Greatest Chicken Marinade

This is such a great Chicken Marinade – it infuses chicken with savoury flavour as well as making it extra juicy! Particularly great for chicken breast though it can be used for any cut.

Use it for a quick 30 minute marinade, though it’s even better if you can leave it for longer!

You’ll Need:

  • 700g / 1.4 lb chicken breast, tenderloins or thigh (Note 1)


  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp olive oil (or any oil)
  • 5 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 4 garlic cloves , minced
  • 1 tsp dried oregano (or rosemary, thyme, minced herbs)
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper , ground


  • Finely chopped parsley
  • Lemon slices


  1. Recommended: Pound breast to even thickness using a meat pounder, rolling pin, or fist. OR cut large ones in half horizontally to form 2 cutlets (steaks) for each.
  2. Mix marinade in a ziplock bag (or container in which chicken fits snugly). Add chicken.
  3. Marinate 3 hours to overnight, though even 30 minutes is effective. (Note 2)
  4. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat, and cook chicken per times below until deep golden (see video). If browning too quickly, lower heat.
  5. Transfer to serving plate, cover loosely with foil and rest for 3 minutes before serving, garnished with parsley and lemon slices if desired.


  1. Whole breast and boneless thighs: 3 - 4 minutes each side (internal temp 165F/75C)
  2. Cutlets and tenderloin - 2 minutes each side


1. Chicken - marinade will work for any cut of chicken thought I mostly use skinless boneless cuts.
Easiest to BAKE bone in cuts (breast, legs, thighs) - see Note 4.

2. Quick Marinade 30 min to 1 hr - cut breasts in half horizontally to form 2 thin steaks. For whole thighs or breast, poke a few holes in each breast using a fork. For drumsticks, cut a couple of slashes with knife.

3. Marinade subs:

  • Brown sugar - sub 2 tbsp white sugar, 1.5 tbsp honey, maple syrup
  • Soy - any normal, all purpose soy or light soy good here, or tamari, mushroom soy sauce. If you have sweet soy or kecap manis, skip sugar. Dark soy sauce not recommended (label will say "dark soy).
  • No soy? Dissolve 1 tsp salt in 4 tbsp water, then use in place of soy sauce.
  • Lemon - sub with less sharp vinegars like cider vinegar, white wine or red wine vinegar, rice vinegar. Or 1.5 tbsp other vinegars (normal white vinegar, balsamic)
  • Worcestershire - dollop of ketchup or BBQ sauce would be a decent sub there! Say 2 tbsp, then cut down sugar. HP Sauce, steak sauce or other savoury sauces also good.
  • Garlic - 3 tsp from jar, or 3/4 tsp dried garlic powder good here. Also 1/4 tsp onion powder would be nice too.
  • Dried herbs - anything is the go here, go with what you like. Fresh won't really work here, too delicate unless doing a short marinade. Exception - fresh rosemary is terrific, 1 tsp finely chopped.

4. Baking directions - stove is best to get nice browning, but to bake, cook as follows:

  • Breast and boneless thighs - bake 18 minutes at 425F/220C oven, or internal temperature is 165F/75C, followed by quick grill/broil on high to brown
  • Drumsticks, wings and bone in thighs - 50 minutes at 180C/350F, basting with juices once or twice

5. Storage - Cooked chicken will be good for 3 to 4 days in the fridge, I always reheat in microwave because it keeps it moist. If keeping cooked chicken, boneless thigh is best (stays juiciest).

Freeze raw chicken in marinade as soon as you make it up (chicken will marinade while thawing!). Thaw then cook per recipe.