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Whirlwind World Tour of Chicken Marinades


Don't know what to do with your chicken? Give it a marinade spin around the world.

Chicken is versatile and healthy and it's typically easy to prepare. It also freezes well, and thaws in the microwave quickly. However, once you have this fresh piece of poultry ready to cook - what will you do?

Many main courses do better with just a tiny bit of advance planning. This is easy by creating a fast marinade. Let it sit for a few hours or overnight and it's ready to pop in a skillet or in the oven or on the grill. Remember that parchment cooking, too, is a great way to retain those juicy tendencies.

When you're ready for a little variety, here are a few ethnic marinades that will spice things up a bit and vary the great taste of chicken in subtle - and not so subtle - ways. Remember, though, that the longer you marinate, the stronger the flavor.

If you wish, you can also take chicken straight from the freezer to the fridge and marinate until it thaws. You'll need a couple of days for this and the pieces should be turned frequently to be sure they're all getting equal marinating treatment.

Let's get started. You'll need enough chicken breasts to feed your gang and that's it. Blend you marinades in a separate bowl, place the chicken in a durable bag, and add the liquid. You should keep the bagged chicken in a bowl in case of leakage and to protect other foods.

Asian
This one's easy and even better if you plan to use a wok. The chicken should be sliced in strips for a true wok experience. It's also easier to slice the chicken when it's frozen.

½ cup chicken broth
2 Tablespoons sesame oil
2 Tablespoons soy sauce
1 Tablespoon fresh grated gingerroot
1 Tablespoon white wine (or cooking wine, although purists would never recommend it)

Caribbean
1 cup coconut milk
1 cup olive oil
½ cup lime or lemon juice
1 ground Jalapeno (or scotch bonnet if you dare)
4 green onions, chopped
Fresh cilantro chopped

Greek
1 cup white wine (the good stuff - use only what you would serve at the table)
½ cup olive oil
3 tablespoons oregano
1 small yellow onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced

Tex-Mex
1 can chicken broth (reduced sodium)
1/3 cup lime juice
1 small onion, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 jalapenos (use serranos if desired, and habaneros if you want flaming)
¼ cup olive or vegetable oil
2 fresh tomatillos, chopped
2 Tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon oregano
Fresh cilantro chopped

French
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 ½ cups good white wine
½ cup lemon juice
¾ cup mustard (dijon preferred)
4 cloves garlic minced

Each of these marinades will deliver a completely different taste. You can always adjust as needed. We typically refrain from salt as that can leach out some of the moisture, but can never seem to resist adding a good splash of ground black pepper.

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