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Honey Garlic Chicken Marinade

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What if I told you the stress of making the perfect chicken can be removed with one marinade? You would be totally making this marinade tonight, am I right?

I’m fully confident this is the best marinade you can find online.

Why? Because it combines the flavors of garlic, with sweet honey that provides not only the balance but a subtle crispy coating on top of the baked or grilled chicken. 

Why It’s The Best Honey Garlic Chicken Marinade

The right marinade for the chicken guarantees two things: perfect flavor and juiciness.

Marinades in general are a combination of some acid, in this case white wine vinegar, some fat, and sweetness, which honey provides here.

There can be also some extra additions like the soy sauce, BBQ sauce, garlic, salt, or herbs, but the marinade is always a combination of: acid, fat, and sweetener. 

Why acid, fat and sweetener?

This is a simple chemistry behind some and some are just for the flavor. Let me explain:

  • The Acid: The acid in the marinade breaks down some of the muscle fibers, making the meat softer. You do have to be careful, however. If you leave your the meat in a marinade that’s more acidic than average, it can actually have the opposite effect. It will draw out the moisture.

Lemon juice, vinegar, or wine are great examples of the acid content in the marinade.

  • The Fat: Fat is in the marinade to ensure the meat is nicely coated and ready for baking, frying, or grilling. With the fat inside the marinade, you will not have to add any additional fat into your baking dish or skillet and the chicken will turn out perfectly. 

Melted butter, olive oil, avocado oil, or desired type of melted fat are all examples.

  • The Sweetener: The sweetener is not here by chance, but with a purpose. Some acidic ingredients overpower the rest of the marinade flavors, turning the meat too acidic, too. So when a sweetener like honey is added, it is the perfect mellowing agent. In addition, the honey seals the meat juices that begin to seep when the temperature is high. Yum!

In this marinade the sweetener is honey, but you can use any type of sweetening agent you desire.

Why Marinate?

The meat itself has some kind of flavor, but have you ever tried unseasoned and cooked chicken?

It tastes kind of bland and it is the same with all types of meat. Even simple salt and pepper are a game changer by comparison. But this delicious marinade is several steps beyond.

The marinade is actually here to help you make your chicken tastier and interesting, and as well give some nice sticky sauce you can use to enrich your rice or whatever you are serving your chicken with. 

Besides adding flavor, the marinade also tends to tenderize the meat. The chicken is actually soft and it is nothing like the red meat. But why not making it more succulent and tender? 

You have to be aware no marinade will turn out a tough and chewy piece into a tender fillet, neither over tenderize the softer meat or poultry cuts, but the marinade really makes the difference. 

The basic principles of the marinade are to tenderize the meat, give it some moisture, and flavor it. 

How to Marinate

There are many ways you can marinate the meat. The easiest way is to place the marinade in a resealable bag and add the chicken, breast, legs, or wings. Close the zip-lock bag and shake it.

Place the marinating meat in the fridge and leave it to sit for one hour. 

You can also coat the meat in the marinade in a bowl and then transfer everything into a bag. As a second option you can use an air-tight container. These are a good option as they have the tight lid so you can shake it around.

The third option is by adding pieces of the chicken in a plain baking dish and covering with the marinade.

This method is perfectly okay, but you will have to flip the chicken during the margination time. I suggest you go with the zip-lock bag or container as you can easily shake them to ensure the meat is fully covered with the marinade.

How Long Should It Marinate?

The ideal marinating time is about 30 minutes to an hour. Make sure the meat is in the fridge during that period, turning meat occasionally so every part of the meat soaks up the marinade. 

How to Cook the Chicken

Although many like to place the chicken directly on a grill or inside the oven, I find if you pat dry the chicken you will get the best results.

This is recommended as any extra marinade around the baking dish or on the grill will simply burn and ruin that piece of the chicken. 

How to Make the Best Honey Garlic Chicken Marinade

Step 1

Gather your ingredients.

In a bowl, whisk olive oil, soy sauce, honey, and water. Add garlic and stir.

Step 2

Place the chicken in a desired dish and pour over the marinade. You can reserve 2 tbsp of the marinade for the after bake.

Marinate the chicken for 30 minutes (or longer) in the fridge.

Step 3

Remove marinated chicken and pat try. Place the chicken in a baking dish. 

Sprinkle the chicken with some extra salt and bake in heated oven at 350F for 35 minutes.

Serve chicken warm, drizzled with some extra marinade. If you have any extra marinade that has not touched raw chicken, you can reuse it for another dinner this week.

Honey Garlic Chicken Marinade

Honey Garlic Chicken Marinade

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Additional Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

This honey garlic chicken marinade is a simple yet utterly delicious way to elevate dinner to luxury status!


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ¼ cup honey
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1lb. chicken, breasts or legs


  1. Gather your ingredients.
  2. In a bowl, whisk olive oil, soy sauce, honey, and water. Add garlic and stir.
  3. Place the chicken in a desired dish and pour over the marinade. You can reserve 2 tbsp of the marinade for the after bake.
  4. Marinate the chicken for 30 minutes in a fridge. Remove and pat try. Place the chicken in a baking dish. 
  5. Sprinkle the chicken with some extra salt and bake in heated oven at 350 F for 35 minutes.
  6. Serve chicken warm, drizzled with some extra marinade.


If you are preparing the marinade ahead of time, the chicken can marinate for as long as an hour. It is best to turn the meat occasionally to ensure the marinade soaks in all over.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1/4 lb chicken
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 318Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 96mgSodium: 630mgCarbohydrates: 18gFiber: 0gSugar: 17gProtein: 36g

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