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Easy Chicken Marinade

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Who doesn’t love an easy recipe where the marinade does all the work for ya?!?  We can thank my Grandpa Jim for this fool proof whip up! This simple 4 ingredient marinade takes just minutes to prepare and then ya just sit back and let the marinate magic happen. This juicy lemon fresh chicken is great over summer salads, pasta with grilled veggies or any other dish you dream up. Bonus – this chicken is great hot or cold.

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And like ALL of my family recipes there’s no actual recipe, so I’ve done my best to provide measurements as a guide for you. You can easily double or triple this recipe which I often do so I only cook once and get multiple meals. Once you’ve made this marinade once or twice, you won’t even need this recipe – you’ll have it down to exactly how you like it!

To watch the video tutorial of this recipe click here!

Ok…let’s get this cookin’:

Combine the lemon juice, garlic, oregano and evoo into a large ziplock bag. To prep the garlic, I like to peel, smash with the side of a large kitchen knife and then rough chop before tossing into the marinate for maximum flavor.

Optional: I like to quickly tenderize the meat between two pieces of cling wrap. It helps the chicken cook more evenly and it helps the marinate soak into the chicken too.

Add the chicken to the marinade and seal while pushing out any excess air. Gently (without reopening the bag) massage the marinate into all sides of the chicken. Marinate for at least 3 hours or up to overnight in the refrigerator. 

TIP: I usually make this the same morning and allow it to sit 8 hours or so and it’s perfect every time!

Remove the chicken from the marinade and cook however you prefer. We almost always grill ours. NOTE: you can easily increase this recipe to 2+ packages of chicken which I often do. Cook once and get multiple dinner + lunch meals out of it.

Enjoy the chicken as is, over a salad, with a side of rice + veggies or over a pasta salad – options are endless. And this chicken is delicious hot or cold.

Here’s one example of how I like to serve the chicken over a simple salad.

  • Thinly sliced romaine lettuce with cherry tomatoes, cucumbers and garbanzo beans
  • Kalamata olives, shaved fennel and the feathery fronds and fresh fig (when in season)
  • Thinly slice the chicken and sprinkle parmigiano reggiano cheese and freshly cracked pepper
  • Dressed with: 2 parts EVOO, 1 part red wine vinegar, dijon mustard, salt, pepper and a dash of garlic powder

Bon Appetit! I hope you enjoy this simple recipe. It’s always been a staple rotation in our weeknight meals! If you make this we’d love to see! Be sure to share it with us on IG at @jaclynjames.co

Until next time,

xoxo

Grandpa Jim’s Simple Chicken Marinade

Lemon, garlic and oregano chicken marinade.
Course Main Course
Prep Time 5 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 package of 2 boneless chicken breasts
  • 1-2 lemons, juiced
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
  • 2 tsp dried oregano, crush while adding to the marinate
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)

Instructions

  • Let me start this recipe off by saying you CANNOT mess this one up!! You can add a little more or a little less of one of these ingredients (depending on your flavor preferences) and it will still be delicious! These four fresh ingredients create a simple but delicious flavor together! Ok…now let's get going:
  • Combine the lemon juice, garlic, oregano and evoo into a large ziplock bag.
  • Optional: I like to quickly tenderize the meat between two pieces of cling wrap. It helps the chicken cook more evenly and it helps the marinate soak into the chicken too.
  • Add the chicken to the marinade and seal while pushing out any excess air.
  • Gently (without reopening the bag) massage the marinate into all sides of the chicken.
  • Marinate for at least 3 hours or up to overnight in the refrigerator. TIP: I usually make this the same morning and allow it to sit 8 hours or so and it's perfect every time!
  • Remove the chicken from the marinade and cook however you prefer. We always grill ours.
  • Enjoy the chicken as is, over a salad, with a side of rice + veggies or over a pasta salad – options are endless. And this chicken is delicious hot or cold.
  • NOTE: you can easily increase this recipe to 2+ packages of chicken which I often do. Cook once and get multiple dinner + lunch meals out of it.

Additional Marinade/Dressing

  • Depending on how I'm serving the chicken, sometimes I'll make extra marinade. I typically substitute a dash of garlic powder for garlic gloves and whip up a small oil + lemon dressing you can drizzle overtop! A tsp of honey or dijon mustard is also a great addition!

A NOTE on my family recipes

  • I've said it before and I'll probably say it many more times….there were no recipes! I try to do my best to add the most accurate measurements I can for you but once you made this recipe once or twice, you won't need this guide anymore!

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