Red Wine and Worcestershire Sauce Chicken Marinade

Chicken on a barbeque
Sabrina S. Baksh/ Regarding BBQ, Inc.
  • 20 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins,
  • Cook: 10 mins
  • Yield: Makes 2 1/2 cups (serves 16)
Ratings (33)

This red wine marinade is good on all parts of the chicken from breast to legs and thighs to wings. Also, you can use it as a basting sauce for rotisserie chicken. In general, this marinade would go well with most poultry like turkey, pheasant, quail, and squab.

A nice thing about this marinade is that it can double as a serving sauce. Perhaps one of the most important things about making marinades is striking a balance between sweet, salt, and tangy acidic flavors. You usually use a hefty amount of salt in marinades since it seasons meat throughout and helps keep it moist during cooking, but you need to rein in the salt quantity or else the sauce would be too salty to use as a serving sauce.

Oil is a very important component for a marinade since many aromatics (like scallions and ginger) contain oil-soluble flavor compounds—that is, they release their full range of flavors when mixed with oil.​

What You'll Need

  • 2 cups/475 ml dry red wine
  • 1/2 cup/120 ml olive oil
  • 1/4 cup/60 ml soy sauce
  • 4 scallions, sliced
  • 1 to 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp./30 ml brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp./15 ml Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp./5 ml fresh ginger, grated
  • Optional: 2 tsp./10 ml cornstarch (if making a sauce)

How to Make It

1. Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan. Let boil for 1 minute, reduce heat, and simmer for additional 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool completely before using. If making ahead of time, marinade may be stored in the refrigerator for no more than one week. Marinate chicken in mixture for 4 to 12 hours.

2. For the sauce option, follow the above instructions only simmer the sauce over medium-low heat for 15 minutes.

3. Thicken the mixture with 2 tbsp./30 ml water and 2 tsp./10 ml cornstarch. Turn up the heat to medium-high and bring to a heavy simmer. Add cornstarch to the sauce and using a whisk, stir together for 20 to 30 seconds until the cornstarch thickens. The sauce should be slightly thickened and able to coat the back of a spoon. Remove from heat and use on cooked chicken, turkey, or other types of poultry.

A professional tip to marinades that culinary experts rarely share with you is that you can turn a marinade into a sauce. Typically, a marinade’s work is done once the cooking begins. Once the seasoned mixture touches raw food, it is discarded. But if you want your marinades to really sing throughout your dish, double your recipe amount. Use the first half as a marinade, and discard it once the meat is marinated. Then, reserve the second half and save it to make a finishing sauce. Since you are already spending the time to make the marinade, you effortlessly reinforce and brighten the marinade’s flavors at serving time. 

Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
Calories 108
Total Fat 7 g
Saturated Fat 1 g
Unsaturated Fat 5 g
Cholesterol 0 mg
Sodium 249 mg
Carbohydrates 6 g
Dietary Fiber 0 g
Protein 1 g
(The nutrition information on our recipes is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. Individual results may vary.)