Recipe Swap: Chicken Marinade

Grilling this weekend? ‘Tis the season! You won’t want to miss this marinade recipe from Rachel Dutra of Rachel’s Cafe and Spice Co - perfect for your summer cookouts (or anytime, really!).

Rachel's Cafe and Spice Co Glens Falls NY

Tell us about yourself, Rachel!

Hi, I'm Rachel and I love spices! My husband and myself own Rachel's Cafe and Spice Co on Warren St in Glens Falls. We are both originally from Lake George but over the years just kind of ended up in Glens Falls. We previously owned East End Eatery in the same location but with the arrival of our son, Elias, we decided to focus on a business that would support a healthy family life. Elias is almost 3 1/2 and is a non-stop ball of energy and curiosity. He just started at St Mary's this summer and he absolutely loves it. His favorite things are heavy equipment and swimming! Dave is an avid reader and I love to garden. Interesting fact about Dave and I, we have worked together ever since we met! This is our 3rd business as Team Dutra and we consider it to be our "greatest hit". It has been fun watching Glens Falls grow over the years and we are proud to be a part of it!

The Recipe…

My Chicken Marinade was created to solve one problem: dry, flavorless, grilled boneless chicken breasts. Before this marinade existed, I had to beg my husband to cook boneless chicken on the grill. Now he’s happy to make me extra so that we have food for the week! I often whip up a big batch and keep it in the fridge which makes getting the chicken in the marinade super fast (which is helpful when your toddler is destroying the kitchen!). It is also super healthy and you don’t have to worry about added sugars and funky ingredients from store bought marinades. Don’t get me wrong, sugar has its place as one of the holy trinity of rubs but I avoid it when I can. This marinade is sugar free and can easily be made salt free.

Rachel’s Chicken Marinade

Makes enough marinade for 4 large chicken breasts


1/4 cup olive oil

2 Tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar

2 Tablespoons Lemon Zest and Juice (skip the zest if you’re using store bought lemon juice, it still tastes amazing!)

1 Tablespoon Thyme

1 Tablespoon Oregano

1 Tablespoon Dill

2 Teaspoons Smoked Sweet Paprika

Sea Salt and Pepper


Combine all ingredients and then, if desired, add just a pinch of salt and pepper.

Add the chicken to the marinade and refrigerate for at least an hour but overnight is ideal.

Cook chicken until the juices run clear, internal temp of 165 degrees


The flavor is herby with a hint of smokiness. It is amazing on my Balsamic Cobb Salad with Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette. I also love to keep leftovers in the fridge to make bowls with riced cauliflower and veggies. Always make extra!

And a few lightning round questions…

A go-to summer meal at your house?

Rib Eye steak on the grill (seasoned with my longhorn steak seasoning of course!) served with a huge caesar salad, or Cincinnati Chili Cauliflower Rice Bowls. We probably eat these at least 3 times a week - quick, delicious, and healthy!

A favorite cookbook?

My "bible" the past few years has been Practical Paleo by Diane Sanfilippo. She knows how to keep it real and her book made a huge difference when my parents went Paleo for my Dad's Lyme Disease. In fact, my Mom kept my copy because she had made so many notes in it and bought me a brand new one that we didn't realize had new recipes in it! It was a win-win!

A must have item in your kitchen?

Oh man. Just one?! It's a toss up between my 12" cast iron skillet and my Instant Pot. I use both daily!

A favorite local spot to grab a bite to eat when you don't feel like cooking?

Two come to mind instantly: Raul's if we want a Margarita and the Log Jam if we want a big meal. Both places are absolutely fabulous and have been date night favorites for as long as I can remember!

Rachel and Dave Dutra - Rachel's Cafe and Spice Co
Glens Falls NY Restaurants

Thanks so much, Rachel!

P.S. Another favorite from our recipe swap - coconut creme pie.

Have a recipe of your own you’d like to share, or a cookbook favorite that’s too good to keep to yourself? We’d love to consider it for a future feature! Send us a note here or email us at