In a pickle over Yotam Ottolenghi’s marination

I often find it perplexing when instructed to marinate any recipe ingredient “at room temperature for at least an hour (or overnight in the fridge)”, as in Yotam Ottolenghi’s recipe for satay skewers with quick pickled cucumbers (12 June).

Clearly, an hour is going to be fine, or why would that time limit be given in the first place? But to suggest that “overnight” is also a choice seems odd. As it seems unlikely that the marination would begin before, say, 10pm and as the finished, cooked chicken would possibly not appear at the breakfast table, its grilling wouldn’t commence until noon the following day – probably later.

The ingredient in question, very small pieces of diced chicken, must surely have a significantly different taste and texture when marinated for one hour, as opposed to 14 hours (even in the fridge); as the marinade includes 90ml soy sauce and three tablespoons of lime juice, the protein will surely emerge from the process either lightly bathed, or well bullied.