Brazillian Garlic Marinade

Chicken legs on a hot grill with Brazillian Garlic Marinade

Just Grillin’
I grill a lot of chicken. Rain or shine—but mostly shine. Though this past week I’ve been dodging raindrops. It would be easy to say that I grill chicken at least once a week. Sometimes more. Of course, that could mean many things.

Chances are I’m grilling chicken breasts for tacos It would be an even better bet that I am grilling Teriyaki Chicken Thighs for a rice bowl. Or, I’ve been craving these lately, a Bahn Mi. That type of grilling is for use as an ingredient.

If I am grilling chicken to eat on its own, I always go with chicken legs. And, I’ve got a wide range of marinades to match my moods.

It would be hard to pick my favorite grilled chicken recipe. But, I can tell you this, if I am straight-up grilling chicken for dinner, you better believe that the marinade is going to have a lot of garlic, lemon, and white wine. I don’t know why I gravitate towards this particular combination. But, I do. And, I know that it is cuisine-adaptable in that when you add more to it, you get a wide variety of global flavors. For example, if you add fresh oregano, thyme, and rosemary to it, the result is a very Greek or Mediterranean flavor profile. Add Dijon mustard and thyme and you are speaking French. Go with some hot smoked pimenton, and you find yourself in Spain…

My most recent favorite is this one which has Brazilian roots. There’s something about this Brazillian Garlic Marinade that just screams warm weather grilling. (Assuming we ever get warm weather.) This recipe swaps the lemon for lime, adds some vinegar for zing, and brings the heat with some Malagueta pepper hot sauce. The hot sauce can be a challenge to find so feel free to swap it out for Piri-Piri, Tobasco, or whatever your favorite hot sauce might be.

Brazillian Garlic Marinade
Adapted from Barbecue Sauces, Rubs, and Marinades by Steven Raichlen
Yields 1 cup

8 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
2 teaspoons kosher salt
3/4 cup fresh squeezed lime juice
1/4 cup white wine
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons Malagueta hot sauce, or to taste (substitute Piri-Piri, Tabasco or other hot sauce)
3 tablespoons parsley, finely chopped
2 green onions, finely chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary, optional

Place the garlic and salt in a mortar and mash into a paste with a pestle. Alternatively, you can use a bowl and the back of a spoon.

Add the remaining ingredients and stir until all of the salt is dissolved.

To use
Use the sauce immediately to marinate up to 2 pounds of chicken or seafood. Chicken should marinate for 1 to 2 hours.

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