Marinating is an easy way to add moisture and flavor to any meat. The results of such a quick method make marinating an obvious choice, and the mild taste of chicken makes it the perfect vessel for a flavorful marinade. Chicken, particularly boneless cuts, easily can become dry during cooking. Marinating ensures chicken stays moist even if it is slightly overcooked.
A wonderful ingredient to make your chicken taste full and rich, unsweetened coconut milk also helps other flavors stick to the chicken. Use these recipes with any cut of chicken: boneless or bone-in, and skin on or off. Marinade chicken in a sealed container or zippered bag for at least three hours and up to 24 hours in the refrigerator. Discard the marinade before cooking the chicken. Portions are based on four servings of chicken.
Coconut milk's sweetness balances spicy curry. Combine four cloves of minced garlic; 1 teaspoon each of sugar, ground coriander, turmeric and curry power; 1 tablespoon of fish sauce; 1/8 cup of coconut milk; and salt and pepper to taste. If you enjoy an extra-spicy curry, add up to one whole seeded and minced serrano chile to the marinade.
Lemongrass gives coconut milk's rich and sweet flavor a bright and fragrant lift. Remove the inner bulbs of two stalks of lemon grass and mince them. Add 1/2 cup of coconut milk, 1/8 cup fish sauce, the juice of one lime, three cloves of minced garlic and 1 tablespoon of dark brown sugar. Add one seeded and minced Thai chile for a spicy marinade.
The thickness of peanut butter makes a beautifully textured marinade that sticks to chicken. Adding yogurt combats the sweetness of the coconut milk and peanut butter. Blend 1/2 cup of coconut milk, 1/4 cup each of peanut butter and plain yogurt, the juice of one lime, two cloves of garlic and 1 teaspoon of sugar in a blender until smooth. Add 1/4 cup of cilantro and one seeded and diced jalapeno pepper. Pulse in the blender until combined.
This marinade is very flavorful yet balanced between sweet, spicy and salty. Blend 3 tablespoons of brown sugar, 1 teaspoon each of salt and pepper, six cloves of garlic, 1/4 cup of cilantro -- stems included -- and a 1-inch piece of ginger until a paste forms. Add 1/4 cup of coconut milk, 1 tablespoon each of toasted sesame oil and Worcestershire sauce, 2 teaspoons of oyster sauce, and 2 tablespoons of dark soy sauce. Blend until smooth.
Simple Savory Coconut Marinade
This simple marinade is ready in a snap for busy days. Blend 1/2 cup of coconut milk, one small onion, one small bell pepper, four cloves of garlic, 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 1/4 cup of parsley until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste.