Giada De Laurentiis' Favorite Chicken Marinade Is Very Simple

By itself, chicken can taste spongy, dry, and bland. But with the right medley of seasonings, sauces, and marinades, any chicken dish can be clucking awesome.

Italian-American domestic goddess, cooking show host, cookbook author, and chef Giada De Laurentiis recently answered questions from her fans via Google Cameos. One viewer asked, "What is the best chicken marinade?" Without skipping a beat, De Laurentiis shared her super simple go-to recipe that home cooks of all culinary skill sets can accomplish. 

Her marinade calls for just a few ingredients, all of which complement one another perfectly. The key ingredient will give the chicken a sweet, tangy flavor and moist, tender texture — and it's a total blast from the past! According to De Laurentiis herself, you start with a can of frozen orange juice concentrate. However, instead of adding water (like you usually would to make orange juice), place it in a large sealable plastic bag and carefully let it thaw in the fridge.

Her food blog Giadzy explains why she prefers orange juice concentrate over plain ol' OJ: It's highly acidic and flavorful, which makes it an ideal marinade ingredient.

What other ingredients does Giada use in her favorite chicken marinade?

Giada De Laurentiis also recommends adding lots of garlic cloves for a punch of powerful flavor and a fragrant aroma. No need to chop them up; simply peel them and let them work their magic. Then, drop in a bunch of fresh thyme and some fresh rosemary for rich herbal notes. Voila!

Add the chicken to the baggie, give it a good shake, and "let it marinade as long as you like!" Well, maybe not too long. If you let the chicken sit in the concentrate for longer than eight hours, the meat's texture can change slightly from the acid, according to De Laurentiis. And no one wants soggy chicken!

You can also follow along with this go-to weeknight chicken recipe on the Giadzy YouTube channel. In the video, De Laurentiis simply adds all of the ingredients to a large bowl and mixes everything together with a spatula. "You could do this in the morning and let it sit," she recommends.

When the chicken is fully marinated, you can prepare it any way you'd like. Pair it with pasta, fresh veggies, rice and beans, or crusty bread and indulge in every single citrusy, savory bite!