Kittencal's Buttermilk Poultry Brine (For Chicken or Turkey)

Total Time
Prep 8 hrs
Cook 0 mins

You may never grill, fry or bake chicken again without using this brine first, it will produce the most flavourful juicy moist chicken you will *ever* have, it's a must for chicken and turkey breasts, and makes the best fried chicken on this planet! Plan ahead the chicken needs to marinade in the buttermilk brine for a minimum of 8 hours or up to 24 hours. This brine is enough to cover about 4 pounds chicken pieces. You can double the recipe and use it on a small whole turkey also, the cumin is only optional, if you are not a lover of cumin then you can omit but it really brings out so much extra flavor without being overpowering.... you will *LOVE* this brine! also see my Kittencal's Basic Brown Sugar Brine for Meat and Poultry and Kittencal's Best Brown Sugar Turkey Brine.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. In a large bowl mix or whisk the buttermilk, shallots, garlic, salt, sugar, cumin (if using) and black pepper until the sugar and salt is completely dissolved.
  2. Rinse the chicken in cold water and pat dry with paper towels.
  3. Place the chicken in the buttermilk mixture; toss with clean hands to coat the chicken in the mixture.
  4. Cover and refrigerate for a minimum of 8-24 hours.
  5. Rinse the chicken quick and just slightly under cold water to remove the onions and garlic if desired before cooking or grilling.
  6. Grill or oven-bake as desired.
Most Helpful

Darling! 5 stars is not enough for this gem of a recipe. I was leary of the Cumin at first. I love cumin but on my Thanksgiving turkey?? I was roasting on a whole turkey breast so I doubled the recipe and prepared exactly as written. This was so easy to prepare and it produced the moistest, tenderest, juiciest most flavorful bird I have ever eaten. Please, USE THE CUMIN!!! It does not come out tasting like tacos, I swear! It gives the meat a subtle hint of something that is totally and completely mouth~friggin~watering. You cant go wrong with one of Kit's recipes. They have never left me disappointed. P.S. I am eating leftover turkey right now and its just as delicious as yesterday! WINNER!

Beautiful Disgrace November 26, 2009

I had a "Famiy Pack" of chicken breasts - bone-in, skin on. 6 breats at 7 lbs. The brine recipe only covered 3 breasts! But that was OK. I had never even 'HEARD' of brine before - nobody in my extensive family did it! The funny part - when I pulled them out of the brine after about 18 hrs - they were HUGE! LOL! (I wondered if that would work on MY breasts! haha....) I was concerned about the garlic and such flavors being too overwhelming from the brine. I did basic oven fried chicken without adding much more flavorings. NO garlic/onion/cumin taste to overpower the taste of chicken! (I think I DID cut the cumin down a bit - due to other reviews). THIS CHICKEN WAS SO TENDER AND JUICY!...(and huge! lol!) Will definately brine again. Thx for terrific recipe!

cathie54 August 28, 2007

ooooooo! boyfriend and i had THE best homemade oven baked chicken in BOTH of our families combined! :) THANKS Kittencal first and foremost! kept pretty much the same but used 2 qts buttermilk (from powdered), 1/2c fried shallots, 1/4c minced garlic, 1/4c salt, 1/4c sugar, and same amounts of pepper and cumin as the recipe suggested. soaked bird for about 2 days! ohhhh sooo yummy! on the chicken he used a conglomoration of emerils Southwest essence, minced garlic, celery flakes, smoked paprika, himalaya pink salt, ground thyme, and cracked black pepper. roasted on rack in medium roaster above halved onions, taters, and water. my tastebuds say thanks and my full belly curses it all! lol. will always brine chicken from now on!

Chef GreanEyes March 07, 2011