in water for at least a half an hour (so they don’t burn on the grill). Obviously you can skip this step if using metal skewers.
Preheat grill on medium-high heat. Once skewers have soaked, begin threading chicken onto skewers. Keep going until you are done with all of them. You can put either one or two chicken tenders on each skewer.
Preheat grill to medium high heat. Place skewers on clean grill
Cook for about 5-6 minutes per side (until internal temp. is 165F degrees). It’s really important that you flip the chicken using tongs and you handle it by the meat portion of the skewer. Don’t try flipping using the skewer itself. Metal ones will be too hot to handle at this point and the wooden ones might break. Allow to cool for a couple of minutes before serving.
Grilling Pro Tip: To keep food from sticking to your grill, you need to make sure you scrub off any baked-on food that might still be on your grill grates or your chicken is just going to stick to that blackened char. Don’t have a grill brush? Just preheat your gas grill to high for a few minutes and close the lid. Open it up, turn down the heat, and scrub grates with a wad of aluminum foil. Works for me every time!
CRAVING MORE RECIPES?
Originally published: January 2011
Updated & republished: June 2019
The Best Chicken Marinade (+Video)
- 1 cup olive oil
- ¾ cup soy sauce
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- ¼ cup mustard (Dijon or yellow)
- ¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1-½ teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
- 2 pounds chicken tenderloins
- 1 package wooden meat skewers (or metal skewers if you have them)
- Combine all marinade ingredients and whisk together well.
- Put chicken tenders into a lidded container or tiptop bag and pour marinade over top of chicken.
- Make sure all the chicken is coated, then snap on the lid or zip the top closed.
- Pop it into the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or overnight.
- When chicken is ready, soak the wooden skewers in water for at least a half an hour (so they don’t burn on the grill). Obviously you can skip this step if using metal skewers.
- Once skewers have soaked, begin threading chicken onto skewers.
- Preheat grill to medium high heat (about 350F). Place skewers on clean grill.
- Cook for about 5-6 minutes per side (until internal temp. is 165F degrees).
- It's really important that you flip the chicken using tongs and you handle it by the meat portion of the skewer. Don't try flipping using the skewer itself.
- Allow to cool for a couple of minutes before serving.
- To keep food from sticking to your grill, you need to make sure you scrub off any baked-on food that might still be on your grill grates or your chicken is just going to stick to that blackened char. Don’t have a grill brush? Just preheat your gas grill to high for a few minutes and close the lid. Open it up, turn down the heat, and scrub grates with a wad of aluminum foil. Works for me every time!
“The Country Cook” is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.
We don’t like garlic so didn’t use any of that but we like the tang of mustard so we doubled that.
I would like to keep a little of the marinade aside to brush on while grilling
These are so so amazing. My son, the pickiest eater in the world, loves these marinated tenderloins. Thank you!
Great marinade, my husband loved it! I had to substitute lime juice for lemon juice but it tasted great. Thanks for sharing!
OMGOODNESSSSSSS…No exaggeration, this was BY FAR the best tasting marinade I’ve ever made!!!!!!
Our family was obsessed with how DELICIOUS my chicken was. Thank you for sharing and creating.
This was so good! A keeper for our little family, thank you!!!!!
My son loved this! He asked me to keep the recipe and make it again!
Really the best marinade. So delicious! When I made it for a gathering, I got so many compliments. I do half the marinade ingredients for the two pounds of chicken tenderloins and it turns out perfect. I also use a fork to poke the chicken so more marinade can soak in. No need for me to use another marinade, love this recipe!
Great recipe! Easy and delicious!
Thanks so much! I appreciate you taking the time to come back and review and comment!
We had these last Sunday. Amazing! Flavor was wonderful and the chicken was so tender. We will certainly have them again, SOON!
I made these. Fabulous marinade recipe. It truly is great and super easy.
Made this for dinner and my husband and I loved it! Thank you for sharing it.
Hey Karen – thank you so much for coming back to comment. Absolutely makes my day to hear when a recipe turns out good!
I tried this today and it tastes amazing! Thank you ????
This seems like a lot of marinade (2 c) for 2lbs of chicken. I just marinated 2.5lbs of chicken tenders, and used about 1c of marinade, and that was plenty. I wonder if you could use half, then save the other half off as a sauce or basting?
I made this too with 2lbs of chicken tenders and to me it seemed like way too much oil and soy sauce. It came out way too salty and the pan burned too easily. I would suggest baking it.
I was looking for a great recipe for chicken when I stumbled across this one. It was awesome!! Everyone liked it and my toddler also enjoyed it. THank you for sharing your recipe.
I have no way to grill so was wondering how this could be done in the kitchen. Maybe the broiler or oven. Am clueless 8(
I made these for dinner for a special friend and I ;). I used cut chicken breast. I watched these babies like a hawk and kept an eye on the temperature of the chicken. I have had one too many dry grilled chicken kebabs! I took them off the grill when they were around 160-163 degrees. These were great! The flavor from the marinade was nicely balanced. They were very juicy as well. I will be using this recipe again! Besides the soy sauce, these were all ingredients I had at the house. I am learning to grill by trial and error. Thank you for making a recipe that's simple and oh so delicious! 🙂