Apple Cider Vinegar Marinade is now my new favorite basting sauce. The benefits of apple cider vinegar are out there for everyone to read about.
It’s all the rage for weight loss and other home remedies. I will even admit to having purchased the concord grape and acai flavored drink. It tastes quite good especially ice cold.
However, starting this week, I am keeping a gallon jug of apple cider vinegar in my pantry to use in recipes.
I’ve never had chicken turn out as tasty and tender as when I experimented with the famous Cornell’© chicken marinade. The chicken was just as tasty cold for lunch the following day.
We grilled it outdoors as the recipe called for and everyone from the matriarch of the family to the grandchildren proclaimed it the best tasting grilled chicken ever. Then they quickly added that it was almost on par with Margaret’s barbecue sauce.
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Cook Surpringly Tender Grilled Chicken Using A Cider Vinegar Marinade
Inspired by a post on the Eating On A Budget website, I thought the marinade would be a nice change for the grilled chicken dinner planned on the Memorial Day holiday.
Another plus about this marinade for grilled chicken is that it works just as well if you cook chicken pieces in a very hot oven (425 degrees) for about 1 hour.
My apple cider vinegar marinade is a variation on the theme. The basic ingredients are there but if you know me, I just have to put my spin on any recipe. Not because the original version lacks a certain “je ne sais quoi” but just to add a hint of our favorite flavors.
The cider vinegar is the main ingredient in this recipe so regardless of various tweaks, the tangy flavor of the vinegar comes through loud and clear on the taste buds.
Apple Cider Vinegar Marinade
For those of us who don’t even want to gather the few ingredients…the marinade comes already bottled and is the “choice of fundraiser BBQs everywhere“.
How convenient is that for last minute food prep?
The Rob Salamida Company Original State Fair Famous Cornell Marinade
The original recipe is rather scary if you are on a sodium restricted diet.
Even if you are not on a salt free or restricted diet, the amount of salt called for was enough to make me cringe.
Those are quantities used for brining and, in effect, the apple cider vinegar bath is a brine. by any other name.
I reduced the salt content by 1 full tablespoon. The meat was still well seasoned.
Vinegar Is A Meat Tenderizer
The vinegar will soften the meat fibers (you could use this marinade on pork with great sucess) but think of it this way – salt is also a meat tenderizer!
While it draws out the liquid in meats, it also change the texture of the meat. So don’t forget to baste often while you grill those chicken pieces.
The Longer You Marinate The More Intense The Flavor
The first time I made the recipe to grill outdoors, the chicken was marinated for about 6 hours.
This last batch of bone-in chicken thigh pieces shown in the featured image (and “grilled” in the oven) spent just over 24 hours in the vinegar bath.
The quantities called for in the recipe may seem like an insufficient amount of liquid in relation to the amount of meat but it is not the volume of liquid that counts here – its the combination of ingredients!
Three cups of the apple cider vinegar marinade will easily marinate and baste several chicken halves and is more than enough to marinate two family size packs ( 20 pieces) of chicken thighs.
- 1 jumbo egg (most of my jumbos are double-yolk eggs)
- 2 cups apple cider vinegar (Braggs© if you have it. I had Heinz© apple cider vinegar on the pantry shelf)
- 1 cup pure vegetable oil (any brand will do)
- 2 tablespoons salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly cracked pepper (McCormick© Peppercorn Medley)
- 1 tablespoon poultry seasoning (I've used both the Bell's© all natural poultry seasoning and the McCormick© GrillMates "Montreal Chicken")
- 1 tablespoon of Gourmet Gardens© garlic paste
- Zip lock plastic bags (2 gallon size) or a vacuum sealed marinator style= for smaller pieces
- Preparing this marinade could not be much easier that than:
- Cracking the egg into a quart size Pyrex© measuring cup,
- Adding the remaining ingredients and
- Breaking out my Braun© hand blender - the ideal tool for this recipe.
- Blend carefully until emulsified.
- Place your chicken pieces in the zip top plastic bags. Pour the marinade over the meat. Refrigerate immediately.
- Grill the chicken over indirect flame on the grill or be prepared to handle an inferno when the marinade drips onto the coals. Even on a gas grill, the flames will flare up to majestic proportions on a low setting.
To prepare in the oven, pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees. It takes about 45 minutes to an hour for large thighs to cook through. I used a large foil pan and placed the chicken pieces on a broiler rack.
My taste buds did not distinguish between the oven roasted and the gas grill version. Charcoal grilling would impart another layer of smoky goodness.
Oh! How could I forget the side dish to go along with great grilled chicken: a cool and refreshing orzo salad full of crisp vegetable bits!
Seriously. The grilled chicken looks as juicy as shown in the video below. Don’t hesitate to give this apple cider vinegar marinade a try!