Summer Grilling: Olive Oil Chicken Marinade Base

I love summer grilling; it is one of my most favorite things about summer. In Southern California, we have the weather to grill pretty much year round, but unless you have lights outside, it gets pretty tricky to grill in the dark at 5:30 pm. Besides, it isn’t quite the same. Food tastes better in the summer, the char marks are crunchier, the chicken is juicier and the tri-tip is trippier. Yum. So good.

Olive Oil Marinade for grilling

Growing up, my birthday (coming up this weekend, bee tee dub) marked the beginning of our official summer grilling season. The menu was almost always the same: ribs, corn on the cob, sliced tomatoes and every year I begged for a Baskin Robbins ice cream cake and some years I got it. (One year, I got the creepy clown cone head things. Let’s not talk about that year.)

I am digressing. This is a post about summer grilling, family fun and Fresh & Easy. Now. I know this is a sponsored post (dun, dun, DUN), but pretty much anyone who follows me on twitter or instagram knows how much I love Fresh & Easy. Pure, unadulterated, usually uncompensated love. It is my go-to number one store. It makes everything so F&Easy.

Spencer loves the self check out (he is amazing at it), I love the family parking, great deals, lack of junky crap in their store brand food and the fact they carry nearly all the groceries we usually by (plus bonus random British candies and snack foods) in a non-cavernous, easy to navigate store.

For instance, for this meal I wasn’t totally sure what we wanted for dinner – some sort of vegetable, chicken, a side and some bread. All of that at Fresh & Easy, one simple, trip, in and out in 20 minutes and we’re cooking. Well. Not really. But then we were marinating, yes we were. I used my mom’s basic olive oil marinade – made since the 70s in an oh so hip mason jar, keep in the fridge, shake it up, pour over meat, , put it back in the fridge, zest it up and grill about 2 hours later.

Olive Oil Marinade Base
1 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar (or apple cider, white wine or sherry vinegar. Balsamic makes it weird)
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
salt and pepper to taste

  1. Put all ingredients in a mason jar and shake, shake shake
  2. Put chicken in a bowl, add two cloves of chopped garlic and some fresh rosemary (like I did) or leave plain or spruce it up however you like.
  3. Marinate in the fridge for at least two hours (up to maybe 8 hours or so), stirring it periodically.
  4. Grill to you preference and enjoy. {I don’t want to give grilling instructions beyond light fire, cook chicken to 165 degrees, flip sometimes}
This marinade is also great on vegetables (I used it on the zucchini pictured) and pork tenderloin a few nights later. I would also work if you like an oil based steak marinade. I like adding the fresh herbs later because I find they get bitter if left in the fridge. We also grow a bunch so it isn’t that big of a deal to look at a basic marinade and go, hmm I feel like rosemary tonight. For the zucchini, I just brushed a little on the slices before putting them on the grill and sprinkled with a bit of salt. Keeps them from sticking and adds some flavor!
Back to Fresh & Easy for a minute. Try them out if you haven’t already. You won’t be sorry. Plus, here’s a coupon. But hurry! It expires 7/7/13. I have personally converted 10 friends. The small size from the outside can be deceptive. They will have what you need. And get the pesto pasta salad; it’s amazing. Spencer likes it even though it is green, god forbid. And if making your own marinade isn’t your thing, there are tons of awesome fresh&easy brand ones to try. I’v tried a few and I have to say, they were delicious!


I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

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4 Responses to “Summer Grilling: Olive Oil Chicken Marinade Base”

  1. Audrey says:

    I will be trying your marinade on Tuesday, yes I will.


  2. This is easy quick and I love to use fresh herbs which just takes it over the top. You can use dried, but with fresh it is 10 times better. This is great on chicken or even pork , I use this all the time. I marinade for 4-8 hours is best and it comes out perfect every time.


  3. […] my usual summer produce and I wanted to make something a little different than our usual fried or grilled zucchini. Randomly, fritters popped in my head, but I realized there were no eggs in the house. I figured […]

  4. […] Olive Oil Chicken Marinade from: Baby Baby Lemon […]

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