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Top 10 Healthy Chicken Marinade Ideas


Spicy Island Chicken

Jerk chicken is a surprisingly healthy approach to spicy food.
Jerk chicken is a surprisingly healthy approach to spicy food.
David Bishop Inc./Getty Images

Look to the Caribbean for a spicy approach to chicken that will wake up your menus. Jerk seasoning originated in Jamaica, and it is used as a traditional accompaniment for grilled pork and chicken. This recipe calls for ingredients used in traditional jerk recipes, but replaces the usual Scotch bonnets with extra-hot habañero and serrano peppers. The marinade tends to burn easily, so cook the chicken slowly on the grill for the best results and most tender chicken. Serve with a mango salsa, black beans and rice.



1 cup finely chopped onion

1/3 cup white wine vinegar

6 green onions, finely chopped

6 cloves garlic, minced

1 habañero or serrano pepper, finely chopped*

4 ½ teaspoons olive oil

4 ½ teaspoons fresh thyme leaves or 2 teaspoons dried thyme leaves

1 tablespoon ground allspice

2 teaspoons sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper

6 boneless skinless chicken breasts

*Habañero and serrano peppers can sting and irritate the skin, so wear rubber gloves when handling peppers -- and make sure you don't touch your eyes.


Combine all ingredients except chicken in medium bowl; mix well. Place chicken in resealable food storage bag and add seasoning mixture. Seal bag; turn to coat chicken. Marinate in refrigerator 4 hours or overnight. Spray cold grid with nonstick cooking spray. Adjust grid to 4 to 6 inches (10 to 15 centimeters) above heat. Preheat grill to medium-high heat. Remove chicken from marinade. Grill 5 to 7 minutes per side or until chicken is no longer pink in center, brushing occasionally with marinade. Do not brush with marinade during last 5 minutes of grilling. Discard remaining marinade.