Brining has proven to be a great discovery.
Marinades and rubs have their place, but for a simple process that leads to incredibly flavorful and tender meat, brining is the answer. It’s a simple technique that elevates your chicken or pork from so-so to great.
The building blocks of the mixture are water, kosher salt, herbs/spices and sugar. From there, variations abound.
I love the Chez Panisse recipe but didn’t have all of the ingredients so I made a few alterations with great results. After soaking the meat, rinse and dry it and sprinkle with a seasoning salt. One I recommend for purchase locally is from All Star Organics. If you’d like to make your own, a great one is Montreal Seasoning.
To cook, grilling technique helps quite a bit. Otherwise, a temperature probe is invaluable.
BRINE for PORK, CHICKEN or TURKEY
Prep Time: 5 Minutes | Brine Time: 30 Minutes to up to 1 day for poultry or 3 days for pork
INGREDIENTS (for up to 3 lbs. of meat)
- 2 quarts (4 cups) cold water
- 1/2 cup kosher salt *
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 bay leaf, crushed into pieces
- 5 sprigs fresh rosemary or thyme (or both)
- 4 garlic cloves, separated and peeled
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- Place the water in a large bowl that can easily hold the liquid and the meat.
- Add remaining ingredients and stir with a whisk for a minute or two until the sugar and salt dissolve.
- Add meat and leave in the brine ideally for a day or at least two hours. If it floats to the top, use a plate or other weight to keep it completely submerged in the brine.
1/2 cups Diamond Crystal Kosher salt =
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons Morton’s Kosher salt =
1/4 cup regular table salt, such as Morton’s.