5 Easy Chicken Marinades To Mix Up Your Weeknight Dinners

With these simple-yet-flavourful marinades, chicken night can be every night.

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Barbecue menus: Harissa yogurt grilled chicken recipe

Mix it up with chicken marinades. Photo, Erik Putz.

Chicken marinades will make this always popular protein even more enticing, especially if you’re someone who turns to white meat multiple times per week. With these recipes, you can take a trip around the world to enjoy different flavours at dinnertime. While we recommend a specific cut for each marinade, you can always mix and match depending on what you have on hand. And if you’re up for meal prepping, let your chicken chill overnight in whichever marinade you choose — you won’t be disappointed with the tasty results. Here are five chicken marinades to add to your dinnertime roster.

Lemon-Pepper Marinade

Use: Cut-up whole chicken or 6 chicken legs

  • Stir 1 cup canola oil, 2 tsp sugar, 1 tsp each garlic salt and hot pepper flakes in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on medium 1 min. Stir in ¼ cup each lemon zest and white vinegar and 1 tbsp dried oregano.
  • Place cut-up whole chicken or 6 chicken legs with shallow slashes in a large resealable zip-top bag and pour in marinade. Refrigerate at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.
  • Arrange in one layer in a 9×13-in. baking dish and bake in a 375F oven until cooked through, about 45 minutes.

Chimichurri Marinade

Use: Six boneless, skinless chicken breasts or 12 boneless, skinless chicken thighs

  • Whirl 6 garlic cloves, 1 chopped large onion, ½ cup chopped cilantro, 3 tbsp oregano leaves and 1 tsp each cayenne pepper, salt and pepper in a food processor until chopped. Whirl in ½ cup olive oil and ¼ cup red-wine vinegar until combined.
  • Place 6 skinless, boneless chicken breasts or 12 skinless, boneless chicken thighs in a large resealable zip-top bag. Pour in marinade. Refrigerate at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.
  • Barbecue over medium, covered, 6 to 8 minutes per side. Or bake in a 9×13-in. baking dish, covered, in a 375F oven until cooked through, 45 to 50 minutes.
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Citrus-Sriracha Marinade

Use: Four skinless, boneless chicken breasts or 10 chicken drumsticks

  • Whisk 1/3 cup lemon juice, ¼ cup Sriracha hot sauce, 3 tbsp honey, 2 tbsp canola oil, 2 tsp lemon zest and 1 tsp salt in a bowl.
  • Place 4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts or 10 chicken drumsticks with shallow slashes in a large resealable zip-top bag and pour in marinade. Let stand at least 20 minutes or refrigerate, preferably overnight.
  • Arrange in one layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake in a 375F oven until cooked through, 45 to 50 minutes.
Super Bowl Party Recipes: honey garlic chicken wings

Honey garlic wings! Photo, Roberto Caruso.

Honey-Garlic Marinade

Use: 16 wings (wing and drumettes separated)

  • Whisk 2 tbsp each honey and soy sauce, 1 tbsp each canola oil and garlic powder and ¼ tsp each salt and pepper in a bowl.
  • Place 16 chicken wings (wings and drumettes separated) in a large resealable zip-top bag. Pour in marinade and let stand 10 minutes or refrigerate, preferably overnight.
  • Bake on a parchment-line baking sheet in a 425F oven, flipping halfway, for 25 minutes. Brush with 1 tbsp honey.

Party-Size Herb Marinade

Use: 12 chicken legs, 16 skinless, boneless chicken thighs or 12 skinless, boneless chicken breasts

  • Whisk 1 cup lemon juice, ½ cup olive oil, 2 tbsp each garlic powder and dried oregano and 1 tbsp each dried basil, salt and pepper in a large glass measuring cup.
  • Make shallow slashes on 12 chicken legs and place in 2 large resealable zip-top bags. Instead of chicken legs, use 16 skinless, boneless chicken thighs or 12 skinless, boneless chicken breasts. Divide marinade in half and pour into both bags. Refrigerate at least 4 hours, or preferably overnight.
  • Barbecue over medium, covered, turning often, for 25 minutes per side. Or arrange in one layer in a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet and bake, covered, in a 375F oven until cooked through, 45 to 50 minutes.

Watch: How to make BBQ chicken tostadas