The softest and juicy chicken you’ve ever had comes from this fast chicken brine. It’s also quick and easy to prepare, bringing complete chicken or chicken pieces in only a few hours.
Why Will You Enjoy This Recipe?
Brining your chicken gives it a deep, savory flavor and an amazingly moist, supple texture, as you surely already know.
However, how frequently do you brine your chicken? Once a year, with the exception that the chicken is now a turkey? Only when you recall the previous night?
I’m not good at the “marinate overnight” stuff – I’m simply not that organized, and to be honest, I usually don’t decide what we’re going to eat until the morning! Cravings govern our house, and I haven’t yet figured out how to stop them.
This fast brine is everything I could have hoped for and more (no hyperbole, I swear). It’s tasty, easy, and quick to prepare.
This brine takes only a few hours to make, making it entirely doable until you recall that, yes, you do have to prepare dinner today, just like every night. You know how it goes around here…at least in our house.
The salt solution is the ideal ratio for infusing flavor and softness into the chicken in just a few hours without oversalting it.
The original ratio comes from Michael Ruhlman, who wrote the book Ratio and is well-versed in the subject.
The most tender, delicious chicken with the crispiest skin comes from our fast chicken brine.
You can add garlic, peppercorns, herbs, citrus, or any other aromatics you choose, but it also tastes great without all the extras.
This basic salt+water method can be the best solution, especially if you’re extending a chicken to use in multiple recipes, so you don’t end up with rosemary-infused chicken in, say, a Thai dish. It could be cool, but it’s not likely to be your favorite.
I prefer bringing my chicken in the morning, then draining it after a few hours and letting it air dry in the fridge until ready to use.
Air drying allows the skin to dry completely, resulting in unbelievably crisp and tasty skin when seared, fried, or roasted. Is there anything more unpleasant than sagging, rubbery skin?
There’s nothing worse than the new Miley Cyrus video, though. Is it just me, or am I the only one who wishes Hannah Montana would return? A permanent comeback, perhaps? However, I digress.
What is the purpose of bringing chicken?
We’ve all experienced overdone chicken, and we all know how bad it tastes. A chicken brine has two purposes: it imparts flavor to the meat and keeps it moist.
You’re essentially setting a failsafe on your dish when you brine chicken.
You have more leeway to cook the chicken without it drying out after one minute in the oven too long, and you have more creative control over the tastes you want to impart to the complete muscular meat of the chicken, rather than just what you season it with right before cooking.
What is the procedure for making brine?
Brining is a basic concept: you make a salt solution and flavor it with spices, herbs, and sometimes sugar when preparing a wet brine.
The amount of salt in the brine will vary depending on how soon you want to brine the meat; for example, this brine has a larger salt content so you can brine quickly.
You lessen the overall salt density of your Thanksgiving turkey to allow it to brine for longer. This is important due to the size of the bird!
Many people add sugar to their chicken brine, but we a) don’t like sugar in our meals and b) believe that a salt-only brine provides a more versatile chicken that is also more soft and juicy.
After you’ve made your brine, fully submerge your bird (or bird bits!) in it for the necessary amount of time, then remove it, pat it dry, and cook as usual.
You may also make a dry brine for chicken. You just leave out the “wet” — the water, vinegar, or whatever liquid you’re using. Here’s more information about dry bringing chicken.
Why is this recipe so effective?
- This quick chicken brine works for a couple of reasons: the salt level is more than most brines, thus it works faster than a traditional brine.
- You’re also imparting a deep taste to the entire chicken meat, rather than just coating the top in a dish, by using fresh garlic and herbs.
- Using ice to swiftly cool down the boiling salt solution makes this chicken brine a breeze.
- Make sure the chicken isn’t overpriced! Because the salt solution is stronger than a conventional overnight brine, you should only brine for 2-3 hours at ambient temperature or 4-6 hours in the fridge.
- Make sure you weigh your ingredients to ensure that you have the correct quantities. In any case, having a digital scale on hand in the kitchen is an excellent idea!
- Before turning off the heat, completely dissolve the salt.
- Before cooking, lightly salt your chicken skin after brining.
- For a Mexican chicken brine, use fresh cilantro and sliced fresh jalapeno.
- Under a heavy skillet, lightly crush a few black peppercorns and add them to the chicken brine.
- Experiment with various fresh and dried herbs and spices.
How Do You Make Chicken Brine?
Only a few ingredients are required: water, salt, smashed garlic, and a few sprigs of fresh herbs.
In a saucepan, combine the water, salt, garlic, and herbs, and stir to completely dissolve the salt. Bring the water to a boil.
Cover and remove from heat. Allow 10 minutes for cooling.
Pour hot brine over ice and stir until thoroughly dissolved.
Brine for 2-3 hours at room temperature or 4-6 hours in the refrigerator with chicken or chicken parts. Drain, toss out the herbs and garlic, and pat dries thoroughly. Use in any dish, but season the chicken pieces lightly with salt.
Is it possible to brine the chicken for too long?
Yes! Please do not brine your chicken for longer than the stated period in this recipe. If you do, you can end up with salty, fast chicken! Other, “slower” brines are similarly affected.
Too much salt solution will permeate the meat if you leave your chicken in the brine for too long, resulting in an oversalted bird.
No good! You want the fowl to have had enough time to brine to become incredibly soft and tasty, but not so long that the salt overpowers the flavor. I believe you will be pleased if you follow the recipe directions.
How long does bringing a chicken breast to take?
If you’re bringing boneless, skinless chicken breasts, you may leave them out at room temperature for 30 minutes or chill them for an hour. The secret to the moistest and tenderest chicken breasts you’ve ever had is to use brine!
What is the purpose of bringing chicken?
Brining chicken produces the most tender and tasty meat, as well as making it more difficult to overcook! Brining the chicken gives it a lot of flavors and just the proper amount of salt, making it the greatest chicken you’ve ever tasted.
Chicken Brine Recipe
|5 minutes to prepare
15 minutes to cook
Time to brine: 2 hours
2 hours 20 minutes total
A simple, quick chicken brine that produces tasty, tender chicken and poultry.
- 15 ounces water ½ liter
- 3 ounces salt 100 grams
- a couple of sprigs of fresh herbs like rosemary, thyme, or parsley
- 4 cloves garlic
- 15 ounces of ice 500 grams of ice, or 15 ounces of ice water
- 1 3-4 pound chicken or chicken pieces
Equipment For Chicken Brine
- Digital kitchen scale
- medium saucepan
- Large bowl
- Large plastic food storage bags
- In a medium saucepan over high heat, combine water, salt, and aromatics (garlic, herbs, etc.). Bring the water to a boil. Cover and turn off the heat. Allow 10 minutes for cooling.
- Pour brine over ice (or ice water) in a big bowl (or very large measuring cup). Stir until the ice is completely melted.
- Place the chicken in a big plastic bag and add the brine. Seal and set aside for 2 to 3 hours at room temperature, or chill for 4 to 6 hours. Drain and pat dry the chicken. Use in any recipe, but only gently salt the surface of the chicken after bringing it.
Michael Ruhlman’s work was adapted. Michael’s brine also contains the following ingredients:1 chopped little onion
- 1 halved lemon
- 2 bay leaves (optional)
- 2 tablespoons cracked black peppercorns in a sauté pan
Use these extras or come up with your own. Mine is straightforward.
Serving: 1serving, Calories: 178kcal, Carbohydrates: 1g, Protein: 15g, Fat: 12g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Cholesterol: 61mg, Sodium: 749mg, Potassium: 160mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 114IU, Vitamin C: 2mg, Calcium: 15mg, Iron: 1mg