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Old 01-17-2006, 04:56 PM   #1
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Marinading with Lemon?

Hey there im about to cook up some delicious grilled chicken breast to serve with pasta and am marinating it.

I heard that you shoulnt use lemon juice to marinate meat for more than 15 minutes.

Because the acidity does something to the meat.

But i usually marinate meat in white wine + caesar dressing for a few hours and it comes out delicious.

Isnt wine acidic as well?

How long can i marinate my chicken in lemon juice? I want to throw some in so the marinade is caesar, white wine, and lemon juice.

as for how im gonna cook it gonna pat it dry, sear it , and throw it in oven.


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Old 01-17-2006, 05:02 PM   #2
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You can marinate it for a couple of hours no problem. If you were using straight lemon juice (I wouldn't), it would effect the texture of the meat surface after an overnight marinade.
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Old 01-17-2006, 05:05 PM   #3
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Lemon juice is more acidic than wine or salad dressing, so you need to be careful when marinating poultry in it.

If you don't cut it with other liquids it will start to "cook" the chicken after a while (breaking it down) and make the texture rather unpalatable.

If you are going to also use wine and salad dresssing, I'd suggest adding a small amount of lemon juice (a T or 2) and marinating it for your usual hours. If you want to add more lemon juice, cut down the soaking time a bit.

Alternatively, you can add lemon zest to get a lemony flavor without the acid.

Penzey's sells great lemon pepper products which are great additions to marinades and salad dressings.

Also, lemon oil gives you great lemon flavor without acid.
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Old 01-17-2006, 05:12 PM   #4
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sweet. helpful as always

thanks alot guys
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Old 01-17-2006, 05:23 PM   #5
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Lemons, Limes, Vinegars and other acidic products tenderize the meat by denaturing the proteins (breaking them).

Yogurt, Ginger and Papaya have enzymes that tenderize meat as well.

I am normally more concerned about marinating meat in a lot of ginger because it destroys the texture and you can at that point throw away the meat. You can tell I have made a few mistakes when I was learning how to cook

For something like chicken legs and thighs you can marinate them in lemon overnight and it will really not affect the meat. I do this all the time and in fact the flavor is more intense and the end product more tender and delicious. For tender cuts of meat like breasts you should try to marinate them at the most for 4 hours in lemon. For fish and shrimp even lower.

An example is ceviche where they marinate fish (cut finely) in lots of lemon juice for several hours (8 is what a restaurant waiter told me). When I ate it, the texture of the meat was similar to a cooked fish. I guess I could not tell it was raw.
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