This grilled chicken marinade has been my go-to marinade for at least 15 years. It always produces the most flavorful and moist chicken, every time. Just be sure to set some to the side to dip your chicken in!
I’m going to let you in a little secret. I’ve been asked for this grilled chicken recipe more times than I can count. I have always kept it very close to the vest. It is sweet, tangy and ridiculously delicious!
This is my grilling GO TO recipe, every time, and always will be. I wait all winter for summer to come just so I can fire up the barbecue and get this chicken on the grill!
We love marinades! They impart such flavor into an otherwise very bland piece of meat. Take this Huli Huli Chicken for example. Never have I tasted such an explosion of flavors until I had this chicken in Hawaii.
Grilled Chicken Marinade Ingredients:
- Chicken – I use boneless, but you can certainly use bone in breasts, drumsticks or chicken thighs
- Olive oil – use a quality oil
- Apple Cider vinegar – this gives a great punch and tang
- Dijon mustard, Brown Sugar – this helps balance out the acidity in the AVC with a little sweetness.
- Lemon Juice & Lime Juice– adds a burst of brightness!
- Spices – Garlic, salt and pepper
How the Make the best grilled chicken
- Slice the chicken in half lengthwise and pound the chicken into an even thickness using a meat mallet or rolling pin. This is very important, otherwise the chicken will be over cooked on one side and undercooked on the other.
- Whisk the marinade in a small dish – reserving a little for dipping or pouring over the cooked chicken or side veggies.
- Refrigerate the marinated chicken in the refrigerator for 30 min – 2 hours. Keep in mind acids break down protein. Marinating over 2 hours can result in the chicken becoming gummy or just having a weird texture.
- Grill the chicken over medium high heat on a preheated grill. Check the chicken using a meat thermometer and remove once it hits an internal temperature of 165° F.
Make Ahead and Storage:
- Make Ahead: This recipe is best as soon as it’s cooked. However, any leftover chicken make the most amazing sandwiches the next day!
- How to Store: Store and keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. This can be placed in the freezer either in the marinade itself and cooked later, or cooked for up to 2 months. Thaw in the fridge for 1 day before cooking or reheating.
Looking for some side dishes to go with your chicken:
- Our infamous Potato salad pairs beautifully with this chicken.
- How about a side dish of perfectly cooked Rice Pilaf?
- The flavors and freshness in this Four Bean Salad are amazing!
Simply the best basic chicken marinade out there! Be sure to reserve at least ¼ cup to pour over the cooked chicken.
- ¼ Cup Apple Cider vinegar
- 3 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 3 Cloves Garlic, minced
- 1 Lime, juiced
- ½ Lemon, juiced
- ¼ Cup Brown sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoons Sea Salt
- Ground Black pepper to taste
- ¼ Cup Extra Virgin olive oil
- 3 Chicken Breasts, sliced in half lengthwise
- Mix all ingredients together in a bowl except the olive oil.
- Drizzle in the oil very slowly while whisking very quickly until emulsified. Reserve ¼ cup of the marinade for dipping or drizzling over cooked chicken.
- Put the chicken in glass baking dish or bowl and pour the marinade over. Refrigerate at least 2 hours.
- Let the chicken rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.
- Grill chicken over med/high heat turning over when the chicken looks ¾ of the way cooked through to get nice grill marks. Flip and cook until juices run clear.
- Pour remaining marinade on top before serving.