How Many Ingredients Do You Need For A Fantastic Chicken Marinade

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Make A Fantastic Chicken Marinade

I’m Sharing What I Use To Make A Fantastic Chicken Marinade

When you’re wanting to make a fantastic chicken marinade, the options are endless. You can use a variety of ingredients, depending on your taste preferences and what is available. However, you don’t need a lot of ingredients to make a delicious chicken marinade. In fact, I only use a few key ones to make my marinades stand out.

Whether you’re grilling out or roasting chicken in the oven, a good marinade is key to achieving juicy, flavorful poultry. It takes just a few minutes to put together. So, how many ingredients do you need for a fantastic chicken marinade?

The answer may surprise you. A chicken marinade is one of the easiest things to make, it doesn’t need to be overly complicated with an endless array of ingredients. In this blog post, we’ll outline some essential components for a fantastic chicken marinade.

How Many Ingredients Do You Need For A Fantastic Chicken Marinade?

The key is to use quality ingredients that complement each other. A good starting point is a combination of these 4 base flavors.

First, you’ll need something acidic – citrus or vinegar, which will add a refreshing zing. Secondly salty – soy sauce, caper, or that famous mineral… salt. This is an important flavor as it will bring everything together and enhance their flavors.

Thirdly herbaceousness – fresh thyme, rosemary, sage, dried fenugreek leaves, or tarragon. These add an earthy herb flavor that compliments and balances everything out.

Lastly fat – butter, or oil, which technically isn’t flavoring. They’re a cooking medium that adds richness and depth of flavor. This also helps keep the chicken juicy and moist. You can also use plain natural full-fat yogurt, another form of fat.

You can use these 4 flavor elements to make a fantastic chicken marinade. Also from there, you can add dried spices – paprika, cumin, coriander, or garam masala. Or aromatics like ginger, garlic, or chili. You could also add a condiment like mustard, bbq sauce, or your favorite chili sauce.

Let Me Help Get You Started With Your Chicken Marinade

Here are 4 marinades that I use regularly, they’re flavorful, delicious, and have become family favorites. With just a few simple ingredients, you can transform ordinary chicken into something truly special. One of the best things I love about cooking is getting creative with flavors.

#1 World Famous Tandoori Chicken Marinade

There are few things in this world as satisfying as a delicious, perfectly marinated, and cooked piece of tandoori chicken. But what makes this dish so special? It’s all in the marinade and the cooking method.

The tandoori chicken marinade is a mind-blowing flavor, especially when it’s left to marinade overnight and cooked in a tandoor oven. However, most people won’t have a tandoori oven sitting in their backyard so cooking it over hot coals on your bbq or gas grill will work as well.

You can also cook Tandoori chicken in the oven using your broiler or grill, I’ve used both methods and the chicken tastes delicious. This world-famous recipe is simple to make and packs a flavorful punch. This has become a family bbq favorite, my sons love it and there are never any leftovers.

When I was younger I was obsessed with the combination of ingredients that went into Indian cuisine. As a result, I was given an authentic chicken tandoori tikka recipe by an Indian chef I worked with, and I still use it today.


  • Hanging the yogurt to remove the access moisture will thicken it and intensify the flavor. This will also help the marinade stick to the chicken.
  • I always use skinless, boneless chicken thighs as they won’t dry out and they have a superior flavor.
  • Marinating the chicken overnight for 24 hours will give your Tandoori chicken a fantastic taste and color.
Tandoori Ingredients

Starting from the top left going clockwise: Crushed ginger and garlic, turmeric – ground, Kashmiri chili powder, lemon juice, mustard oil, a handful of Fenugreek leaves – toasted and crushed, cumin – ground, coriander – ground.

Tandoori Chicken Marinade
  • #1 Hung yogurt – hung for 24 hours
  • #2 Marinade ingredients
  • #3 Marinade ingredients mixed together
  • #4 Marinading chicken

#2 Easy Weeknight Mustard And Rosemary Chicken

The wholegrain mustard paired with the earthiness of the rosemary gives the chicken a unique flavor that will impress your friends and family. The best thing about this marinade is you only need to leave for 30 minutes before cooking.

This makes it a quick, delicious, and easy weeknight dinner. You could also marinade the chicken that morning before you head off to work. For me, this is a quick throw-together marinade, perfect for those busy nights when you have limited time to cook.

The garlic and lemon add a freshness to compliment the chicken, also the pan drippings make an excellent base for a gravy or sauce. This is such a diverse marinade that you can use it to marinade lamb, or pork before roasting.


  • When you leave the chicken in the marinade for a couple of hours or longer the meat will go a dull white. Don’t worry this is the poultry reacting with the lemon juice and it will be perfectly fine to eat. In fact you’ll get a wonderful citrus flavor infusion.
Easy Weeknight Mustard And Rosemary Chicken Recipe

Mustard And Rosemary Chicken Recipe

Looking for an easy and tasty chicken recipe for your weeknight dinner? This mustard and rosemary chicken is simply delicious…

Mustard And Rosemary Chicken Marinade
  • #1 Wholegrain mustard
  • #2 Cloves of garlic
  • #3 Juice and zest of one lemon
  • #4 Fresh rosemary

#3 Delicious Smoked Paprika Oregano Chicken Salad

Chicken salad is one of those classic dishes that everyone loves. It’s perfect for a light lunch or a hearty dinner, and it’s packed with flavor. This smoked paprika and oregano chicken salad is proof that salads are awesome.

