A few months back at one of my culinary classes at George Brown College, we learned a wicked warm brine recipe where we heated the ingredients in a pot to mend the flavours and cooled it before adding in the chicken. Because of the class, I started brining my chicken before roasting it.
Believe me, brining makes a difference! The chicken turns out plump, moist and flavourful.
Brining may seem intimidating but it should not be. I came up with a quick 5 minute brine recipe that consistently creates amazing results with ingredients that many of us have in our households.
What you will need:
- A pail or pot to hold the chicken. Find a container that is not too wide, so you use less water and salt to fill the container.
- Fill the container about 3/4 of the way or enough to submerge the chicken (number of cups may vary)
- 1 cup of salt (household or kosher salt preferred)
- 1/2 cup of white sugar
- A few sprigs of a thyme. Leave the stems on.
- 1 lemon. Remove the peel from the lemon and carefully cut off as much white parts beneath the peel (the bitter part). Add in the peel. Add in lemon slices.
- 1/4 cup of mixed or black peppercorns
- 1/3 cup of allspice
- 3 bay leaves
I used about 3 cup of salt for every 3 L of water. I hope that helps, as each chicken and container you have may vary.
*Remember that a brine is essentially salt water. Use that as a base and add in pickling spice, rosemary or other herbs that you have at home. Feel free to substitute sugar with honey or aguave syrup. The recipe is great for brining turkey as well.
1. Add in the salt and sugar to the pail, dissolve a tad of hot water to dissolve the solution. Add in the remaining water.
2. Add in the remaining ingredients and stir well. Taste the brine and adjust to your liking.
3. Add the chicken and the lid on the pail/pot and refrigerate overnight.
4. Take out the chicken at least 1 hour before cooking. Drain and discard the brining liquid.
5. Place the chicken on a plate and pat the skin dry with several paper towers. Air dry the chicken in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before cooking the bird.
Preparation is quick and the results are amazing. Try out my brining recipe!
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