by Ms. Natasha Haynes, MSU Extension Service
Have you ever fallen into a cooking rut, using the same spices and flavorings on all your foods? There’s nothing wrong with relying on a few faithful flavors— I love lemon pepper! — but trying new recipes can open up your taste horizons and renew your enthusiasm for cooking.
Marinades are a fun way to experiment with flavors, and you don’t have to spend a lot of money on premade options. Combining different oils, acids (citrus juice, vinegar, soy sauce), and spices can take your taste buds on an adventure.
Marinades give grilled foods more than flavor—they boost the moisture content so your foods don’t dry out while cooking to the proper temperature. Use a thermometer to check meat for doneness. The U.S. Department of Agriculture offers more grilling tips, including the proper temperatures for various types of meat you may grill.
Remember to store raw meat on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator to prevent cross-contamination in case of leaks. Save some marinade in a separate bowl if you want to add it after the meat is cooked. Do not put the same marinade you had the raw meat in on top of the cooked meat!
Sweet and Tangy Chicken Marinade
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 lime, juiced
- 1/2 lemon, juiced
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 6 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
Mix all ingredients in a bowl except olive oil and chicken. Drizzle olive oil in very slowly while whisking the marinade mixture quickly.
Put the chicken in a large, sealable plastic bag and pour 3/4 of the marinade over it. Put chicken in the refrigerator to marinate for at least 2 hours.
Once desired level of marination is reached, grill over medium-high heat until a thermometer placed in the thickest part of the chicken breast reads 165 degrees F.
Our friends at West Virginia University Extension developed this delicious recipe.