Fragrant herb marinade for chicken

Chicken just cries out to be flavored. Don’t get me wrong, a well cooked chicken can be wonderfully succulent, tender, and tasty in its own right. But, perhaps more than any other meat, chicken takes on board whatever flavors you throw at it.

This marinade imbues a bird with a delicate fragrant, slightly woody (in a good way) taste that stimulates the senses with every mouthful. I’m guessing it would work stupendously on a rotisserie, but as I don’t have one, I roast.


  • zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed and chopped with salt
  • 1-2 Tbsp fragrant dried herbs - I use a Provencal Poultry mix from Fox’s Spices of marjoram, basil, rosemary, tarragon, thyme and lavender
  • 1 tsp Spanish paprika
  • 8 or so Tasmania pepper berries
  • 4 black peppercorns
  • ½ tsp coriander seeds, toasted
  • sea salt to taste
  • olive oil, perhaps ¼ cup


  • mortar and pestle
  • small mixing bowl
  • silicon brush or similar
  • Ziploc bag


  1. Grind the peppers and the coriander seeds to a powder with some salt in the mortar and pestle.
  2. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl adding oil gradually in order to get a thick, but liquid consistency
  3. Paint the marinade onto and inside the bird with a brush
  4. Place in a Ziploc bag with any remaining marinade and refrigerate for a couple of hours.

What you should know

This is just one idea, try all sorts of variations: different herbs, different peppers, chilli, ginger, honey, whatever takes your fancy. Use good quality herbs and spices, it makes all the difference. Focus on one or two ingredients using the others to add notes. Here, the herbs and the Tasmania pepper are to the fore.

If you are roasting, make sure you deglaze the pan (after pouring the fat off) to get a delicious gravy.

Re: Fragrant herb marinade for chicken

I’m not sure that marinade is the best term for this preparation. Although you should leave the meat in it for some time before cooking, this is not intended to soften the meat (as marinades were originally intended), but just to get the flavour deep in. It is also much thicker than most marinades. It could be called a rub, but rubs are usually dry. Perhaps a wet rub? Any suggestions welcome.

Re: Fragrant herb marinade for chicken