Including butter chicken, Korean fried chicken, pub-style wings!
Unsure of what to make for dinner tonight? These marinated chicken recipes rule the roost. Flavor-boosters like herbs, spices, and hot sauce meet moisture-infusing elements such as yogurt and buttermilk in these too-tasty-to-miss marinated chicken recipes. Many are copycat recipes of the best restaurant chicken dishes!
If you’re convinced that chicken breast is always bland and boring, this marinated chicken recipe might just inspire you to revise that reputation. Fresh mint, garlic, lemon juice, and paprika team up to add a flavor punch to each ounce of this lean protein option. Olive oil lends moisture—and keeps the chicken from sticking to the grill grates.
Inspired by our go-to order from our local Indian restaurant, our Test Kitchen pros found that there are three secrets to acing this copycat recipe. First, start with chicken thighs, which naturally have a bit more flavor and fat than chicken breasts. Then, use yogurt and some warm spices to tenderize, add juiciness, and amp up the flavor even more. And lastly, lean into tomato paste, a splash of cream, ginger, and garam masala to make what one BHG fan declares is “one of the best sauces that I’ve ever made!” Another adds, “This was the easiest and most delicious chicken recipe I have enjoyed in a very long time. Warm but not too spicy to enjoy. Worth the effort.”
It’s tough to believe this fresh, summery, and restaurant-quality marinated chicken recipe calls for just 5 ingredients. The key for the easiest-ever marinade? Store-bought or homemade pesto. Combine that herbaceous sauce with an equal amount of tangy, tenderizing fresh lemon juice and a drizzle of olive oil. After 4 to 8 hours of marination time followed by a quick trip to the grill (alongside radicchio wedges, which check the veggie box for this meal), you can upgrade boneless chicken breasts or thighs to scene-stealing territory.
The crunchy coating and sauce play a starring role to make this fried chicken stand out from its culinary competition. But the magic really begins with a subtle yet vital step: a marinade. One hour in a combo of sweet rice wine (aka mirin), fresh ginger, and garlic makes all the difference to help the chicken itself pack enough flavor to stand up to the pleasantly-powerful gochujang-based sauce. “This was so yummy and tender and crispy! It was finger-licking good,” raves one five-star reviewer.
Buttermilk isn’t just for pancake batter or ranch dressing. Since it’s naturally acidic, buttermilk helps tenderize chicken. But that’s not the only ingredient in the stand-out chicken marinade; avocado, lime juice and zest, jalapeño, and cumin blitz up beautifully in the blender to create a smooth, Tex Mex-style sauce. Since the marinated chicken recipe (prior to cooking, of course), is designed to be prepped ahead and frozen for up to 4 months, we often assemble batches of this recipe when we have avocados that are inching ever closer to overripe territory. These freezer meal kits are supper saviors during busy weeks!
Plain Greek yogurt plays a similar role to the aforementioned buttermilk in this marinated chicken recipe that one fan deems “a must-save recipe.” After 2 to 24 hours of marination time, fresh turmeric, ginger, lime, garlic, and coriander (the dried seed of cilantro) scent every bite of this easy chicken dinner idea. We suggest pairing the tender, nicely-spicy grilled chicken over basmati rice. Then top with fresh cilantro to echo the coriander notes.
This spicy chicken recipe lives up to its billing as having a “boldly crisp outside and lusciously tender inside.” While much more subtle than the spice-infused oil dunk and the crunchy battered exterior, the meat itself is certainly a star, too. Hot sauce, sugar, and buttermilk team up in the Tennessee-style brine that helps the protein hold its own.
Speaking of spice, these chicken wings certainly bring the heat. Any marinated chicken recipe that starts with a mix of fiery hot sauce and tenderizing buttermilk is off to a great start. From there, you can choose your own adventure with our options for spice rubs, sauces, and dips. Whether you’re ready for an episode of Hot Ones or prefer to walk on the mild side, you can tweak this wing recipe accordingly.
Even though this marinated chicken recipe’s “Marbella” moniker is a nod to a coastal city in Spain, it’s actually believed to have origins in the 1970s in New York City. Popularized by The Silver Palate Cookbook and Ina Garten, the briny-yet-sweet marinade features prunes, olives, capers, fresh oregano, and garlic. We know that this might not seem like the most natural combo, but trust the process. Once you coat the marinated chicken leg quarters in a dusting of brown sugar and roast them in a bath of white wine, you might not want to cook bone-in chicken any other way.
After that vino, you can keep spirits high by trying this marinated chicken recipe next. Cocktail staples tequila, orange juice and lime juice are the foundation for the marinade, then smoky chipotles in adobo sauce, fresh oregano, and garlic join the party. These grilled chicken thighs are amazing enough to eat on their own, but get even better when you pair them with Mexican rice, chips, salsa, and guac.
When you spatchcock chicken (aka butterfly the bird) and press it under a brick, an entire 3-pound centerpiece grills to golden-brown perfection in just 1 hour. Prior to that surprisingly-quick cook time and before you add the herb and citrus rub, set the scene with a citrus and parsley-forward marinade. Due to the acidity from the OJ and lemon juice, as well as their flavors that complement the citrus in the rub, the finished product is moist, flavorful, and fall-off-the-bone tender.
Thanks to baked feta pasta, whipped feta dip, and a wide array of viral recipes that have taken over social media the past few years, the crumbly, salty cheese is certainly having a moment. We blend it with oregano, water, salt, and pepper to help transport chicken thighs to the Mediterranean. After grilling the marinated chicken recipe and finishing it with a squeeze of lemon and a shower of olive oil, all that’s missing is a chunky Greek salad to round out the heart-healthy and family-friendly meal. One BHG reader declares that “this is my most favorite summer recipe! It makes the chicken so moist!”
In other food trend news, even though pickle-flavored products have been en vogue for more than a decade, the dill delights only seem to only be growing in popularity. And we’re certainly not mad about that! Since noshing on the pickles in their pure glory often leaves us with oodles of extra brine, we put that tangy, acidic, herb-scented juice to good use in this chicken marinade. After marinating, pan-fry the chicken thighs, whisk up a quick pan sauce to make the most of the drippings, then crown the chicken with chopped pickles (naturally) and red sweet peppers.
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