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6 of the best herby, spicy and sticky marinades for the ultimate chicken dinner

Think a soy and sesame Sunday roast, or piri-piri drumsticks on the BBQ.

Image: Shutterstock

THERE ARE FEW things as satisfying as perfectly cooked chicken, be it roasted, grilled or fried. And even though it sounds like a simple task, chicken can be very tricky to cook just right.

The fear of undercooking it can sometimes lead to a dry, over-cooked chicken, with minimal juices and flavour left. If you haven’t yet mastered the art of the perfect chicken, do not fear! This is where a marinade can prove useful.

A simple marinade can transform a piece of chicken into something packed with flavour, that’s both tender and juicy. One of the joys of a good marinade is that it can disguise an overcooked chicken, and help it to retain its juices.

Depending on what you’re looking for, it’s important to remember that different ingredients will end up with different results. For example, an overnight buttermilk marinade will greatly transform the texture, while a dry spice packed rub will have more effect on the flavour.

Whatever style of marinade you opt for, you are bound to taste positive results! Check out some of my favourites below, most of which can be used on anything from a full chicken for a Sunday roast to a couple of chicken breasts for an amped up midweek meal…

1. Paprika and Buttermilk Chicken, from A Life of Geekery 
This five ingredient recipe uses buttermilk as the main component of the marinade, resulting in tender, moist chicken. Allow to marinade overnight for the best results – it’ll be worth the wait!

2. Sweet and Sticky Sesame Chicken, from GastroGays 
Combining flavours like honey, soy and garlic, this sweet and sticky marinade results in melt in the mouth chicken, all roasted in one pan. Perfect for the BBQ or if you want something a little different to the usual roast dinner. The marinade here can be adapted for wings or breasts too.

shutterstock_405218857 Source: Shutterstock

3. Tikka Masala Marinade, from I Love Cooking
A great option if you’re craving a take away but want something a little lighter. When cooking the chicken, allow it to char slightly for even better results. Serve with naan bread and a side salad for a light summer supper.

4. Sichuan Chilli Chicken, from Appetite for China
This flavour packed marinade is, as the name suggests, loaded with chilli. But don’t let that put you off – the spice is balanced out with the addition of garlic and ginger. This is a stir-fry recipe, but the marinade would work for frying larger cuts too.

5. Piri Piri Chicken, from The Hairy Bikers
The best thing about this marinade is that you can add in as much or as little chilli as you like, depending on how much spice you’re craving. The flavours in this piri piri chicken would be a match made in heaven with some homemade creamy coleslaw and a baked potato. 

6. BBQ Chicken Drumsticks, from One Yummy Mummy
This BBQ rub is succulent, juicy, with a distinct smokey and sweet barbecue flavour, and very easy to throw together too! Perfect for kids, parties, or BBQs.

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