The Quick Trick For Cutting Time When Marinating Chicken Breasts

There's an old chef's tale that if you know how to cook the perfect chicken, you pretty much can cook anything. While sometimes chicken is referred to as one of the easier meals to cook, it can be challenging to get such a bland piece of meat packed full of flavor with the best texture all while making sure it's cooked all the way. Since chicken is so versatile, it's easy to cook it with anything you have in mind for dinner. And more importantly (if it's defrosted) it's a good quick and easy meal to cook if you have the right tips and tricks to help you through the process.

A good way to give your chicken lots of flavor is to let it marinate in a mix of delicious ingredients. Marinating a chicken lets it absorb all the flavors of the ingredients in the marinade, creating a better texture and allowing the chicken to become more tender. Depending on the ingredients you use and the time allowed for the chicken to sit in the marinade, enzymes are broken down creating a better piece of chicken breast than before (via Campbells Meat). But marinating can take a while, and sometimes we don't have that kind of time. 

So here are some tricks to help the process along.

Cut the chicken to cut time

One of the best ways you can make a quick and easy chicken dinner that is full of flavor is to marinate the chicken. But, we know that an overnight marinate system can be time-consuming, and we don't always have the time for that. If you forgot to take the chicken out of the freezer or didn't have time to marinate it before heading off to work in the morning, there's a trick for cutting your marinating time down if you're in a pinch. You can cut the chicken breast into smaller pieces so more outside pieces of the chicken are able to soak in the marinade, covering more surface area all around and giving the final product much more flavor (via Allrecipes).

While the best amount of time to marinate your chicken is about two hours, if you let it marinate longer, you get fuller flavors. The longer you have, and the more surface area covered, the more intense the marinade will be in the end. Just remember that the longer you marinate the chicken, especially if you decide to cut up the chicken more for more surface coverage, the marinate may start to break down the chicken causing it to get a little mushy(via PT Puri Pangan Utama). Nobody wants mushy chicken, so be aware of some of the biggest mistakes you're making with chicken breasts and marinate with caution.

Try different marinades

Now let's say you don't have a go-to marinade quite yet. There's a secret to a perfect chicken marinade, and it helps a lot. According to MasterClass, you want to have a marinade that is three parts oils to one part acid with other seasonings of your choice. Just be sure to include the basics like salt, pepper, and of course a little garlic. Oils like olive oil or vegetable oil are a good base to start with. Different kinds of vinegar like balsamic or red wine are good acids as well. You can also work with lemon juice or orange juice depending on the other ingredients you are including.

There are a lot of different chicken marinades out there, one for each type of dinner you may be cooking. From Greek to Italian to Mexican and Asian, there is a whole range of ingredients you can use to take your chicken in many different directions. Check out this simple chicken marinade recipe, don't forget your new tricks for marinating, and get going on the perfect chicken dinner.