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Tips for Marinating chicken

Chicken specially boneless, skinless chicken breasts usually tastes better and has perfect texture if marinated before cooking. Marinates combine with an acid such as lemon juice, yoghurt, or vinegar, with some oil and flavouring ingredients like salt, pepper, herbs, fruits, and mustard.

Just make your own by mixing a part lemon juice with a part olive oil, adding some mustard, salt, pepper, and fresh or dried herbs. There are really no way to go wrong with this process; just have fun.

Dry marinades for dry rubs are another option. This is one the best mixture of pepper, sugar, salt, herbs and spices which is rubbed directly on the chicken flesh. Refrigerate the chicken for a few hours to let the chicken absorb the flavours.

Brine is an intense concentration of salt and sugar in water that forces ions into the chicken so the meat is flavoured and becomes tender, and so it holds onto moisture as it cooks.

If marinating time is longer than one hour, place the marinating chicken in the refrigerator.

Reduce oil in the marinade for more flavour. The best marinade (unlike the best salad dressing) is about half oil and half acid.

Chicken shouldn’t be marinated longer than called for in the recipe. The chicken can become mushy if marinated too long, as the acid breaks down the flesh.

Use fresh herbs whenever possible. If you are using dried herbs, crush them between your fingers to release aromatic oils before adding to the marinade.

Mix your marinade right in a heavy-duty zip-lock food storage bag. Add the chicken, seal the bag, squish a bit to mix, then refrigerate.

Place the bag containing the chicken and marinade on a pan or in a bowl to prevent leakage. Cross-contamination from raw chicken juices can contaminate other foods, so be extra careful with this step.

To cook marinated chicken, just lift out of the marinade and place on the grill or pan. Don’t rinse or dry with paper towels.

You can brush some of the marinade on the chicken as it cooks, but be sure to stop adding uncooked marinade 3-5 minutes before cooking time ends for food safety reasons. The marinade should “cook off” for a few minutes before you serve the chicken. Always cook chicken to at least 160°F and test the temperature with a food thermometer.

Remove away any remaining marinade. You can now place it in a small saucepan and boil them for 2-3 minutes, then serve as a sauce for the chicken. Never serve uncooked or undercooked marinade.


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