How Long You Should Be Marinating Chicken
By Elaina Friedman
There are several benefits to marinating chicken, including tenderizing the meat and adding flavor, and you can choose between methods such as wet-brining, dry-brining, and more. However, this process can go easily wrong if you marinate your chicken for the incorrect amount of time, leading to an unappealing texture.
Marinades for chicken perform at their best when the meat is marinated for only 30 minutes or less. Pro chef Bogdan Danila says that an acidic marinade is great for tenderizing chicken, but leaving the meat to soak for over half an hour can break down the proteins too much, creating a mushy and mealy end result.
Before you marinate chicken, Danila suggests air-drying the meat by hanging it in the fridge for five to six days. Danila also brines chicken for at least six hours with a mixture of salt and lemon juice, "which helps the marinade and spices to penetrate the meat," and his most-loved flavorings are bay leaf, thyme, parsley, and leeks.