Brining- Solution For Juicy Boneless Chicken Breast
NOOO not chicken AGAIN!!!????
Do you hear that all the time too? To be honest, chicken is boring, dry, tasteless….. UNTIL…. I discovered BRINING!
Oh my lanta, why did I not know about this before??? I mean I have been around the kitchen for a LONG time.
When you soak any lean meat in a brining solution, it helps it stay moist (ugh, I hate that word) and imparts much more flavor!
I could go on and on about the “science” behind brining, but…um… I am not a biologist or chemist, so dont really get it! LOL Suffice it to say that, before bringing, meat can lose up to 30% of its weight during cooking. When you give chicken (or pork) a soak in a salt solution, it holds on to most of its weight. It only loses about 15% . (chemical reactions blah blah blah)
How long you brine, depends on the cut, and type of meat. So I am including a handy dandy chart here….
*be sure not to leave in the brine too long or it will have the opposite affect
*Do NOT brine something that has been already brined. Check the label!
*Store all meat in the fridge and never ever save the brine!
Now the recipe
- 4 cups water and ice
- 1/4 cup kosher salt or 3 Tablespoons table salt
- 1 lemon cut in quarters
- assorted herbs of choice, I like rosemary and italian parsely
- a couple cloves of garlic smashed (onion would be good too.
- Heat 2 cups of water until hot but not boiling.
- Add the salt and stir until it is dissolved.
- Measure ice and water to equal 2 cups. Pour into the salt water and stir to dissolve the ice.
- Place a whole chicken in a deep pot or chicken pieces in a baking dish. Do not use aluminum, plastic, copper or wood containers.
- Pour the brine over the chicken. It should cover or almost cover the chicken. A larger amount of brine can be made for brining a lot of chicken.
- Cover and refrigerate for 4-8 hours for a whole chicken, 3-6 hours for a half chicken, 1-2 hours for bone in, skin on breasts, 30-60 min. for boneless, skinless breasts, 45-90 minutes for skin on legs or thighs, 30-45 min. for skinless legs or thighs.
- Drain the brine and rinse the chicken well.
- Cook as desired, but reduce or eliminate the amount of salt in the recipe