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Published Monday, October 07, 2011
Before you bake your chicken, you need to know how to marinate it properly. A marinade is a liquid made from oils, acids and seasonings, although some might not contain all of these. The oil is useful for locking in the flavor of the chicken and for sealing it so it does not dry out when you bake it. Try sesame, peanut, or olive oil. Infused oils, such as chili oil, are also good.
Acids tenderize poultry by unraveling the proteins. Although this is not strictly necessary with poultry, using something acidic can soften the surface of your chicken breast and allow the flavors of the marinade to soak in better. Acids include sherry, wine, yogurt, buttermilk, citrus juice, and vinegar. Buttermilk and yogurt are good for moist chicken breasts, although citrus-based marinades can turn it to mush if you leave it on too long.
Seasonings such as ginger, garlic, and onion are nice if you want to add flavor to your chicken marinade recipes, or you can add chili or herbs, sugar or honey. Soy sauce, salt, pepper, mustard, citrus peel and horseradish are more options. Soak your poultry in your chosen marinade and then bake it until it is cooked through.
Bake them for about half an hour at 350 or 375 degrees F. The recipe should tell you how long to bake the chicken and the correct temperature. The cooking time is influenced by how large or thick the breasts are and it also depends on your oven. The chicken is done when there is no pinkness remaining inside and the juices run clear.