Apr 24, 2011

recipe: chicken brine

My life has been pretty intense since moving to Quebec and starting my PhD, so trying new recipes and blogging about them has been near the bottom of my priority list. That said, things are starting to stabilize and Kyle and I hope to start trying new recipes again, so I'm hoping to make the recipe posting to be a regular thing again!

I know it's strange to see a chicken-related recipe on my blog, since I mostly post vegetarian recipes, but I like to cook roast chicken for Kyle at least once a year because it's his favourite meal since when he was a kid. We usually cook it on holidays when we're not visiting family. Today, it's Easter. I'll be posting my brine recipe, my rub recipe, and my stuffing recipe.

When I first decided to roast a chicken for Kyle, I called upon my sister for help since she is more experienced in the ways of "normal" home-style cooking. She recommended that I brine it. Brine? WTF? Isn't that just salt? Well, I did some research on Allrecipes and sure enough brining is kind of popular. So I tried it and the chicken was really good (this coming from someone who doesn't like meat) so... I can consider myself a brine convert. The brine recipe is pretty flexible since it's just used to soak the chicken and then you discard it. The first one we made had clementine wedges and peel, lemon juice, dried onion, and rosemary. For my second one, I used fresh onion, fresh lemon, dried thyme, and sugar. And this is my third one, and I've mixed it up again.

Lemon-pepper Chicken Brine
Ease: 1 very easy
Time: 2 quick (just some chopping)
Ingredients: easy to get
Source: Inspiration from AllRecipes.com.

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced/chopped
  • 1 medium onion, sliced thinly
  • 1 medium/large lemon, sliced thinly
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1/t poultry seasoning
  • 1 tsp + extra black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar
  • tea leaves from 1 used teabag (from my morning tea)
  • 1/3 cup salt
  • 15 cups of water (enough to cover the chicken)

  1. Add onion, garlic, lemon, and spices (including tea) to a pot/container that is large enough to hold your chicken.
  2. Measure out the salt, take some and rub it onto the chicken. Pour the remaining salt into the pot.
  3. Rub some coarsely ground black pepper onto the chicken (if you have a pepper grinder).
  4. Add the water to the pot and mix everything around to dissolve the salt.
  5. Add the chicken to the water carefully.
  6. Store the chicken in the fridge for at least 1 hour but not longer than 5-6 hours.
  7. Remove the chicken from the brine, discard the brine, rinse the chicken under cold water, and pat dry. For crispier skin, allow the chicken to dry some more by storing in the fridge overnight.

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