Once in a while when I’m cooking, I have a food epiphany. You know, one of those “aha” moments of pure culinary brilliance. And then suddenly I start thinking, wait….did everyone else already know this trick except for me? Then I feel a little dumb.
Chicken is like my go-to meat when I haven’t planned a meal ahead of time which, ahem, does happen at my house “once in a while”. But, nobody wants plain chicken really, right? I don’t know about you, but I tend to get a little bored of it. So, one time, with nothing else at arm’s length, I grabbed some sun-dried tomato vinaigrette out of my fridge and marinated the chicken for a little while (probably around 30 minutes) and gave it a simple little pan-fry. My mother was over for dinner that evening and she asked, “What did you put on this chicken? It tastes amazing.” And that’s when I was like, hmmm….maybe I’m on to something…..why don’t I try some other vinaigrettes on chicken as well?
It has become a wonderful chickeny relationship over the years when I’m having a lazy day. My favorites that I make are with the sun-dried tomato vinaigrette I mentioned above, balsamic vinaigrette, and sesame ginger vinaigrette. I’ve used these marinades both for grilling or pan-frying.
So, anyway, maybe everyone else in the whole world already knew about this simple trick to flavor up your chicken with next to no effort, so if you did, consider yourself light years ahead of me, and if you didn’t, well, you should give it a try!
- 4 chicken breasts
- 3/4 cup to 1 vinaigrette of your choice - enough to cover all of the meat I like sun-dried tomato, balsamic, or sesame ginger
Prepare your chicken breasts by pounding and/or poking holes generously in each piece with a fork (this helps it absorb the marinade faster).
Place your chicken breasts in a large plastic bag or container.
Add vinaigrette to chicken.
Seal bag or container.
Place in refrigerator.
Let marinate for about 2 hours (or can go as little as 30 minutes or up to 2 days in the refrigerator, according to the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service.).
Heat your grill or pan.
When fully heated, place the chicken on the grill or pan and cook for about 4 minutes per side, or until cooked through (less if you have pounded it flatter).
Alternatively, you can cook your chicken in the oven at 375 for about 15 minutes, or until cooked through (will vary depending on the thickness of your chicken breast).
Recipe NotesQuick Tips:
Always marinate in the refrigerator, not room temperature.
Try to plan ahead and throw the marinated meat in the fridge the night before or morning before you head out for the day. The flavor will be better.
Plastic bags are best for marinating as they allow you to evenly distribute the marinade.
Throw out the leftover marinade - do not reuse!
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