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Curry Chicken Marinade Recipe

This delicious and easy curry chicken marinade recipe can be whipped up at lunchtime for dinner that night.

We eat a good deal of grilled chicken year-round. So, we are always looking for other marinated chicken ideas to add to our healthy recipe repertoire. This curry chicken marinade recipe results in a flavorful change from our regular teriyaki-ish marinade.

Two pieces of grilled chicken on a piece of slate

Let’s talk about Marinating Chicken.

If nothing else, let’s dispel the notion that longer is better when marinating your chicken. Most marinades use acid of some sort, and the longer a piece of meat sits in an acid, the mushier it will get. So, this is good news. The good news is that if you decide mid-morning that you want to marinate some chicken to grill tonight, you have plenty of time, as the sweet spot for marinating is about 5-6 hours.

What if you ‘thought’ you wanted to grill chicken for dinner and started marinating it, but then you got invited out and couldn’t refuse? Not a problem, my friend. Pop that marinating chicken into your freezer.

The freezing temps will stop the marinating process. Just be sure to add the marinating time before you froze it to the time it comes to room temperature to calculate just how long your meat has been marinating and try to keep it under 12 for the best results, but definitely no more than 24 hours.

In fact, I’ll often prepare double batches of our favorite marinade, one for use immediately. The other half of the batch will have the chicken added to it and will promptly go in the freezer. It is then an easy, healthy weeknight dinner.

Marinating chicken in glass container.

Brine Your Chicken for a More Tender Breast

For more tender chicken breasts, consider brining them before you marinate them! Dissolve 1/4 cup of salt in 4 cups of water over medium heat. Let the brine cool, and then place your chicken breasts in the brine solution for at least 2 hours and up to 24 hours. Rinse the chicken before you put it in the marinade, but leave the salt out of the curry chicken marinade recipe.

Double this Curry Chicken Marinade Recipe

I typically double the recipe so we have leftover chicken, which I use in these curried chicken wraps. In this delicious recipe, cooked chicken is combined with curry and sherry mayonnaise and tucked inside wraps for an easy lunch or dinner on the go.

Frequently Asked Questions about this Marinated Curry Chicken Recipe

Can I substitute chicken thighs for chicken breasts?

You sure can, and if my husband weren’t anti-dark meat, thighs would be my preferred meat to grill. You’ll need to adjust the grill time; for boneless skinless chicken thighs, grill for 7-8 minutes on each side. For bone-in thighs, sear the thighs over direct heat until golden brown, for about three minutes. Then, flip and sear for another three minutes. Finally, transfer the thighs to indirect heat and continue grilling, rotating, and occasionally flipping until your thermometer reads 165˚F (74˚C), approximately another 20-25 minutes.

Two pieces of grilled chicken on a piece of slate

Curry Chicken Marinade Recipe

This tasty curry chicken marinade recipe combines oil and lemon juice with a bit of soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic and curry for a tasty grilled chicken alternative.
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Prep Time 5 hours
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 5 hours 12 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Asian
Servings 4 -6 breasts
Calories 510 kcal


  • 1/3 cup of olive oil or vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup of lemon juice or lime juice
  • 3 tablespoons of soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons of curry powder
  • 1 large clove of garlic grated
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • A dash or two of cayenne pepper or red chili powder optional
  • 2-3 pounds of boneless skinless chicken breasts or chicken thighs lightly pounded to even thickness.


  • Combine all marinade ingredients in a medium bowl and mix well
  • Place chicken pieces in a large resealable plastic bag or a glass container.
  • Pour marinade over the pieces of chicken, making sure the liquid surrounds the meat on all sides.
  • Zip up the bag or put a lid on the container and refrigerate.
  • Let refrigerator for 5-6 hours, ideally. You can marinade as little as 1 hour or as long as 12 hours, but I find 5-6 hours to be the sweet spot.
  • To cook the chicken, preheat your grill on high for 10-15 minutes, then use a grill brush to scrape any previous food remnants off your grates.
  • Once your grill has preheated for 10-15 minutes, reduce the temperature to medium heat, 425-450°F on a gas grill.
  • Place your marinated chicken on the hot grill and let it cook on one side, undisturbed, for 4-5 minutes. Discard marinade.
  • Then turn it and let it cook for another 4-5 minutes
  • Total cooking time will be about 10 minutes, or until the internal temperature at the thickest part of the meat registers 165°.


Serving: 1gCalories: 510kcalCarbohydrates: 3gProtein: 59gFat: 28gSaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 20gCholesterol: 165mgSodium: 581mgSugar: 2g
Keyword chicken, curry, grilling, marinade
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Pair the grilled curry marinated chicken with a salad and brown rice for a healthy and light meal.

Sliced chicken on a plate with greens

Another one of our favorite Chicken Recipes is this Grilled Zatar Chicken.

Bookmark this page or pin the following image to refer back to this curry chicken marinade recipe in the future.

Plate of marinated and grilled chicken.
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