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Sunday, May 29, 2011

Brining Chicken

Poultry when brined before cooking is transcendent.  Regardless of the cooking method you plan to use for your chicken or other poultry, soak it in a brine before cooking for amazing results.  You'll get a tender, flavorful, and juicy bird. 

The simplest brine is nothing more than water, salt, and sugar.  There are plenty of recipes that call for brining your chicken in a stockpot or other large container placed in your refrigerator.  I have very limited space, so here's my space-saving brine:

Simmer the following just until the solids dissolve:

1 quart water
1/2 cup kosher salt
1/4 cup sugar

Also needed:

Ice cubes

When the salt and sugar dissolve, remove from the heat and let the brine cool to room temp.  Rinse your chicken and put it in a heavy-duty gallon ziplock bag.  Add the room temp brine and enough ice cubes to fill the bag (and chill everything), press out the air, and seal the bag.  I always put the whole thing in a second bag and seal it also (trust issues).

Put the ziplocked brined chicken on a platter or storage container and place it in your fridge or in an ice-filled ice chest for 2 to 24 hours before cooking, less time for boneless skinless chicken parts and more time for a whole chicken with skin.

This brine works beautifully with whole chicken or chicken parts.  Trust me, if you've never tried brining your chicken before preparing it, you'll thank me.  Brining turns budget food into gourmet!!!

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