Seasoning Meat 101- Chicken

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May 5, 2014
Seasoning Meat 102- Beef
May 14, 2014
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Grilled afterwards

Hello there!

How was our weekend? Hope great! Today let’s take a look at the basics of seasoning chicken and turkey.

Chicken is probably one of the most popular eaten meat if not the most popular especially now that we can buy frozen parts which are usually cheaper than whole chicken.

This is probably going to be the shortest and easiest recipe yet because there’s only basic one trick I know to churning out well seasoned meat from the kitchen. While there are other things to add to meat to enhance it’s flavours, this one is what I call the foundation on which you can build on, experiment and create your own unique seasoned meat.

I shared these in the meat spices post as your basic meat spices and they are. You can create delicious tasting meat by combining them.




Spice mix (1kg of chicken/turkey)

1 medium fresh Ginger

1 large or 3 small cloves Garlic

2 or more Fresh atarodo ( red scotch bonnet )

1/2 medium or 1 small Onions

1/2 teaspoon Thyme

1/4 teaspoon dry Cameroon pepper * optional

3 Seasoning cubes (Maggi)

1/2 teaspoon salt (add when you are ready to cook the chicken)

These are your magic spices. There are two ways to use them.

Garlic, ginger, onions and fresh pepper

Garlic, ginger, onions and fresh pepper


1. Marinade Method :

Blend all the ingredients together with 1/4  or 1/2 cup of water. Add it to the washed meat along with the seasoning cubes and mix well. Let the chicken/turkey marinate for 1-2 hours.

Add salt just before you put on fire, do not add any water to the meat yet, let it boil in its own juices. Keep a close eye on the cooking meat to know when the original water it brings out is drying up so you can add a little water at a time. If it’s say for example old layer, you will definitely need to add water a number of times, make it 1 cup at a time. If you are using soft chicken (frozen chicken) you will most likely not add water at all or at most 1/2 cup of water especially If you want meat stock out of it. If you’re using frozen turkey, you will probably need just 1/2 a cup as well because they are soft and cook in about 15-20 minutes depending on the quantity.

Marinated soft chicken

Marinated soft chicken

2. Direct Method :

If you are pressed for time and can’t allow the meat marinade for at least 1 hour then here’s a trick that has always worked for me. Blend all your fresh ingredients like the same method above, add it to the chicken/turkey but this time make the seasoning slightly salty. Yes, salty, add 1/2 teaspoon more of salt.

In the above method, the meat has time to absorb about 50% of the seasoning cubes while marinating, in this method, the meat absorbs 30-40% of the salt and seasoning as it cooks. This simply means that the meat stock will be salty and so you will have to add it to whatever you are cooking first, allow it boil for 5 minutes, then taste for salt. In most cases there’ll be no need for extra salt in the dish you are preparing.

Direct cooking using turkey

Direct cooking using turkey


The rest of the ingredients added

Meat stock ( you can skim the oil off the stock before using it)

Meat stock ( you can skim the oil off the stock before using it)

After the chicken/turkey is cooked, you can go ahead and fry or grill it while you use the stock for your intended dish. Even if you are using super soft chicken like in the above picture, you can still boil it for 10 minutes just to get stock for your dish and you won’t need to add water, the juices it brings out should be enough.

Soft chicken boiled for 10 minutes without adding water

Soft chicken boiled for 10 minutes without adding water

Grilled afterwards

Grilled afterwards

Dishes the spices in the stock and meat pair well with:

Jollof rice


Fried rice to marinate turkey, use stock to boil the rice.

Gravy  use along with water for richer taste.

Vegetable stir fry to marinate chicken.

Sauces to marinate chicken.

Jollof beans and rice

Other seasonings and spices you can add to the ginger mix: 

1/4 teaspoon rosemary


1 tablespoon soy sauce


1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

I use lemon seasoning when I run out of fresh lemons

I use lemon seasoning when I run out of fresh lemons

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon white pepper


*tips you can blend ginger,  garlic and fresh pepper in bulk and freeze. Simply bring it out hours before you are ready to season meat.

The 2 methods above also work with beef intended for stew, jollof rice and the other above listed dishes but NOT for local soups like Oha, Nsala, Afang etc.

Okay! A very worded post, if you have any further questions or comments on basics of meat seasoning please drop a comment below and I will be glad to answer all of them.

Azu 🙂 .



  1. Joy-Bishop says:

    Aunty Clara,does it hav to b fresh ginger & garlic? Cos I get lazy wen it coms to peeling dem. Infact its tiring. I hav dem in powdered form instead,hope dat wil do?

    • Erm….the taste of dry ginger and garlic is certainly different. I recommend you sit down one day with as much garlic and ginger that you can, peel them, add fresh atarodo as you want then grind them, pour them into a plastic container and keep in your freezer. This make seasoning the meat easy for you, save the dry ginger and garlic powder for Suya Spice recipe for next week 🙂 .

  2. […] I know I said last post on seasoning chicken was going to be the shortest, this will be because you need only three basic ingredients which […]

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