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Aug 31, 2007 06:17 AM

Tasty marinade for chicken on the grill...

I'm have a bbq on Sunday for about 20 adults (the 16 kids will have pizza as part of the birthday party beforehand and will probably just nibble on the bbq stuff).

There'll be 3 different Indian (i.e. spicy) apps, spinach dip (Costco's is to die for!), a bean/corn/onion/cilantro salad, a green salad, couscous paella, hamburgers, veggie burgers and grilled chicken.

Can anyone suggest a really tasty marinade for the chicken? I'm thinking legs and thighs as they tend not to dry out the way breast meat can --my hubby is manning the grill and he's not a cook... I don't want it to be spicy but it does have to be very tasty. My guests range from my Friday's loving neighbors (don't eat anything overly spicy), a few Indian vegetarians, and several real foodies!

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  1. Garlic Lime is a nice change of pace - I'm sure there's lots of recipes here...I sort of wing it (no pun intended) with garlic, lime and oil then add any other spice I'm in the mood for.

    Someone I know used a bottle of Italian dressing as a marinade and it was actually pretty good.

    1. If you have Bittman's, How to Cook Everything, he has several very good grilled chicken recipes. Also, use boneless thighs for the most tender.

      1 Reply
      1. re: bakerboyz

        Check the Epicurious website for the Vegetable Couscous Paella -- I up the amount
        of garlic and skip the artichoke hearts.

        The bean salad is a variation of something my sister-in-law makes. Here's my basic recipe: Drain and mix one can each of red kidney beans, chickpeas, and corn. Add to this the following veggies, all finely chopped: 3 stalks celery, 4 scallions, 1 large tomato, big handful of cilantro (leaves and stems), 1/2 red onion. Top with a dressing of: 4T olive oil, 3T regular vinegar, 1T balsamic vinegar, 1t pressed garlic, 1/2 t mustard powder, 1/2t sugar, juice of 1/2 a lemon and salt.
        I like to make it a couple of hours before serving so that the flavors blend.

        I don't know what's in the Costco spinach dip. I served it 2 years ago as part of my Thanksgiving Day apps and my Aunt who is an incredible cook and does private caterering wanted my "recipe" -- let me tell you she was shocked to find out it was store-bought (the only thing that was, as I believe in a 'from scratch' Thanksgiving!).

      2. You're giving me some ideas. I'm having a bbq next week for people from my office. I was thinking of just doing dogs and burgers and sides but your menu sounds MUCH better. Maybe some dogs, some beef kebab and grilled chicken.

        Is the bean/corn/onion/cilantro salad your own? What's in the Costco spinach dip? A recipe for couscous paella? That sounded interesting.

        Thanks for the help!

        1. You can't go wrong with a basic Terriyaki marinade. It will have flavor but will not be hot, and even kids can eat it easily. Here is what I use:

          1 cup soy sauce
          1/4 cup rice vinegar
          3 tablespoons sesame oil
          1 tablesspoon garlic powder or 2 tablespoons minced fresh garlic
          1 tablespoon dried ginger powder or 2 tablesspoons grated fresh ginger

          You can vary this, such as adding 1/4 cup of honey (it can burn, so don't do it if your husband is cooking) or leaving out the vinegar altogether. It doesn't have to be exact -- I never measure. You can also add 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper or one tsp of "Mongolian Fire Oil" (Asian pepper oil) if you want to make it hot in the future. Don't know how much chicken you are cooking, but soaking this for at least one hour in a zip loc bag and brushing on additional marinade in the early stages of cooking only (food safety issue -- don't use the marinade except at the very beginning of cooking) will add to the flavor. Throw out the marinade once the chicken has been cooking for safety. If you want to finish with a glaze, mix the same proportions with a half cup of honey in a new batch and add at the very last minute to avoid burning. The dark meat sections of the chicken really take to this well. BTW, I use the dried spices for convenience all the time -- it goes faster and blends easier with a wire wisk.

          There is another glaze variation in which you can use peach or apricot jelly or preserves, and thin out with soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic powder and ginger. This can also go on at the last minute because it burns, but it is just amazing.

          It will stand up to the other delicious foods without the spice. Have fun.

          1. A tasty idiot proof marinade that really works perfect for chicken on the grill is Mojito or Spanish BBQ Marinade. You can buy it in the Ethnic section at your supermarket and you can marinate 1 hour or 24 hours and it will be a hit. Not spicey but tasty. Perfect every time.