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Chicken School

The Makings of a Marinade

Meet your new best friend in the kitchen – the marinade.

Marinating is one of the best ways to add flavour to your meal without adding a ton of fat or calories. 

Too often we rely on store-bought marinades when preparing one from scratch is not only easy but healthier too. Here’s what you need to know to start making your own delicious marinades at home. 

A typical marinade is made up of three essential components: an acid (such as vinegar, wine, or citrus), an oil (such as olive oil or sesame oil), and a flavouring agent (such as herbs and spices).  These elements work together to transform the taste and texture of your dish in different ways. The acid breaks down the proteins, which allows the meat to absorb more flavour while retaining its natural juices. The oil penetrates the meat and helps prevent moisture loss during cooking. Finally, the herbs and spices infuse your meat with flavour. 

Here are a few things to keep in mind before you get started: 

  • For a no-mess marinade, place everything in a sealable bag in the fridge for at least an hour (though ideally overnight) to let the liquids absorb.
  • Never marinate at room temperature, as it can encourage bacteria growth.
  • Never reuse a marinade once it has been in contact with raw meat.  If you want to use the marinade to make a sauce for the dish, remember to set some aside before you begin to marinate your meat.
  • If you are using frozen chicken, let the meat defrost in the marinade. That way the moisture inside the frozen meat will exchange with the marinade, further infusing the meat with flavour.

So go ahead, play around with your favourite flavours and ingredients to create your own signature marinade. Or try one of our delicious recipes below to get you started!