I would suggest that you try a rub as opposed to a marinade with chicken. Same goes for beef and pork and all those "cuts" of meat. In the Caribbean, we marinade only those proteins that will "fall apart" if we rub into them, such as fish.
I have four different rubs that I've made myself: Spanish, cajun, Indian, and Thai. Squeeze the lemon or lime onto the protein FIRST and then literally rub the spices into the meat. The water from the lemons/lime will act as an adherent to your rub and will crisp up the protein beneath it.
Us Spanish folks never use sugars in our marinades. Instead we use mangos, pineapple, or a bajillion other fruits that abound.
If you were to take a well-seasoned tilapia filet, for example, toss it onto a sheet of aluminum foil with chunks of mango or pineapple in it, throw the whole thing on the grill and let it grill for five minutes or so, you'd be blown away by the flavors.
Not Phase I friendly, I know, but once fruit is a go, you'll find very little use for artificial sweetners.
Hope this has helped.