Lemon-Thyme Chicken

This is especially good with dark-meat chicken, though you could certainly adjust the cooking time and use breast meat.

1/2 t. grated lemon zest
1 1/2 c. lemon juice
1 T. dried (or 3 t. fresh) thyme
1 T. olive
3 T. honey
16 skinned chicken thighs (bone them if you want)
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper

Place first 5 ingredients in gallon zip-top bag; add chicken.  Seal bag and refrigerate at least 30 minutes, turning occasionally.

NOTE:  Instead of sticking this in the fridge, you can actually put it in the freezer if you want to save it for another night.  You would just let the meat thaw before preparing according to recipe.  Or, you can place the frozen, marinated meat in the slow cooker on low and let it cook all day.  It will be ready when you get home, and it will be super-tasty served over rice or orzo.  This is one of those GREAT opportunities to PLAN AHEAD for a busy-night meal!

Back to the original recipe…

Preheat grill to 350-ish (medium-high).

Remove chicken from bag and discard marinade.

Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper, then grill 5-7 minutes on each side, or until chicken is cooked to temperature.


Chicken Marinade

This is a simple marinade for grilled chicken; it basically brines the chicken while it marinates.  The meat is consistently tender and juicy.

2 c. cider vinegar
3/4 c. oil
1/3 c. salt
1 T. poultry seasoning
1/2 t. pepper

Cook ingredients in a saucepan, stirring well.  Bring to a boil over medium heat; cool and pour into a 9×13 baking dish over chicken pieces.

Cover and refrigerate at least four hours, but no more than eight.

If you want to baste chicken with the marinade during grilling, be sure to bring the marinade back to a full rolling boil to kill any bacteria before basting the meat.

Fajita Marinade

Marinades are so cheap and easy to make—without nearly as much salt and sugar as the store-bought marinades.  It is a rare thing that I don’t have some type of meat marinating in my freezer, which makes meal-planning so much easier for me. This is another marinade recipe from my good pal, Tif, who also happens to be an excellent cook.

3 T. olive oil
¼ c. lemon juice
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
½ t. chili powder
½ t. oregano
½ t. thyme
½ t. ground cumin
1 lb. beef or chicken strips

Garlic-Herb Marinade

I don’t mean to over-simplify this, but it’s just soooo simple!  Mix up the following ingredients, then drop in pieces of chicken (without skin).  Double-bag, then put it in the freezer.  Thaw, then grill or broil when you’re ready to eat it.  You can even dump everything in the slow cooker (frozen or thawed) and let it cook in there.

Another good thing about using marinades is that you can divide the meat and marinade into portions that fit your home.  You can marinate portions for one or two or you can marinate portions for four or five.

4-6 cloves garlic, minced
¼ c. oil
Juice of one lemon or lime
1 bunch of herbs (cilantro, dill, oregano, thyme, rosemary, or basil work well)

Teriyaki Sauce (or Marinade)

My old friend, Tif, shared this one.  Out of all of the marinade recipes I regularly use, this one is probably my favorite–especially on the grill!  It is delicious on chicken, and I hope to one day try it on shrimp.

This is a great way to get a head start on a meal by dividing up meal-sized amounts of chicken and putting them in freezer bags, then pouring this marinade into the bag before sticking them in the freezer.  When you pull the meat out to thaw, it will marinate at the same time.  Round the meal out with some rice and broccoli, and you’ve got a meal!

¼ c. brown sugar, packed
¼ c. soy sauce
2 T. lemon juice
1 T. oil
¼ t. ground ginger
1 clove garlic, minced (Once again, I generally add two…or four.)
2-3 lbs. chicken

All-Purpose Marinade

This recipe was passed along to me by a friend’s mom, Betty.  She uses this for chicken, shrimp, and beef—even a beef roast!  It would be especially easy to pour this marinade over a roast in the slow cooker.  Yum!  I try to get two or three uses out of one batch of marinade.  For instance, I might divide it between a roast, a couple of steaks, and a chicken in the freezer bags to pull out when I’m ready.  This is another one that is GREAT on the grill!

¾ c. soy sauce
½ c. oil
½ c. cider vinegar
1/3 c. lemon juice
¼ c. Worcestershire sauce
2 T. ground mustard (or 2 T. yellow mustard)
2 T. dry parsley (or thyme, or omit)
1 ½ t. pepper
2 cloves garlic  (I usually use four.  I can’t stop myself.)