Sometimes things just don’t work out like you planned.
I have very rarely scrapped a recipe without even tasting it, but last week I tried a real stinker. It was a recipe for a chicken marinade/paste that I had found online. The pictures posted with the recipe looked fabulous and I had high hopes. My plan was to mix up the marinade with the chicken, let it sit overnight and then grill it for dinner the next day. I got my ingredients together, whirred up everything in the food processor, took a sniff, and…not good. It’s not that it smelled rotten. All the ingredients were fresh, and individually they were all things I’ve used in the past and enjoyed. But when they were mixed together it wasn’t pretty. I decided to scrap the marinade and start over. Not an easy decision considering it was already past 9pm (my bedtime!). Maybe I should have still given it a try, but it really wasn’t appetizing and I decided I would rather waste the few ingredients that went into the marinade then ruin 2 whole pounds of chicken.
I still needed to do something with the chicken though, and wasn’t feeling too inspired. I ended up falling back on a pretty standard marinade I’ve used in the past. It’s not fancy, but it’s quick and I had most of the ingredients on hand. We grilled the chicken the next day with some veggies. Despite the hassle the night before, it turned out to be a simple and easy weeknight dinner.
The Only Marinade You’ll Ever Need
Adapted from Barbecue! Bible Sauces, Rubs and Marinades by Steven Raichlen
The original recipe also called for strips of lemon zest and some additional herbs, but I had already used up my zest in the ‘bad’ marinade and all I had in the fridge was parsley, so I left them out. I just threw all of the ingredients in a ziplock bag, smooshed them around and then added boneless, skinless chicken thighs. I let the chicken marinate overnight and then grilled it the next day.
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
- 3 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh parsley