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I decided to marinade some chicken for tomorrow night's meal but the only time I have to do it is tonight. Obviously it's going in the fridge for that time period.

I've never marinated meat for that long before and I'm concerned the acids in the orange juice marinate I'm using will break down the meat too much and it'll be all mushy and gross.

Any experience or thoughts on this?

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3 Answers 3

It'll be fine. I've done this multiple times, even occasionally for more than 1 night and never had a problem, if anything it improves things as the marinade has time to work into the meat.

If you can, give it a stir a coupe of times (every 6 hours maybe?) to ensure even coating.

The acids in orange juice and most (?) marinades are generally too weak to break down chicken into component parts.

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This depends on what ingrediens you use. Enzymes from for example papaya will break down meat to mush eventually, but when following a recipe with that kind of marinade, you will probably be told that the time is very important. I assume here that you are using a regular marinade with citric acid or yoghurt and different spices.

Such a marinade will not reach very far into the chicken. Heston Blumenthal did an experiment in his show "In Search of Perfection" scanning chicken in an MRI to see how far different marinades reached. I don't remember exactly how far, but he found that yoghurt-based marinades reaches the furthest.

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My guess is that your chicken will be fine. I haven't tried marinating chicken in orange juice, but there are several recipes that recommend marinating chicken overnight.

For examples this Orange Marinated Chicken from Simply Recipes.

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