The best chicken marinade ever! This easy, 2-ingredient recipe makes the absolute best, most flavorful chicken you’ll ever have. It can be made on the grill, stovetop, or even baked in the oven. It’s guaranteed to be a staple recipe you’ll make again and again!
I’ve been searching for the best and easiest chicken marinade for a while now, and this 2-ingredient recipe is it! It creates the juiciest and most flavorful chicken with minimal effort and is great for grilling, baking, or cooking in a skillet.
The secret ingredient? Pickled jalapeños!
I know it sounds crazy, but marinating your chicken in pickled jalapeños makes the best chicken without adding too much spice!
The vinegar in pickled jalapeños serves as a tenderizer, and the pickling liquid adds a lot of flavor to the meat. It’s the perfect combination of ingredients to make the best chicken ever!
The Spice Level
If you’re worried about the spice level, don’t be. My 2-year-old daughter ate the chicken without any issues and loved it! The pickled jalapeño brine infuses that delicious pickled flavor without a lot of spice which is left in the seeds and the membranes of the pepper. You can also try to minimize the heat using mild pickled jalapeños instead of the medium or hot variety.
Chicken Marinade Ingredients
- Pickled jalapeños: You’ll need one large 26-ounce can. You can use the kind with or without sliced carrots.
- Chicken: I used boneless skinless chicken thighs, but you can also use chicken breasts, chicken tenders, or skin-on thighs. Just keep in mind that cook time will vary.
How to Make the Best Chicken Marinade
Combine: Place the chicken in a baking dish or a large resealable bag and pour in the can of pickled jalapeños right on top.
Marinate: Cover, seal, and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or up to 12 hours to get the best flavor.
Dry: Remove the chicken from the mixture and pat it dry with paper towels.
Season: This step is optional, but I like to make a quick dry seasoning mixture to give it a little more color and flavor.
Cook: Choose a method of cooking and make sure the internal temperature reaches 160-165F.
Serve: Transfer the chicken to a plate and enjoy with your favorite sides!
Make this marinated chicken into a meal by serving it with some delicious sides! Here are a few ideas:
- Marinate the chicken for a minimum of 4 hours to tenderize the meat and infuse it with as much flavor as possible.
- If you plan on eating some of the pickled jalapeños, set aside as many as you want prior to mixing the rest together with the chicken. You can the ones you’ve set aside as is or you can cook them alongside the chicken on the grill, stovetop, or oven.
- Instant read thermometer. One of the best and easiest ways to check if your chicken is fully cooked.
- Non-slip cutting board. My favorite cutting board for slicing and cutting meat. It also doesn’t slip on the countertop while you’re using it!
- Glass mixing bowls. Great for marinating if you don’t want to use plastic bags.
You can store cooked chicken in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.