First, First Lady Bush was known for her barbecue chicken. Being a Texas homemaker in one phase of her life, I guess she had to be known for SOMETHING southern, or she would have been drummed out of the D.A.R.
Barbara’s secret (look… she’s even TELLING you here not to tell anyone!) was this marinade in its basic version. After marinating she’d toss the sauce and then barbecue the chicken with her own homemade barbecue sauce. I’ve made a few minor tweaks to her recipe, but overall I feel that in its simplicity it imparts so much tenderizing flavor to meat, veggies and other grill fare that it deserves its own spotlight.
This batch should be enough to marinate about 2 lbs. of meat, but with so few ingredients, all readily available, you can whisk together extra at a moment’s notice to use as a basting or topping if need be (see notes after).
1/3 Cup lemon juice
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
2 Cloves minced garlic (or 2 tsps. jarred)
2 tsps. salt
1 tsp. ground black pepper
1 Tbsp. corn starch
1/2 Cup cold water
Whisk together all but the optional ingredients.
If marinating meat (chicken sections or cutlets, or pork loin or chops): place meat and marinade in a ziplock bag. Seal, work marinade through meat, and refrigerate for up to 24 hours.
If marinating tofu: drain extra firm tofu, slice into grilling or baking-sized portions or cubes, and using paper toweling or cheese cloth, gently press out as much extra water as possible. Place in a shallow plate, coat with marinade, and refrigerate up to 24 hours, flipping and coating slices a few times while it marinates to insure even coating.
Also great for meat and/or vegetable kabab skewers.
When grilling or roasting, use the remaining marinade to baste during cooking.
As an optional sauce, to brush on cooked meat, veggies or tofu, mix corn starch and water, add to remaining marinade in a saucepan, bring to a boil stirring constantly over medium-high heat, and adjust salt to taste.