Published July 1, 1998.
We discovered while developing our chicken kebabs recipe that marinating the chicken not only flavored the meat but helped it retain moisture—no surprise, perhaps. Olive oil–based marinades helped to infuse the meat with flavor without causing its texture to deteriorate. We knew that brining—immersing food in a solution of salt and water before cooking—causes meats to retain moisture when cooked. But we worried that a true brine would make the small pieces of skinned chicken used for kebabs too salty. What did work in our chicken kebabs recipe was adding a teaspoon of salt to our oil marinade, along with herbs and spices for more flavor.