Simple and BEST marinade for grilled chicken

Want the juiciest chicken recipe ever? Then you need to prepare these 3 ingredients chicken marinade. It’s the simplest combination of garlic and herbs, a hint of buttery flavor that melts in the mouth, and then hints of champagne vinegar. This is a must if you’ve never tried using different vinegars before.

Last summer we were super busy moving and I needed some quick and easy dinner recipes. On a whim, I bought a bottle of champagne vinegar and conjured up an easy three-ingredient chicken marinade that ended up being the best chicken marinade ever. In fact, I even recorded a short little video of the process. So scroll down and see a glimpse into the past at our old home.

(PS, fun fact! Did you know that we write our blog posts for a whole year? So right now it’s September 2022 and I’m sitting at the counter of the rental home we finally found after the craziest summer. Got it haunted? This story? Speaking of stressful chaos! I’m wondering if by the time this recipe is posted, will we have found our future home and ready to settle in? I can’t wait to see where life takes us, so leave one Comment if you want an update!

A photo of multiple chicken breasts grilled golden, looking juicy with perfect diagonal grill marks.

Ingredients for the chicken marinade

It doesn’t get any simpler than just 3 ingredients for the most delicious chicken marinade! That’s all you need:

  • olive oil – the base of the marinade and ensures the chicken stays moist and juicy
  • champagne vinegar – This can be hard to find sometimes, but it really is the best flavor for this marinade
  • Kinder’s Buttery Steakhouse Seasoning – We buy ours at Costco, but I’ve seen them at Walmart and Smith’s, and of course there’s always Amazon

For measurements of each ingredient, see the recipe card at the end of this post.

How do you make a marinade for grilled chicken?

I like to put all three ingredients in a shallow casserole dish and mix everything together. Then place the chicken breasts in the marinade and turn them over so they are coated on both sides. Then leave to marinate in the fridge.

You can also marinate the chicken using a Ziploc bag. Simply mix all the ingredients together in a glass measuring cup, pour the marinade over the bagged chicken and set aside in the fridge until ready to grill.

a photo of several raw chicken breasts covered in marinade, lying in a large plastic bag.  The picture was taken from above looking into an open ziploc bag.

Can other types of vinegar be used?

The best substitute for champagne vinegar is Asian Rice Vinegar. White wine vinegar or sherry vinegar are also good substitutes.

Red wine or apple cider vinegar are good alternatives, but they’re less sweet and have a stronger, tangy vinegar flavor.

Can other pieces of chicken be used?

You can certainly use this marinade on chicken thighs, wings or drumsticks.

How long do you marinate chicken?

Marinating chicken for as little as 15 minutes can add a lot of flavor to the chicken. I have found that the sweet spot for this marinade is from 2-6 hours. For the best flavor and texture I recommend that. If you need to go a little longer then it should be fine, but after maybe 10+ hours the texture really starts to suffer.

a photo of a golden grilled chicken breast that has been cut into about half-inch slices.

How do you know when the grilled chicken is ready?

The surest way to tell when chicken is done is to use a meat thermometer. The safe internal temperature for chicken breasts is 160 degrees Fahrenheit. We’ve also found that while chicken will indicate when it’s done, it will pull itself out of the grill. It no longer gets stuck on the grill when you try to turn it over or remove it from the grill.

What to serve with marinated chicken

Honestly, almost anything would go well with this chicken. It is so versatile! If you want everything cooked outside on the grill I have suggestions and if you want to bring some of the cooking indoors then I have you covered too. Here are a few ideas:

Check out all of our side dish recipes here for more delicious options!

a photo of three grilled chicken breasts with perfect diagonal grill marks and a thick sauce being poured over them.

Can you reuse marinade that has been in contact with raw chicken?

Okay, I can’t believe I’m saying this, but yeah. In all of my other posts on chicken marinade, I’ve said that under no circumstances should I reuse marinade that has come in contact with raw chicken. I’ve been reading everywhere lately that it’s actually fine to use as long as you bring it to a boil. The temperature will kill any harmful bacteria that may remain in the marinade. That’s why I really recommend it in this recipe!

If you just can’t make it, I totally understand! Keep only one and a half of the marinade recipe and some in the sauce for cooking and preserving. Boiling and then simmering the sauce allows the Kinder Seasoning to unfold and result in this delicious, flavorful sauce that I pour over the grilled chicken.

How to eat this grilled chicken

You can just eat this chicken as a main dish and it’s perfect! We always do this, but I always add a few extra chicken breasts so there’s some left over. It’s great for salads or wraps the next day for lunch. It is also perfect as an addition to a pasta sauce or rice bowl.

a photo of a grilled chicken breast that has been sliced ​​and coated in a light herb marinade.

How to reheat grilled chicken

I have found that grilled chicken is best reheated in the oven. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees, wrap the chicken in foil and place in the oven until warmed through. It takes about 15-20 minutes. Wrapping it in foil will keep the chicken from drying out as it reheats.

Can marinated chicken be frozen?

Yes, freezing marinated chicken is a great meal prep option. Place the chicken and marinade in a Ziploc freezer-safe bag and place in the freezer. It will keep in the freezer for up to 6 months. When ready to use, thaw in the fridge overnight and grill as directed.

This is no fuss, simple 3 ingredients chicken marinade will impress guests time and time again. I’ve made it several times when we’ve had people over and everyone has always wanted to know how I made this chicken. It’s quite disappointing when I tell them it’s only three ingredients, but that’s what makes it so fabulous!

More Easy Chicken Recipes:

Servings: 3

Preparation time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 15 minutes

Marinate: 2 Hours

Total time: 2 Hours 20 minutes

  • Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and stir.

  • Add 2-3 chicken breasts to bowl and allow to marinate (covered) for 2-6 hours.

  • Once marinating is complete, remove the chicken from the bowl. Pour the marinade into a small saucepan and heat over high heat until boiling. Reduce heat to medium, let simmer for 3 minutes, then set aside.

  • Grease your grill with an oiled paper towel. Heat the grill to high heat. Add the chicken to the grill and let the first side cook for 3 minutes. Then reduce the heat to medium. Let it cook for another 3 minutes and then turn the chicken over. Let it cook for another 6 minutes or until it reaches an internal temperature of 160 degrees.

  • Remove the chicken from the grill and let it rest for 3 minutes. Pour the cooked marinade over the chicken and enjoy!

Portion: 1PieceCalories: 231kcalCarbohydrates: 3GProtein: 1GFat: 24GSaturated Fatty Acids: 3GPolyunsaturated fat: 3GMonounsaturated fatty acids: 18GSodium: 3mgPotassium: 42mgFiber: 1GSugar: 1GVitamin A: 130IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 51mgIron: 2mg

Author: basil

Course: The 100 Best Easy Chicken Recipes for Mom

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