Brining Chicken

Ever heard of brining chicken?  Ever tried it?

I recently ran across this tip and it quickly became standard practice in my kitchen.  Brining chicken breasts before you cook them helps them stay tender and moist; this is by far the best way to ensure mouth-watering, juicy chicken and has helped me cut down on the butter and oil I use when seasoning them.   You can also try brining your turkey and pork! 

Although there are a number of variations for brine solutions and recommended marinating times, they all start with about the same basic recipe:  Dissolve 1/4 cup salt and 1/4 cup sugar in 4 cups water

Some tips…

  • The type of salt you use makes a difference in taste; Kosher salt is recommended, and from experience I can tell you it does taste better than iodised table salt.  If you do use table salt, measure slightly less (because table salt crystals are so much finer than Kosher salt you will end up with a salter brine when using the same amount of table salt).
  • Although I’ve not tried it yet, I’ve seen recommendations for using brown sugar rather than whiteComing soon…I plan to try doing that with boneless pork chops before pan-frying with an orange marmalade sauce.  I’ll let you know how it turns out ;-)
  • Brining Time Table:  for boneless chicken breasts, 15 minutes at room temp or up to 2 hours in the fridge.
  • Go ahead and add seasoning to your brine mixture; bay leaves, fresh sprigs of herbs, lemon wedges, onions, etc.

So next time you are going to cook up a batch of chicken breasts and have just a few extra minutes, try brining them first and let me know what you think! 

The Step-by-Step:

  1. Trim chicken, flatten (if desired), and place in glass baking dish
  2. Cover with brine solution and let marinate for 15 minutes (or up to 2 hours in the fridge)
  3. Pour brine solution off chicken and pat dry (you can rinse if you wish, but I haven’t found this necessary)
  4. Season as desired and cook as usual for moist and mouth-watering chicken breasts!

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One Response to “Brining Chicken”

  1. Spinach and Mushroom Stuffed Chicken Breast « Supper Quick Says:

    […] Brine chicken breasts (boneless, skinless) […]

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