Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

I-Slaved-For-Hours Marinade For Chicken

I-Slaved-For-Hours Marinade For Chicken
T. Susan Chang for NPR /

This is the most ridiculously easy marinade ever. The idea is this: If something as simple as salad dressing makes an effective marinade for chicken (and it does, by the way), why can't you make a four-ingredient soy dressing and use that? Well, you can. We were making margaritas one afternoon, which meant we had extra lime juice and little motivation to cook. You be the judge.

Makes enough for 2 marinades, 4 to 6 servings each. Use one and freeze the other for next time. Feel free to double, triple, etc.

1/2 cup soy sauce

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 tablespoons honey

Zest and juice of 1 lime

2 teaspoons garlic powder

8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs

Whisk together the first 5 ingredients and divide between 2 gallon-size zip-top freezer bags. Freeze one of the bags for future use. Drop the chicken thighs in the other bag and zip it shut, squeezing out as much air as possible. Massage the bag briefly to distribute the marinade evenly over the meat. Marinate for 90 minutes or up to 2 days in the refrigerator.

Preheat the grill until very hot. If using gas, heat only one side of the burners. If using charcoal, place the charcoals all to one side.

When the grill is hot, lift the thighs out of the marinade and place them skin side down on the unheated side. Baste with half the leftover marinade. Close the grill cover, but leave the vents wide open.

After 15 minutes, flip the chicken over so the skin side is up and re-baste. Continue cooking, covered, another 10 to 20 minutes until nearly done. Remove the lid. If the skin doesn't have a rich, golden color, sear the thighs skin-side down over the hot side of the grill for several seconds. If the flames flare up, move the meat immediately so they don't blacken the skin.

Serve hot or at room temperature.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit