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As a basic brine, this simple recipe worked out great for me. It falls short of five stars only because I did a lot of tweaking to add flavor to the brine mix by adding some aromatics. I will say though, in the last three years I've been coming here for recipes, this is the first one that inspired me enough to make an account and comment.

I rough cut a carrot, celery stalk, three large cloves of garlic, and an onion. A couple of sprigs of fresh thyme (gently tap the sprigs with the back of a solid knife to bruise and bring out more essence) really rounded it out nicely.

I tossed all of that in with a whole cut up chicken and put it in the fridge. It smelled amazing, still cold and uncooked, when I lifted the lid off after only three hours of soaking in the brine.

I rinsed and patted the parts dry, then made a mixture of 2 tbs olive oil, 2 tsp paprika, 1 tsp fresh chopped garlic, 1 1/2 tsp finely chopped fresh thyme, and 1/2 tsp pepper. Baked at 425 for 30-40 minutes. My family absolutely loved it. I've never had chicken breast so tender and juicy.

You can chop two or three russet potatoes, skin on, toss in the same herb and oil mixture (before the chicken) and salt to taste. These can be cooked alongside the chicken and will be done at the same time.

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Butcher's Hook September 13, 2012

Thank you for this great recipe.This was the first time I've ever tried any type of brine.I made chicken thighs that I seasoned with onion and garlic powder after they came out of the brine.I broil them until done,turned the oven down to325 and applied Bar-B-Que until nicely glazed.That was the best chicken I have ever made and I have been cooking for over 40 yrs.Thank you again.

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gale 57 August 03, 2010

I "discovered" brining about 3 years ago and can't believe I have lived so long without it... it really does make chicken/turkey so moist and juicy... I usually use another brine when I make turkey but it has a few spices in it that I think would interfere with other flavorings I was going to add to my chicken breasts, so this recipe was absolutely perfect! I scaled it way down since I had only 2 large breasts to cook and left them in the fridge for about 3 hours. I dried them off and then proceeded with Crispy Baked Chicken Breasts... Thanks for sharing a great, easy recipe many people can benefit from!!!

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atlfitgirl August 21, 2008

We brined our first heritage Thanksgiving turkey with this recipe. I took some notes from other recipes and added some orange slices and garlic cloves but kept everything else the same. It was the juiciest, most flavorful turkey we've ever eaten. Thanks!

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Lucky Clover December 01, 2013

Wow! Thanks for this! I always bought the pre-brined stuff from the butcher's, but I was not entirely happy since I know they put nitrates into it -- you know, the same stuff that goes into hot dogs to preserve it. I love that I have this recipe! It made my chicken breasts so tender and they did not dry out after frying them as chicken fingers--which so often happens to me. My only mistake was putting an equal amount of sugar and salt into it. I think it made them slightly sweet, when I was really going for a more savory taste. Next time, I won't skimp by trying to use the same measuring cup. ;o) Will use this all the time from now on. Thank you!

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LawyerMom March 04, 2011

Good, but a bit salty - I think next time I make it, I will cut the salt in half. Thanks for the recipe :)

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Smile1968 December 12, 2010

I've been using this for my turkey, chicken and even recently for a pork loin roast-it's the best I've tried ever. It's simple and easy and the taste is awesome. I thought I had rated it years ago but just realized tonight that I had not. This is the only brine I will ever use-it does a wonderful job. Thanks for sharing this.

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msjill111 November 20, 2014

So simple, but so effective. I only brined the chicken for 3 hours, then I chose to roast it, and it was the best roast chicken I've ever made. Some seem to believe that wet brining softens poultry skin and keeps it from getting very crispy, but after roasting at 450F for approx 1 hr the skin was super crispy, while the meat was juicy and flavorful.

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amyamy123 March 20, 2014

I used this on chicken pieces for 2 hours, then baked in the oven. It definitely made a difference. They were juicy and tasty. I didn't use the full amount of sugar and I would definitely be careful of not using too much salt.

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Kasha November 19, 2012

Tried this recipe today,it's a great recipe. I will keep using it. Thanks for posting.

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Pioneer Nana March 02, 2011
Basic Brine for Juicy, Tender Chicken or Turkey