Marinades can make bland cuts of meats or vegetables more flavorful. There are an infinite amount of combinations to create a homemade marinade, but a good marinade contains 3 basic components:
- An acid
- An oil
An acid is any liquid that is highly acidic. Some common acids include vinegar, beer, wine or juice from citrus fruits. The acid helps to tenderize tough cuts of meat by breaking down fibers.
Oil in a marinade imparts a lot of great flavor, and also helps prevent your meat or veggies from sticking to a grill or pan. Most oils will work great for marinades, just consider the flavor when determining how much to add. Olive Oil can be used generously, but a strong tasting oil, such as sesame oil, should be used sparingly.
There are thousands of possibilities when it comes to seasoning. Of course, seasoning can include typical seasonings such as salt, pepper, garlic powder, oregano, and onion powder. You can also chop up fresh herbs or seasoning, like garlic cloves, onions, or rosemary and add them to the marinade to infuse wonderfully fresh flavor. Sauces, such as Worcestershire, soy sauce, and mustard also impart a ton of great flavor.
We personally eat a lot of grilled chicken in my house, because it’s easy to prepare and a healthy choice for meat. In order to create some variety in our meals, so we don’t feel like we’re having “chicken again?”, I switch up the marinade I use with each meal. Knowing the basic components of creating a tasty marinade makes it easy to whip together homemade marinades with ingredients that my family loves.
I have put together a simple, quick marinade recipe that is great for grilled chicken. It’s salty, citrusy, and delicious.
Quick Homemade Marinade Recipe
- 2 chicken breasts, fat trimmed
- 1/4 cup crushed pineapple
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
Using a meat tenderizer, gently pound chicken to 1″ thickness. This will help tenderize it and remove the chewiness that some chicken has. In a small bowl, combine pineapples, olive oil and soy sauce, then stir. Place chicken breasts into a large Ziploc baggie and pour in marinade. Seal and mix the marinade so it is coating all parts of the chicken breast. Place in refrigerator for one hour (and up to 12 hours).
You can cook the chicken on the grill, in a skillet, or bake in the oven @ 350 until cooked through, and no pink remains. Discard unused marinade.
Want to find more great marinades? Check out my post on 15 Homemade Meat Marinades.
Do you marinate your meat or veggies? What is your favorite marinade?
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