Happy Friday everyone! Jessi here! Today I want to tell you a little bit about the magic of a good marinade! Marinades are a simple way to bump of the flavor of whatever you are cooking. The ingredients and flavors of a marinade can be as diverse as all of the cuisines around the world. All sorts of dishes call for marinating, for various reasons too. Classic fried chicken is often marinated in buttermilk because the acid helps to break down the meat, tenderizing it and injecting it with flavor. This lemon, garlic, and honey marinade is perfect for all sorts of food. You can use it on chicken, veggies, seafood, duck, as a salad dressing, as a dipping sauce and anything else you can think of!
Now if you are wondering how a marinade works, I can give you some insight. Marinades are made up of fats, acids, and flavor enhancers! The fat in a marinade can be vegetable or animal fat, for this recipe I am using fruity extra virgin olive oil. The fat will add flavor, help keep the meat moist during cooking, and heat up to brown and crisp whatever you are marinating. The acid in this instance is lemon juice! Acids are corrosive and it will permeate the meat and tenderize it. It also adds a sharp flavor that contrasts with the fat, savory flavor. Lemon zest, garlic, salt, pepper, and honey are our flavor enhancers. The honey especially helps the marinade because it balances out the acid flavor. It also adds more sugar, more sugar = more caramelization = more flavor!
For this recipe, the marinade doubles as a vinaigrette for the a flavorful and fresh orzo salad! The flavors in the chicken and the salad go so well together. Make sure you buy chicken that is skin on and bone-in, it will have 10 times the flavor as a boneless, skinless breast!
- Zest and Juice of 2 Lemons
- 2 Extra Large or 6 Small Heads of Garlic
- 2 1/2 Tbsp of Honey
- 1 Tsp Salt
- 1 Tsp Pepper
- 2 Cups of Olive Oil
- 1 small box of Orzo
- 1/2 Red Onion
- 4 Scallions
- 2 Peppers
- Flat Leaf Parsley
- 1 Cucumber (the long kind with thin skin!)
- Red Pepper (optional)
As you can see, I made enough for a party! But that is okay because pasta salads are always better when they sit for a few days in the fridge, everything will break down slightly and the flavor will seep into all of the ingredients! This is also perfect on its own for lunch!
I hope you can see how easy it is to bump up the flavor in your foods! Try this recipe out and let me know what you think. I'd love to hear about your experience. If you have any other questions about this recipe or marinading, feel free to hit me up on any of my social media accounts!
Have a great weekend everyone!