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5 from 3 votes

Island Chicken Marinade

This mouth-watering chicken marinade recipe comes straight from a waterfront restaurant and has a truly unbeatable flavor combination. You'll feel like you're eating on a tropical island! 


  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 large onion, peeled and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped garlic
  • 1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoon ground allspice
  • ¾ teaspoon dry thyme
  • ¾ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Pinch cayenne
  • ½ cup reduced-sodium soy sauce or tamari
  • ½ cup red-wine vinegar


  • In a large saucepan, heat the canola and olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and let cook, covered, for 4-6 minutes- until the onions are soft & translucent. Stir them occasionally as they cook.
  • Stir in the brown sugar, allspice, thyme, pepper, cloves, cinnamon and cayenne and remove from heat. Stir in the soy sauce and red wine vinegar.
  • Let the mixture cool completely before using it. 
  • Chicken should marinade for at least 2 hours or overnight. 
  • Set aside about 1/4 cup of the marinade to brush on top of the meat as it cooks, if desired.


  • This recipe makes enough to generously marinade 5-6 chicken breasts. I like to cut my chicken breasts in half so that each is thinner, giving you 12 chicken cutlets. 
  • I like to marinade my chicken for at least 2 hours, and up to 24. If your pressed for time, you can marinade for 30 minutes and still get really flavorful chicken! 
  • You can also use this marinade for chicken thighs, chicken wings, salmon, and other seafood! 
  • Do not reuse the marinade after using once.


Calories: 158kcal, Carbohydrates: 16g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 9g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 1087mg, Potassium: 102mg, Sugar: 12g, Vitamin A: 10IU, Vitamin C: 2.8mg, Calcium: 26mg, Iron: 0.8mg