I made a simple chicken marinade from a Nigel Slater recipe the other day: some olive oil, maple syrup, soy sauce, chilli flakes. I marinaded it (1 piece of boneless chicken breast) overnight. When I cooked it, it had tons of flavour but it was too soft.

How can I marinade a piece of boneless chicken breast so that I get tons of flavour but it isn't too soft?

The piece was frozen and then thawed in hot water. Not sure if that's relevant.

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    I believe the answer, which I will be happy to write, lies not in the marinade, but in the cooking method. How did you cook it? How much marinade did you leave on the chicken or in the cooking vessel? At what temperature, and for how long? Also, how much soy sauce did you use in the marinade recipe, and what was the final volume? Measurements included in the recipe would also work to answer that. With soy sauce, a marinade is also a brine. Did the chicken have an added salt solution? In the US, it would say on the label. Most individually quick frozen chicken breasts have that.
    – Jolenealaska
    Commented Sep 7, 2016 at 5:15
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    I agree with @Jolenealaska. None of the ingredients in your marinade are acidic enough to tenderize the chicken much, so it's much more likely to be something else.
    – GdD
    Commented Sep 7, 2016 at 11:53
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    @Jolenealaska Thank you for your reply. I cooked it at 400F for 30 minutes (maybe a bit longer). I'm afraid I did all the ingredients "by eye". I would say about quarter of a cup of soy sauce, a few table spoons of maple syrup and a few table spoons of olive oil. The chicken did not have any added salt. Commented Sep 7, 2016 at 18:33

1 Answer 1


You said thawed in hot water. That is the problem. Thaw in cold water or in the fridge overnight. Using hot starts cooking the meat. I would also suggest searing the meat on both sides and then cooking at 400 until it temps 155, then pull it and let rest for 10 min. The resting will allow the temp to hit 160.

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