Aromatic and Spicy Chicken Marinade Recipe

Aromatic and Spicy Chicken Marinade Recipe

This aromatic and spicy chicken marinade recipe is delicious and easy to make. It’s a healthy option because it’s made from scratch with fresh ingredients.

The marinade infuses the chicken with flavour, makes it tender and keeps it moist

Cooking from scratch is a lot of fun…! It feels like playing with food, mixing colours, textures and flavours. The senses are all awake and creativity begins. The recipe of this marinade is versatile because there is more than one way to cook the chicken. In this post I give you two examples; grilled brochettes or sautéed with a sauce…the choice is yours!

The joys of summer & BBQ

I’m really enjoying this year’s unusually hot summer in London! One of the benefits of sunny warm weather and longer days, is that people relax and are more inclined to enjoy life to the utmost on a daily basis. Pubs are full of people enjoying a drink and a good laugh with friends, parks are livelier than ever with people exercising, having picnics, playing with children, walking their dogs, taking pictures, reading, or seeing the world go by. I even smell barbecues when I walk in my neighbourhood. Life is a party in summer!

When the day is over and dinner time arrives, I love to fire up the grill, cook delicious things, relax and stimulate my senses. Having a BBQ outdoors usually relaxes people, it creates a sense of community and teamwork as there are many tasks involved such as: prepping things to go on the grill, preparing side dishes, grilling, serving drinks, and so on. Conversation and the vibe in general tend to be fun…in my experience!

fresh-ingredients-for-marinadeIngredients that give character

Serves: 4


4 Chicken fillets (~ 850gr)

1 Shallot

2 Garlic cloves

1 Bird’s eye chilli

1 Stalk of lemongrass

1 Lime leaf

1 Red bell pepper

2cm Grated ginger

2 ½ tbsp Freshly squeezed orange juice

4 tbsp Coconut oil

2 tbsp Soy sauce

4 tbsp Coconut cream

Fresh black ground pepper


  1. Rinse chilli, red bell pepper, lime leave, lemongrass and orange.
  2. Peel shallot, remove outer layer and chop in big chunks.
  3. Peel garlic cloves, cut in half and remove the germ, especially if it’s green.
  4. Cut chilli in two or three pieces and keep the seeds.
  5. Cut off the end of the lemongrass, remove a layer and cut in pieces.
  6. Remove the stem of the lime leave to avoid a bitter taste.
  7. Cut and clean red bell pepper. Discard seeds, core and veins.
  8. Peel the ginger piece and grate it. Discard the fibre and use the flesh.
  9. Place all ingredients in a food processor and mix until it becomes a beautiful orange marinade.
  10. Strain through a sieve using the back of a spoon to get all the liquid out and discard the pulp. You will end up with 1 cup of a fragrant smooth marinade.
  11. Reserve at least ¼ of the marinade in a sealed container for basting on the grill or to use as a sauce.
  12. Cut chicken fillets in 2cm x 2cm pieces and add the rest of the marinade. Mix well until every piece is covered by the marinade.
  13. Marinate in a sealed container in the fridge for 3-12 hours.
Ingredients-ready-to-blendReady to be processed

Tip: If you want the chicken to be spicier, don’t discard the pulp left in the sieve after straining the marinade, instead, add it back to the marinade that will infuse the chicken. The part reserved for basting on the grill or to be used as a sauce should be pulp-free and smooth.

Grilled brochettes:

  1. Insert three to four chicken pieces in wooden or metallic skewers, distribute the pieces leaving space for them to cook evenly. Discard the marinade that infused the chicken.
  2. Turn on the grill and place the brochettes in what would be considered medium heat. Do not place right on top of the fire because it may overcook and become dry.
  3. Use a pastry brush to add marinade to the chicken while grilling. This will keep it moist and flavourful.

Tip: The aim is to have a tender, juicy and aromatic chicken brochette, so don’t overcook it.

Chicken with a sauce:

  1. Sauté the marinated pieces of chicken in a pan or in a wok.
  2. Cook on all sides at medium heat so it cooks slowly and evenly without becoming dry.
  3. When it is almost done, add the marinade that was reserved separately. It will have the texture of a paste but will melt and become a sauce.
  4. Mix well and cook for a few minutes in low heat.
  5. Serve in a bowl and top with your favourite herbs.

Tip: If you want more sauce reserve more filtered marinade to add at the end. You could use 1/2 to marinate and 1/2 to use as a sauce.

Garnish ideas:

  • Brown rice, (The Merchant Baker has a great recipe for perfectly fluffy brown rice,)
  • Sliced avocado and salt flakes,
  • Green salad plus aromatic fine herb salad,
  • Grilled courgette and plain yogurt with a hint of harissa paste.

Pair it with Rosé wine

In the French culture, Rosé wine is synonym of summer. You will hardly ever see people drinking rosé in winter. If you are grilling outdoors, a light chilled glass of rosé wine is the perfect way to accompany this aromatic and spicy chicken. Rosé wine blends very well with spicy food in general.

Doesn’t this sound like a perfect summer barbecue or a succulent aromatic spicy chicken with a sauce? I would love to read your thoughts on this recipe. Leave a comment when you have a moment.


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