Mediterranean chicken marinade is quick to make with a handful of pantry staples. Make this recipe to marinate chicken thighs or breasts.
The purpose of marinating chicken is more about providing flavor than it is for tenderizing. Meats like beef and pork need a marinade to tenderize. However, a well made chicken marinade will add some flavor to the dish you’re making.
Mediterranean cuisine is known for its bright, fresh flavors, and my Mediterranean chicken marinade has plenty of that!
Ingredients in Mediterranean Chicken Marinade
Generally speaking, there are a few components required for all marinades. Each ingredient plays a part in creating poultry that’s juicy and delicious.
- Fat – Oil creates a non-stick surface which is great for grilling, but it also penetrates the chicken to keep it juicy
- Acid – An acidic ingredient tenderizes the meat. For this recipe, we use lemon juice
- Salt – Salt intensifies the flavors of the marinade. Just be sure not to use too much, as it can quickly dry out the meat
- Seasonings – To create a Greek flavor, we use oregano, dill, lemon, and a few other basic spices. The flavor is fresh and bold
How to Use Leftover Marinade
With just a couple of extra very important steps, any marinade can be used as a sauce for dipping! Not only that, but Mediterranean chicken marinade makes an amazing vinaigrette for a Greek feta salad!
This being said, food safety is very important, because of something known as cross contamination. This is when harmful bacteria or contaminants are transferred to non-contaminated surfaces and/or foods.
Before using leftover marinade, it must first be boiled for at least 2 minutes. Not just heated up or brought to a simmer, but a full rolling boil, so that the temperature reaches 212°F or 100°C.
To use leftover Mediterranean chicken marinade as a salad dressing:
Boil the marinade, then allow the mixture to cool at room temperature for a few minutes before transferring it to the fridge to completely chill.
Mediterranean Chicken Marinade FAQ
Freezing chicken in a marinade is easy to do, and it also makes for easier meal prep. Place raw chicken and marinade in a freezer safe zip top bag.
Remove excess air and seal the bag. Then lay it flat in the freezer. It can be stored that way for up to 3 months.
When you’re ready to make the meal, transfer the package to the refrigerator and allow it to thaw out before cooking.
To use leftover marinade as a dipping sauce, it must reach and be kept at a full, rolling boil for 2 minutes. A full rolling boil is when the temperature reaches 212°F or 100°C.
How to Safely Grill Chicken
When precautions aren’t taken, grilling raw meat and poultry presents risks of food poisoning and/or illness from bacteria present in the raw meat.
For that reason, I recommend following the grilling guidelines outlined by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) and USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS).
Mediterranean Chicken Marinade
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2-3 lemons juice only
- 2 garlic cloves
- ¼ cup fresh mint
- ¼ cup fresh oregano
- ¼ cup fresh dill
- ¼ cup fresh parsley
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- Juice lemons to make ⅓ cup and transfer to a small bowl.
- Finely mince the garlic cloves to make 1 tablespoon, add to bowl.
- Finely chop the herbs and add to bowl with red pepper flakes and salt.
- Whisk the marinade ingredients and scoop out ¼ cup to baste chicken. Pour remaining marinade over chicken in a plastic resealable bag. Squeeze the air out of bag and seal. Massage chicken with your hands and allow to marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes.
*The information shown below is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist's advice.