The secret to this dish is in the marinade. The smoked paprika gives the chicken an awesome smoky flavor, while the oregano adds a nice Mediterranean touch. Together, they create a flavor that is absolutely irresistible! And best of all, this salad is packed with healthy vegetables and low in calories. So you can enjoy it guilt-free.


  • Use skinless breast or thigh meat, and marinate the chicken for a couple of hours. This awesome marinated chicken is excellent when cooked on the bbq. It adds another level of flavor.
Smoked Paprika and Oregano Chicken Salad

Chicken Salad Recipe

Is there anything better than a big, delicious salad for lunch? This recipe is not one of those traditional chicken salad recipes…

Smoked Paprika Oregano Chicken Marinade
  • #1 Marinated chicken
  • #2 Cloves of garlic
  • #3 Smoked paprika, dried oregano, Himalayan pink salt, and freshly ground black pepper

#4 Outstanding Smoked Paprika and Balsamic Chicken

Smoked paprika, lemon, thyme, bay leaf, and garlic makes for an awesome marinade. The balsamic I make a vinaigrette and drizzle it over the cooked chicken. This gives the chicken a beautiful refreshing flavor and is an outstanding way to add another layer of flavor.

This awesome chicken marinade is a real winner, the best thing is the balsamic vinaigrette, as it adds a subtle sweetness to the dish and can be optional. However, I recommend using it as it will wow your family and friends.

Balsamic vinaigrette is easy to make:

  • 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp Dijon, or American mustard
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • A quarter cup of virgin olive oil

Place all the ingredients into an airtight container. Place on the lid and shake to emulsify. This can be made in large quantities and will last in the fridge for 3 months. Just shake before use.


  • Using a dressing or vinaigrette to drizzle over your chicken after it is cooked is an excellent way to quickly add flavor to your dish. It can also be drizzled over vegetables for a balsamic infusion.
Smoked Paprika and Balsamic Chicken Thighs

Balsamic Chicken Recipe

Smoked paprika lemon juice, throw in some fresh thyme, garlic, and bay leaves you can’t go wrong…

Smoked Paprika and Balsamic Chicken Marinade
  • #1 From middle left clockwise: smoked paprika, lemons, fresh thyme, bay leaves, and garlic
  • #2 Smoked balsamic vinegar
  • #3 Marinated chicken

How Do You Marinate Chicken Quickly?

If you want to marinate chicken quickly, you’ll need to use some robust flavors. This means choosing a marinade with strong aromatics, like garlic, vinegar, citrus juice or zest, or even ginger.

You could also go for a more pungent marinade, like one made with capers, mustard, fresh rosemary, or soy sauce.

Whichever type of marinade you choose, the key is to get it evenly distributed over the chicken. If you’re working with small pieces of chicken, like cutlets or tenders, you can just place them in a resealable bag and massage the marinade into the meat.

If you’re dealing with larger pieces of chicken, like thighs or breasts, it’s best to place them in a baking dish. When marinating chicken quickly using skinless, boneless chicken works best.

How Long Should You Marinade Chicken?

How long you marinate chicken depends on how much flavor you want to infuse into it. If you’re just looking for a light, refreshing flavor, then 30 minutes to an hour will do. If you want something deeper and more intense, then anywhere between 4 – 24 hours is better. It really all comes down to taste.

Experiment and find what tastes better and you enjoy eating. Remember that the longer chicken sits in a marinade, the more time it has to absorb those flavors. So if you’re planning on marinating for a long time, be sure to turn over the chicken periodically so that all sides get evenly coated.

On a side note when marinating chicken for 12 – 24 hours reframe from using too much salt or ingredients with high salt content. The salt will draw the moisture out of the meat and dry it. Who wants to eat dried-out stringy chicken?

The Best Stuffed BBQ Chicken Recipe You Will Ever Find

Stuffing the chicken with rice, pinenuts, and garlic. Using my own dry rub to create something deliciously amazing and unique. You’ll be wanting to do this at home.

Can You Marinade A Whole Chicken?

Absolutely! Marinating a whole chicken is an excellent way to add flavor and moisture. I like to mix butter or lard with garlic and fresh herbs like thyme and sage and place it under the skin covering the breast. This will help keep the breast meat moist and delicious.

If you’re wanting something more intense, go for the dry rub. If you’re looking for something more subtly flavorsome, go for the wet marinade. Simply massage it into the skin of the chicken and leave it to marinate overnight in the fridge.

Here’s a quick and easy recipe you can try:

  • About  ½ a cup of salted butter
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 2 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • 2 sprigs of fresh sage
  • 3 cloves of crushed garlic

Mix all the ingredients together and rub under the skin of the chicken and smear over the skin. Season the skin with Himalayan pink salt and freshly ground black pepper, and place it in the fridge for a couple of hours. The salt on the skin will dry it out and when cooked will become crispy and delicious.


  • The beauty of using salted butter is it won’t dry out the meat when the flavored butter is rubbed under the skin. Anyway, it will help to season the meat and keep it moist.
Whole Marinated Chicken
Chicken larded and barded with paprika and thyme flavored butter


I hope you’ve enjoyed this little foray into the world of chicken marinades. As you can see, it’s a pretty simple process with lots of room for creativity and variation.

Hopefully, I’ve given you the inspiration to create a killer chicken marinade. You can make a delicious and unique marinade that will impress your friends and family with just a few simple ingredients.

You never know you could just come up with the next famously trending chicken marinade recipe. Think outside the box and enjoy the experience of getting creative with flavors.

By following these simple guidelines, you can get adventurous and start making your own fantastic chicken marinade today.

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