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Amelia Freer: 6 healthy marinade recipes to jazz up your chicken

September 28th 2014 / Amelia Freer

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Bored of chicken? Make your meals more interesting with these healthy and worldly marinade ideas

Chick, chick, chick, chick, chicken… lay a little egg for me! As we nudge ourselves into the season of comfort food, chicken and its versatility is right up there at the top of my perfect comforter list. Despite the trend in vegan and vegetarianism, it seems there is still a whole bunch of us eating chicken on a regular basis. Whether we roast it, bake it, sauté it, mince it, steam it or simmer it - it’s a perfect quick lunch or an easy week night dinner. Roast chicken is a personal favourite of mine and something I cook for friends and family most weekends followed by boiling up the bones to make stock to use in soups and stews for the week ahead using up the leftovers.

There are of course, ethical and environmental issues around eating chicken, or in fact any animal protein, that can be debated until the cows come home so I won’t go into it here other than to say it ultimately comes down to individual needs, choice and budget. Personally, I choose not to eat farmed chicken fed on a grain, corn, pesticide or hormone rich diet. I opt for my local butcher who sources UK based, organic, free range and humanely raised chicken that is fed a diet of flax and chia seeds, and lots and lots of organic vegetables. Make friends with your butcher and you can learn so much!

Being an animal lover, I naturally struggle to eat animals, however, I also know that for me personally I need animal protein and when I was a vegetarian, I was the sickest I have ever been. I sometimes have to convince clients that they need to eat animal protein in order to get better. Not everyone, but some. So it’s a personal choice for each and everyone of us – we are all unique and no one can tell us what is the best diet for us – that’s down to each of us to trial, investigate and decide. We do of course know that a natural diet rich in plant foods is crucial for good health so this must be factored into recipes and menus. I’m not at all an advocate of a high protein diet, we must consume plants too.

So, for those of us who are still eating chicken, I wanted to provide some healthy but tasty marinades that are dairy, sugar and gluten free to help inspire you as we shift into autumnal evenings seeking comforting, yummy and warming meals. Just make sure you add in your veggies.

All serve 4 and use 4 small boneless chicken breasts which are best if pounded first to tenderise. Leave in marinades for 4 hours minimum, preferably overnight in a lidded glass container in the fridge.

Greek

Juice of 3 lemons

6 garlic cloves crushed

2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley

1 tablespoon lemon zest

1 tablespoon chopped oregano

1 tablespoon chopped rosemary

1 tablespoon chopped thyme

1 tablespoon chopped basil

2 tablespoons olive oil

Moroccan

½ cup or 120ml extra virgin olive oil

4 garlic cloves crushed

½ inch ginger minced

2 tablespoon chopped coriander

1 star anise

2 teaspoons paprika

1 teaspoon cumin

½ teaspoon turmeric

½ teaspoon cinnamon

¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

Thai

¼ cup coconut aminos (Available to buy from the online Freer Nutrition Shop)

¼ cup coconut oil

1 tablespoon sesame oil

2 garlic cloves crushed

Juice of 2 limes

Zest of 2 limes

2 lemon grass sticks

2 tablespoons chopped coriander

1 diced green or red chilli

1 inch ginger, minced

Caribbean

½ cup or 120 ml coconut oil

1 tablespoon cider vinegar (or juice & zest of an orange)

1 shallot minced

1 inch ginger minced

1 scotch bonnet chopped

1 teaspoon thyme

Italian

½ cup extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

2 cloves garlic minced

2 tablespoons fresh basil chopped

4 sundried tomatoes chopped

Indian

1 cup or 120ml natural full fat yoghurt (optional)

½ cup or 60ml coconut oil

½ red onion chopped

3 cloves crushed garlic

3 green chillis minced

1 inch ginger minced

1 teaspoon cumin (dry roasted)

1 teaspoon coriander seeds (dry roasted)

6 cardamom pods (dry roasted)

1 tablespoon turmeric

1 tablespoon coriander chopped

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