Italian marinade chicken

Italian Herb and Lemon Chicken Marinade

Yield: 4-6 servings Preparation Time: 10 minutes Marinating Time: At least 1 hour


  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1.5 lbs)
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (about 1 large lemon)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (adjust to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (adjust to taste)
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper


  1. Prepare the Marinade: In a bowl, whisk together the olive oil, fresh lemon juice, minced garlic, and all the dried herbs (oregano, basil, thyme, rosemary, parsley). Stir in the red pepper flakes, salt, and black pepper. The mixture will form a flavorful marinade.
  2. Pound the Chicken (Optional): If your chicken breasts are thicker than 1 inch, you can place them between plastic wrap or parchment paper and gently pound them to an even thickness. This helps the chicken cook more evenly and allows the marinade to penetrate better.
  3. Marinate the Chicken: Place the chicken breasts in a zip-top plastic bag or a shallow dish. Pour the marinade over the chicken, ensuring each piece is coated evenly. Seal the bag or cover the dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Let the chicken marinate for at least 1 hour, but preferably 4-6 hours, or overnight for maximum flavor.
  4. Cook the Chicken: Preheat the grill or a skillet over medium-high heat. If grilling, make sure the grill grates are clean and well-oiled to prevent sticking. If using a skillet, add a drizzle of olive oil to prevent sticking.
  5. Grill or Sear: Remove the chicken from the marinade and let any excess marinade drip off. Grill the chicken for about 6-7 minutes on each side, or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F (75°C) and the chicken is cooked through with no pink in the center. If using a skillet, cook the chicken for a similar amount of time, adjusting as needed based on the thickness of the chicken.
  6. Rest and Serve: Once cooked, remove the chicken from the heat and let it rest for a few minutes. This allows the juices to redistribute, ensuring juicy chicken. Serve the Italian herb and lemon-marinated chicken with your favorite sides like roasted vegetables, pasta, or salad.

Chef’s Tips:

  • Feel free to customize the herbs to your taste. You can use fresh herbs if available.
  • For added lemon flavor, you can grate some lemon zest into the marinade.
  • If you’re short on time, you can marinate the chicken for as little as 30 minutes, but longer marination yields better flavor.
  • Make sure not to overcook the chicken to prevent it from becoming dry. Use a meat thermometer to check for doneness.
  • This marinade can also be used for other proteins like pork, shrimp, or vegetables.

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