This Easy Marinated Chicken recipe has simple ingredients that blend together for the perfect flavor combination. This chicken can be fried a skillet, baked in the oven, or cooked on the grill! This is a great marinade for chicken breast, thighs, or drumsticks.
Easy Marinated Chicken
A good chicken marinade recipe is something that you definitely keep going back to once you’ve discovered it, because it means no more boring, flavorless chicken dinners. This is my go-to marinade because it takes minutes to throw together and it can be served with so many different side dishes. (It’s great on the grill by the way.)
I love adding bacon to the mix because it’s one more savory element in the recipe and also adds a nice crunch. (And you know, it’s bacon.)
Note: The product links below are my preferred brands and are also Amazon affiliate links.
- Ranch Dressing- This marinade actually doesn’t taste distinctively like Ranch, as the other ingredients enhance and compliment the flavor so well. So if you’re not a huge Ranch lover, you might still love this recipe. Hidden Valley is my brand of choice.
- Olive Oil- Pompeian extra virgin olive oil is my brand of choice.
- Worcestershire Sauce- Adds depth of flavor and umami.
- White Vinegar- Adds a bit of tang.
- Lemon Juice– Adds just a hint of tartness.
- Minced Garlic– I recommend mincing your own fresh garlic instead of using bottled garlic as it’s much more flavorful.
- Black Pepper
How to Make It
See recipe card below this post for ingredient quantities and full instructions, including the methods for baking/grilling.
Combine marinade ingredients. Set 1/3 cup of the marinade aside and use the rest to cover the chicken for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, fry the bacon in a skillet slowly over low heat.
Once crispy, set the bacon aside and crumble it once cooled. Add the marinated chicken to a skillet with the bacon drippings and sear for 5-6 minutes on each side, until golden. Add the reserved marinade as the chicken cooks the liquid from the skillet over the chicken. Top it with bacon and serve!
- Serve this meal with: tuna pasta salad, funeral potatoes, cheesy scalloped potatoes, roasted carrots/green beans, grilled potatoes, potato wedges, skillet potatoes, corn casserole, and more!
- For extra indulgence: Top the cooked chicken with cheddar cheese and cover the skillet until melted. Top with bacon and serve!
Store in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.
Tools For This Recipe
(Amazon affiliate links)- Check out all of my kitchen essentials here.
- Deep 13-inch skillet– You’ll have this one forever.
- Meat Thermometer– To check the doneness of the meat.
- Kitchen Tongs– Perfect for frying bacon and flipping the chicken.
- Meat Tenderizer– To pound the chicken nice and flat.
- Measuring Spoons– I have these magnetic ones which keeps your drawer nice and organized.
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Easy Chicken Marinade
- 5 strips thick cut bacon, I prefer Oscar Meyer
- 2 large boneless/skinless chicken breast
- ½ cup ranch dressing, I use Hidden Valley
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- Note: This marinade can be made without bacon and the chicken can also be cooked on the grill if preferred. See notes for instructions on baking in the oven.
- Pat the chicken dry and slice in half lengthwise to create 2 thinner pieces of equal size. If you prefer thinner chicken, place saran wrap over the top and pound it to about 3/4 -inch thick. It will plump up more when cooked.
- Combine the marinade ingredients. Reserve 1/3 cup of the marinade and use the rest to cover the chicken. Marinate for 30 minutes or so. (Overnight works too.)
- Meanwhile, cook the bacon slowly over low heat, flipping occasionally until crispy. Set aside and crumble once cool.
- Reserve 2 TBS bacon drippings. (If you don’t have enough, use olive oil instead.)
- Clean the pan or use a new one. A 13-inch pan is a great size for this recipe.
- Heat the drippings over medium-high heat. Once it’s warm and glistening, and add the chicken. Leave a generous amount of marinade on each piece when it goes into the pan.
- Sear on each side for 5-6 minutes, until a crisp golden sear is obtained. As the chicken cooks, add the reserved 1/3 cup marinade to the pan and spoon it over the chicken as it cooks. I like to lift the pan and rotate it to evenly distribute the liquid throughout.
- Once the chicken is seared on each side and the internal temperature has reached 165 degrees, remove from heat and garnish with bacon. Spoon any remaining sauce on top prior to serving!
For extra indulgence: Top the cooked chicken with cheddar cheese and cover the skillet until melted. Top with bacon and serve!
Baking Instructions • Reserve 1/3 cup marinade and use the rest for the chicken, marinade for 30 minutes or overnight.
• Preheat the oven to 425° F.
• Find an oven-safe dish that is just large enough to hold the chicken (this keeps it moist).
• Lightly grease the dish and add the 1/3 cup marinade, 2 Tablespoons of water, and the marinated chicken.
• Bake, uncovered, for 15-18 minutes, (15 for thinly pounded chicken, 18 for thicker.) If using whole chicken breasts, (not sliced in half), bake for 22-25 minutes.
• Ensure the internal temperature is 165° prior to serving.
• Bacon may be cooked/crumbled on the stovetop while the chicken bakes if desired. Grilling Instructions
- Cook over a preheated grill over medium-high heat.
- Leave the chicken undisturbed while it cooks. It takes 4-7 minutes per side depending on the thickness of the chicken.