Prep 15 mins
Cook 2 hrs
Salt is necessary to brine a protein. I could explain it scientifically but I am sure nobody wants to hear about osmosis/concentration gradients and hyper-hypotonic solutions. It's just necessary. We don't like salt at our house. I've been working on figuring out the mimimal amount of salt necessary that will still allow the flavors of the brine to penetrate the meat. We like a simple brine when roasting chicken. Sometimes we even brine a chicken prior to following another recipe calling for rubs or the addition of other spices. If you have herbs or spices you like it is simple to alter this recipe to fit those likes/dislikes. I'm still playing with this so comments would be more than welcome. But...here's where I am thus far.
- 1 roasting chicken
- 4 cups water
- 1⁄4 cup kosher salt (bigger crystals)
- 1⁄8 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon paprika (hungarian, smoked, it doesn't matter)
- 1 tablespoon fresh cracked black pepper
- 1 bay leaf
- 1⁄2 tablespoon dried thyme
- 3 minced garlic cloves or 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 lemon, quartered
- Rinse and dry the chicken.
- Mix all ingredients except lemon.
- Squeeze the lemon juice into the brine.
- Place two lemon quarters into the cavity of the bird.
- Place everything into a food safe storage bag. Remove all air and shut the bag.
- Make sure some brine is inside the bird's cavity.
- Place in the refrigerator at least 4 hours up to 24 hours.
- Cook chicken as instructed in the recipe you are following.