With warm weather here to stay, I’m not using the oven often. I don’t mind heating it up for a treat like this gluten-free strawberry rhubarb pie, but I try not to use it for dinner. The grill, of course, is a popular option for the summer, and grilled chicken is one of our favorites.
I often buy large packs of chicken thighs or breasts (usually boneless, skinless) from BJ’s Wholesale Club. My husband is not a fan of dark meat, but he likes grilled thighs. Even if I haven’t marinated them, they are nice and moist. My kids love these, too, even if they have no seasoning on them.
Some things I add for extra flavor or moisture are:
- a homemade marinade (see below)
- Italian salad dressing as marinade
- Old Bay seasoning
- Magic Seasoning Blends -Poultry Magic (all natural, no MSG, no additives or preservatives)
I so often forget to marinate meat ahead of time, but I have found that even marinating chicken breasts at room temperature for half an hour makes a difference. I wouldn’t leave it at room temperature any longer than that, though. Ideally, it should be marinated in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
Basic Parts of a Marinade
Oil – I like to use extra virgin olive oil, but other oils work also. Oils can add flavor and help keep the meat moist.
Acid – Often vinegar, but lemon juice or wine work also. The acid helps tenderize the meat.
Seasoning – Add whatever flavors you like. Garlic is a favorite. Basil, oregano, and rosemary are popular, but the options are endless. Many of you will like something spicier.
If you like you can also add a sweetener such as honey.
Experiment with amounts. Since my family is not big on the flavor of vinegars, I use more oil than vinegar. Some recipes use equal amounts, and some use more vinegar than oil. It’s pretty hard to go wrong.