Easy Ways to Spice up Chicken

Posted by Miranda Marquit on July 25, 2014 (0 Comments)

When you think of lean protein, chicken is often what comes to mind. However, chicken get so boring after a while. The good news, though, is that you don’t have to subject yourself to uninspired chicken entrees all the time. With a little creativity and some spice know-how, you can enliven any chicken dish.

Let your chicken get saucy

If you want to keep your chicken moist and delicious, try sauces. There are a number of health sauces you can use to spice up your chicken:

  • Heat (use a stove-top pan or your boiler) cherry tomatoes until they burst, then crush them lightly in a bowl with your favorite herbs (I like basil, oregano and a bit of garlic) and add a dash of wine. Pour over your chicken.

  • Coat thin chicken breast tenders in egg and breadcrumbs, then cook in a skillet (using olive oil) for three to five minutes on medium heat. Once done, remove the chicken from pan, drain the grease, and squeeze the juice of one lime into the pan with six tablespoons of butter. Add chives and dill to taste and you have a zesty lime sauce for your chicken.

  • Bring ½ cup white wine, one clove minced garlic, and one teaspoon dried thyme to a simmer. Then, reduce heat by half and add salt and pepper to taste. Remove the sauce from heat and stir in two tablespoons Dijon mustard. Pour over chicken.

Rub your chicken

I love a good chicken rub. You can use rubs for baked chicken or grilled chicken to add some great flavor:

  • Make a spicy rub by combining two tablespoons each of ground cumin, paprika, and brown sugar. Then add one tablespoon each of black pepper, curry powder, cayenne pepper, salt, dijon mustard, red wine vinegar, and vegetable oil. Add two minced garlic cloves.

  • For something different and exotic, use a cocoa curry rub. All you need are two tablespoons each of ground cumin and curry powder, and 1 ½ tablespoon of cocoa powder. Add a little salt and pepper to taste, and rub it on your chicken before you cook it.

  • Make a sweet brown sugar rub with 2 ½ tablespoons brown sugar, one teaspoon paprika, ½ teaspoon cumin, ¼ teaspoon each black pepper, garlic powder, and oregano. Add a little salt to taste.


Marinades are classics, and they are easy to use. Just create the marinade, put it in a gallon-sized Ziplock bag, and add the chicken. You can let it sit as long as necessary to infuse the chicken with flavor:

  • Make a Greek marinade with ⅓ cup olive oil, ¼ cup red wine vinegar, juice from a lemon, four minced garlic cloves, one tablespoon oregano, two teaspoons of thyme, and salt and black pepper to taste.

  • Start with half a can of lemon/lime soda, ginger ale, cola, or beer, depending on your preference. Then add two tablespoons horseradish, 2 ½ tablespoons soy sauce, 1 ½ teaspoon each of garlic powder and ginger puree. Finally, add coarse ground pepper to taste. Depending on what you use for a liquid base, the chicken could have any number of flavors.

It doesn’t take much to make your chicken interesting again. Enjoy!

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