Friday, January 1, 2010

Chicken Marinades 101

I have gained some knowledge that I would like to share; newly minted college grads need a starting point on cooking. Top Chef and the like are overwhelming, the cookbooks are ridiculous purchases when that money could be spent on beer, concerts, sports events and beer. If this crowd is going to cook, it better be simple and it better come from an online source or forget it. They can run NASA off of their iPhones but ask them how to caramelize onions and I guarantee many blank looks.

Where did I receive this knowledge and moreover, why do I care? Well, as a singleton I meet some interesting people in bars and I happened to have a conversation with one of those previously mentioned college grads. I received a request from him for some easy marinades that was not a "witch's brew" but a little more interesting than just salad dressing showboating as a marinade. We talked about a few different options and I decided that I needed to do a post on easy marinades. To the question, why do I care? The best answer I can offer is that I am not so old and removed from that time in my life that I don't remember what it was like trying to cook when I didn't even have a pan, literally. I was also totally broke at that age which I am trying to take into account with the ingredient list.

So here are four (4) chicken breast marinades. I tried to keep the ingredient list to a minimum which is like tying my hand behind my back but I think I showed an amazing amount of restraint. Enjoy!

Marinade 1:

1/2 cup fresh lime juice
6 tablespoons soy sauce
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon minced garlic

Marinade 2:

3 garlic cloves
1 large onion, cut into large chunks
1/4 cup packed fresh cilantro, basil, or parsley leaves
One 16-ounce container plain low-fat yogurt
Grated zest of 2 limes
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon salt

Marinade 3:

1 tbsp. Olive oil
1 Rosemary stem
2 cloves of garlic chopped
Salt/Pepper to taste
Chicken Stock or Broth

Marinade 4:

1/4 cup chopped garlic
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 cups fresh orange juice
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
1/2 cup olive oil
4 teaspoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon black pepper
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro

Marinate overnight if possible or a minimum of two hours. These marinades are meant for a skinless, boneless breast of chicken of about six ounces. Grill the breasts or pan fry them for approximately 6-8 minutes per side depending on the thickness of the breast. Transfer the breast to a plate and cover it with tin foil for about 5 minutes to allow the juices to flow back into the breast. Serve with vegetables or put it on a roll with your favorite toppings and have it as a sandwich.

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