Thursday, 20 June 2013

10 Healthy Marinades for Chicken

Here are 10 different marinades and recipes to keep your chicken dishes exciting!! Some are healthier than others...

10: Fajita Marinade

Want your fajitas to have a little kick? Try this simple marinade to season your chicken before grilling.
Marinade ingredients:
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced and divided
  • 1 pound chicken tenders
This marinade is about as simple as it gets. Put the chicken tenders in an 11- by 7-inch (27.9-centimeter by 17.8-centimeter) glass baking dish. Combine the lime juice and about half of the minced garlic. Pour the mixture over the chicken, tossing the tenders to coat them evenly. Cover the dish and allow it to marinate in the refrigerator for half an hour, stirring occasionally.
Citrus fruits like limes have acids in them that help break down tissue in meat. The juice acts as a tenderizer while also adding flavor. Don't leave the chicken marinating for too long, or the lime juice will break down too much of the tissue.
Once your chicken is marinated, you can move on to cooking. To make amazing fajitas, try this recipe.
  • 1 cup sliced red bell peppers
  • 1 cup sliced green bell peppers
  • 1 cup sliced yellow bell peppers
  • 3/4 cup onion slices (about 1 medium onion)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 8 teaspoons reduced-fat sour cream
  • 8 (6-inch) flour tortillas, warmed
Spray a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray. Heat it over medium heat until hot. Add the chicken mixture. Cook and stir five to seven minutes or until browned and no longer pink in center. Remove chicken from the skillet. Drain excess liquid from skillet, if necessary.
Add the bell peppers, onion and remaining garlic to the skillet. Cook and stir about five minutes or until tender. Sprinkle with cumin, salt and ground red pepper. Return chicken to skillet. Cook and stir one to two minutes.
Now you're ready to make your fajitas!

9: Barbecue Chicken Marinade

Here is a great formula for a tasty barbecue chicken dish that uses a sherry and dry vermouth marinade. Try to use a sherry suitable for drinking when making the dish -- it'll add a lot of flavor to the finished product. You can use the recipe as a sauce or even to baste if you like. Always be careful with bastes -- this one contains vegetable oil, which is flammable.
  • 1 cup sherry
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Medium onion, minced
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon mixed herbs
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon dry vermouth
Combine all ingredients, and marinate the chicken for about three hours before grilling. Grill the chicken until it is cooked through and serve.

8: Teriyaki Marinade

It's an old standby -- the teriyaki marinade. This marinade is versatile and a crowd-pleaser. You can serve your chicken with fresh fruits or vegetables, both go well with the flavors of teriyaki. And best of all, it's simple and quick to put together.
You'll only need four ingredients:
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1 cup soy sauce
  • 1 cup sugar
  • Sprinkle of garlic powder
Combine all ingredients, and marinate your chicken for one hour or so. Remember that oranges have citric acid -- so don't allow the chicken to marinate for too long.
After marinating, grill your chicken until it's cooked through. Serve with vegetables like onions or bell peppers or fruits like pineapple. A simple bowl of rice makes an appropriate side dish.

7: Grilled Chicken with Orange Glaze

This grilled chicken recipe makes four servings. If the peppers in the dish are too strong for your tastes, try removing the seeds before crushing them. Remember to wear gloves when preparing peppers to avoid getting any pepper juice on your hands and accidentally transferring it to your eyes or nose.
  • 1 to 2 dried de arbol chilies
  • 1/2 cup fresh orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons tequila
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons grated orange peel
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 broiler-fryer chicken (about 3 pounds or 1.4 kilograms), cut into quarters
  • Orange slices (optional)
  • Fresh cilantro or parsley (optional)
Begin by crushing the chilies into coarse flakes using a mortar and pestle. Combine crushed chilies, orange juice, tequila, garlic, orange peel and salt in small bowl. Gradually add oil, whisking continuously, until marinade is thoroughly blended.
Arrange the chicken in a single layer in a shallow glass baking dish. Pour the mixture over the chicken; and turn each piece to coat it in the marinade. Marinate, covered, in refrigerator two to three hours, turning chicken and basting with the marinade several times.
Prepare the grill for cooking. Drain the chicken but reserve the marinade. Bring the marinade to a boil in a small saucepan over high heat. Boil for two minutes. Grill the chicken on a covered grill for 15 minutes, brushing frequently with marinade. Turn the chicken and grill for 15 minutes more or until chicken is no longer pink in the center and juices run clear, brushing frequently with the marinade. Do not baste during last five minutes of grilling. Discard the remaining marinade. Garnish with orange slices and cilantro.

6: Chicken with Peanut-ginger Marinade

This Asian-influenced marinade is sweet, salty and tangy. While it's possible to substitute less expensive or powdered versions of some of the ingredients, the best version uses fresh ingredients. You'll get quite a zing if you're using fresh ginger and orange zest. Freshly-squeezed orange juice rather than the store-bought variety will also help create a superior marinade.
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 2 teaspoons orange zest
  • 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup light soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons ginger
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Mix together the orange juice, orange zest, peanut butter, sugar, soy sauce, ginger, garlic and red pepper flakes until the mixture is smooth. Put the chicken in a sealed plastic bag after filling the bag with the mixture. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, but no longer than eight hours. Bake, roast or grill until chicken is no longer pink in the center and juices run clear when meat is pierced.

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