One of my favourite ways to eat chicken is simply baked, barbecued or roasted in a flavourful marinade like my Easy Lemon and Herb Chicken Marinade.
Marinades are wonderful for helping to keep chicken moist and tasty. I marinate poultry for at least a couple of hours before I cook it, longer if I have time. Having said that, even a half hour in a marinade will improve the flavour and texture of your chicken. I just pop the chicken pieces in a ziplock bag, pour the marinade in, seal and pop the bag on a plate in the fridge.
My Easy Lemon and Herb Chicken Marinade is loosely based on a marinade developed by my late Dad. He adored cooking, particularly in the summer, when he would spend hours out on the deck barbecuing delicious meals for family and friends. He wrote down a few of his recipes but I couldn’t find this one, so I made it up from memory. I think it’s pretty close.
Despite the fact I have a thriving herb garden, I recommend using dried herbs in this marinade because their flavours are often more intense. You can of course use fresh herbs if you prefer. Because I am not a fan of smokey flavours I use ordinary paprika in this recipe but you can always switch it out for the smoked variety. Full of flavour, my Easy Lemon and Herb Chicken Marinade makes for delicious chicken meals, whether you are serving the meat hot with a side dish or cold in a sandwich or salad. I always make extra so there are leftovers!
If I’m baking or roasting the chicken indoors, I like to use a cast iron braising pan. This Le Creuset enamelled cast iron braiser is like the one I have owned for five years now. I really love Le Creuset pans because they cook brilliantly and they last forever. I have another, larger casserole – a Dutch oven like this one – that my late mother-in-law bought me 25 years ago. It’s still going strong. You would never know to look at it how old it is!
You can use this Easy Lemon and Herb Chicken Marinade for all kinds of chicken pieces but my favourites are ‘chicken supremes’ or ‘supreme of chicken’. They are boneless but with the wing bone still attached and for some reason, cooking them like this seems to make the chicken taste better. I almost always cook chicken with the skin on to keep it extra moist, and serve it that way too, unless I am using it cold in salads or sandwiches. I figure people can decide for themselves whether to eat it or not. Nobody seems to mind – some people like eating the skin, although I can’t say I’m one of them. Unless it’s crispy, then all bets are off!
Perfect for summer barbecues or cooking indoors all year round, my My Easy Lemon and Herb Chicken Marinade is mild enough to make cold chicken suitable for use in all your favourite recipes but flavourful enough to be served hot on its own with any side dish. It could make you look at chicken in a whole new way!
- ⅓ cup mild olive oil
- ⅓ cup lemon juice (2 to 3 lemons)
- the grated rind of 1 lemon
- 2 cloves garlic, minced or 2 teaspoons 'Very Lazy Garlic'
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 tablespoon dried chives
- a generous pinch of salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1 heaped teaspoon paprika
- In a large pitcher, mix together the oil and lemon juice.
- Add the garlic, basil, chives, salt, pepper and paprika.
- Whisk well.
- Pour over chicken pieces and marinate for at least a half an hour, preferably at least two hours or up to 12 hours before cooking.
- Remove the chicken pieces from the marinade.
- You can use the remaining marinade to brush on the chicken before cooking but you should discard any that is left after that point for food safety reasons.
- Bake, broil or grill until the chicken is completely cooked with no pink remaining inside. (Internal temperature of the meat should be 165°F.)
- Serve hot or cool quickly and refrigerate for later use.
If you enjoyed this post you may also like Apricot Almond Chicken or Crispy Mediterranean Chicken.
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