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The Best (and Easiest) Chicken Breast Marinades

July 14, 2020



4 chicken breast marinades with Primal Kitchen marinades

Chicken breasts are some of the most popular sources of lean protein. According to Cronometer, one six-ounce skinless chicken breast contains about 295 calories, 53 grams of protein, nearly 8 grams of fat, 0 grams of carbs, and is rich in vitamins A, B3, and D, choline, phosphorous, potassium, and magnesium. Skinless chicken breasts are a "diet food" favorite, likely for their macronutrient makeup. Pictures come to mind of '80s aerobics queens outfitted with leotards, leg warmers, and sweatbands keeping their feathered bangs off their sweaty foreheads and cutting their poached chicken breast up into tiny bites, or bodybuilders pushing to lean out and eating multiple grilled chicken breasts for the protein. 

Chicken breast recipes often include instructions for marinating the chicken because, well, skinless chicken breast meat can be bland and boring. You need to cook chicken until the internal temperature of the breast reaches 165ºF, but cooking it any more than that can result in dry, chewy meat. 

Why Use a Marinade on Chicken Breasts?

Marinades add flavor, moisture, and interest to chicken breasts. Chicken breast marinades can contain oil, salt and pepper, vinegar or citrus juice, fresh or dried herbs, seasonings, minced garlic, a sweetener (examples: honey, sugar, maple syrup), and sauces (examples: soy sauce, fish sauce, Worcestershire sauce).

Chicken breasts can marinate for 30 minutes to a couple of hours or even overnight. Store marinated chicken breasts in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. 

Freeze uncooked marinated chicken breasts in resealable bags in the freezer for up to three months. Make sure to label the outside of the resealable bag with the contents and the date you prepared and froze the marinated chicken breast. 

How to Marinate Chicken

Combine the marinade ingredients in a bowl, and stir well. You can also put all of the marinade ingredients in a mason jar, screw the lid on tight, and shake up the mason jar. Place the chicken breast or chicken breasts in a glass container with an airtight lid, or in a resealable bag, and pour the marinade into the container. Place in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes and up to 24 hours. 

Remove the marinated chicken breasts from the refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature on the kitchen counter for 10–20 minutes. Preheat the oven, grill, or a skillet on the stove to cook your chicken breasts.

4 Easy Keto Chicken Breast Marinade Recipes

We love saving time in the kitchen. Meal prep can be time consuming, so we've cut the chopping and shopping down by using Primal Kitchen dressings and marinades as the supporting main ingredient in our chicken breast marinade recipes. Check out these fabulous four ideas with five or six ingredients that take five minutes or less to pull together.

Citrus Chicken Marinade

Chicken breast marinating in Primal Kitchen Lemon Turmeric Vinaigrette

Ingredients

Instructions

To marinate: Place chicken breast in a glass container or resealable bag. Season with salt and pepper. Add Lemon Turmeric Vinaigrette and lemon slices. Cover or seal bag and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, and up to 24 hours.  

Balsamic Chicken Marinade

Chicken breast marinating in Primal Kitchen Balsamic Vinaigrette

Ingredients

Instructions

To marinate: Place chicken breast in a glass container or resealable bag. Season with salt and pepper. Add Balsamic Vinaigrette and basil. Cover or seal bag and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, and up to 24 hours.

Sesame Ginger Chicken Marinade

Chicken breast marinating in Sesame Ginger Vinaigrette

Ingredients

Instructions

To marinate: Place chicken breast in a glass container or resealable bag. Season with salt and pepper. Add Sesame Ginger Vinaigrette and sesame seeds. Cover or seal bag and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, and up to 24 hours.

Cilantro Lime Chicken Marinade

Chicken breast marinating in Primal Kitchen Cilantro Lime Dressing

Ingredients

Instructions

To marinate: Place chicken breast in a glass container or resealable bag. Season with salt and pepper. Add Cilantro Lime Dressing, lime slices, and cilantro. Cover or seal bag and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, and up to 24 hours.

Chicken Breast Cooking Instructions

  • In the oven: Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Place the chicken breast in an oven-safe cooking dish and bake for 25–30 minutes.
  • On the stove: Heat a teaspoon of avocado or olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Place the chicken breast in the skillet and cook for 5–6 minutes on each side.
  • On the grill: Lightly oil the grill grates (do so carefully to avoid a flare up). Place the chicken breast on direct heat and cook for 7–8 minutes per side. 

Chicken Breast Cooking Tips

  1. Let the chicken breast warm up to room temperature once you remove it from the refrigerator. Depending on how warm your kitchen is, this can take 10–20 minutes. Taking the chill off your chicken will ensure more even cooking.  
  2. Remove the chicken from the marinade and allow any excess marinade to drip off. Discard the marinade; do not boil it or try to reuse it. 
  3. To ensure your chicken breast is cooked thoroughly, use a meat thermometer to measure the internal temperature. Fully cooked chicken breast should read 165ºF. 
  4. Let the chicken breast rest for 3–5 minutes after cooking before slicing it. This will help the chicken stay moist. 

You might like these chicken recipes:

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