My Favorite Marinade for Grilled Chicken

Teriyaki Chicken Kebabs

I have been wanting to post this recipe for a long time as it is probably the one I’ve used the most over the last 29 years.  It is an amazing teriyaki marinade that, when marinated overnight, gives grilled chicken an incredible flavor.  I received this recipe when I got married from my cousin Toni who lived in Hawaii at the time.  I will be forever grateful she gave it to me.

I have a couple of theories about what makes a good marinade.  I don’t know if I’m right, but I have a sneaking suspicion that I am.  I prefer not to have oil in a marinade because while you are cooking it drips into the coals and causes the fire to flare up, therefore burning the meat.  I also think honey tends to cause the meat to burn more quickly.  That one I’m not positive on, but have found it to be true time and time again.  (It is either the honey and the oil or I am not a very good griller which is a great possibility.)   Anyway, that is one reason this is the perfect marinade to me.  It has sugar instead of honey, and it doesn’t contain any oil either.  So it is less fattening, and doesn’t get burned as easily.  What more could you want?  How about amazing teriyaki flavor?  It has that, too!  The secret is to marinate it overnight.  The hard part is remembering to marinate it overnight!  But if you can remember, it will be totally worth it, and dinner will be half done when you wake up in the morning.

This grilled teriyaki chicken would be a great thing to fix for dad for Father’s Day. You can either make it into kebabs or just grill whole pieces of chicken.   Don’t you just think bar-b-qing and Father’s Day go together?  My husband told me he heard on TV that dad’s just want to be left alone that day.  I thought that was kind of sad.  I’m hoping it means they just don’t want anything expected of them, and they just want to do whatever they enjoy.  I do understand that.  But they still need to eat.  So while they are doing whatever it is they enjoy doing, you can put this grilled chicken next to them.  I think they just might stop what they are doing and take a bite.  Just don’t ask them to help you with the dishes afterwards.  I think that might be pushing it a little!:)

Don Poor

Happy Father’s Day to my dad who has always been such a loving and supportive father and grandfather.  Thank you for always being there for me!

Teriyaki Marinade

  • 1/2 c sugar
  • 1 c soy sauce
  • 1 c water
  • 1/2 c cooking sherry or 1/4 c vinegar
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 tsp. fresh ginger or 1/4 tsp. powdered ginger
  • chicken pieces (approximately 4)
  1. Pour all ingredients into a medium bowl and stir until mixed.
  2. Place 4 chicken breasts in bowl of marinade, cover, and refrigerate overnight or cut chicken into 1 1/2 inch cubes, and place in marinade to refrigerate overnight if making kebabs.
  3. When ready to eat, grill until cooked through, approximately 20 minutes depending on how hot your grill is and how big the chicken pieces are.  Discard marinade.
  4. If making kebabs, string chicken on skewers that have been soaked in water for 30 minutes, alternating with thick cut vegetables.  Discard marinade.
  5. Grill until done, watching carefully, and turning every 5 minutes for approximately 20 minutes.  Time will vary depending on size of chunks of chicken and what vegetables are used.







About Shari

My name is Shari, and I am an Arizona native and married mother of 3 who loves to cook and bake and figure out how to garden successfully in our suburban home in the desert. On this blog you will find a combination of savory and sweet recipes that have been tested by me, along with many tips to help you be successful. I hope you enjoy them! (
This entry was posted in 4th of July Recipes, Chicken Recipes, Company, Father's Day Recipes, Low Fat, Main Dish, Recipes, Summer Recipes and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to My Favorite Marinade for Grilled Chicken

  1. Jess says:

    Your chicken skewers look amazing Shari. Your marinade sounds fantastic as well 🙂

    • Shari says:

      Thanks so much, Jess! I like the colorfulness of kebabs. They do take more time because of all the chopping, but it’s worth it for a special occasion. Most of the time I just marinate whole pieces of chicken, though. I appreciate you dropping by!

  2. cheri says:

    What a lovely post Shari, your father sounds like a wonderful man. Love this marinade, looks like you hit all the points on this one. Happy week-end to you!

    • Shari says:

      Thank you, Cheri! He is a wonderful man, and I’m glad that came across. The marinade is such a simple recipe, but very big on flavor. I hope you have a great weekend, too!

  3. Nancy says:

    Any recipe that stands the test of 29 years has got to be a keeper! I imagine the marinade flavors the meat perfectly. The skewers in your photos look delicious, Shari!

    • Shari says:

      Thank you, Nancy! It is surprising how much flavor this marinade has, especially if you leave it overnight. I appreciate your kind comments about the photos. I almost didn’t post this recipe because I wasn’t happy with the pictures. I still have so much to learn about photography.

  4. Marlene Christner says:

    This recipe sounds delicious Shari! How sweet of you to post a great picture of your Dad and my Brother…he truly is a very loving and supportive man!! Happy Father’s Day Don!! 🙂

    • Shari says:

      Hi Marlene! It is so fun to see you here! I agree with you 100 percent about my dad. Don’t you just love that picture of him? I hope all is well with you. Thanks so much for leaving a comment!

  5. kcinaz says:

    Shari. This looks and sounds great. Hope you celebrate a great Father’s Day with your dad.

    • Shari says:

      Thank you, Karen! It is such a simple recipe, so it is surprising it has so much flavor, but it really does. My dad is actually going to be out of town on Father’s Day, but I am happy for him because he is getting to go to the Dodgers/Diamondbacks game in LA that day. I hope you have a great weekend!

  6. acasadisimi says:

    your chicken skewers looks delicious! Your marinade sounds fantastic as well!

    • Shari says:

      Thank you so much, Simi! I love it because it is so simple and quick to make, but the results are great flavor and everyone seems to like it. I really appreciate you stopping by! Have a great weekend!

  7. Mmmm! I love skewers, and your chicken marinade looks like a real winner. I always put oil in my marinades, but I see that isn’t necessary. I’ll have to give this a go next time.

    Great photo of the chicken skewers on rice. My mouth is watering!!

    • Shari says:

      Thank you, Ruth! It really is a great marinade even though so simple. I think the garlic is what makes it so tasty (and marinating overnight). Keep in mind, my theory about oil is just a hunch. I always appreciate your kind comments!

  8. rozpaige says:

    What a loving tribute to your father, Shari and also with a fantastic grilling marinade recipe! I love the advice that you gave about ingredients to avoid using on the grill and never knew this before. I love a great marinade and thank you for sharing. I love the way the marinades tenderize the chicken too! So tender! Super photography Shari! Have a beautiful day!

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