Sunday, December 7, 2008

Brining Chicken Pieces

I've noticed an inconsistency in my chicken. Sometimes it's great, sometimes it's rubbery. Sometimes it's tasteless. I've had different results cooking a chicken recipe the same way twice. I went to Google with my gripes. I don't know if this is the answer to my prayers, but my searches brought me to All About Brining. Well, first I found this site which talks about how many meats are much more lean that they were in the days of yore, which leads to tasteless meat, and how brining was a possible solution. Now, I don't know if this has anything to do with meat quality, but I'll do anything for a tastier meal. Furthermore, I had never thought about brining chicken pieces. I hear about whole turkey brining, but had never translated that to chicken breasts. Here's a simple recipe for chicken and pork:

All-Purpose Brine

1 quart cool water
1/2 cup Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt
1/2 cup sugar
Mix in a non-reactive container until dissolved. Substitute 1/4 cup + 2 TBSP Morton Kosher Salt or 1/4 cup table salt for Diamond Crystal.

Make 1 quart of brine for each pound of meat, not to exceed 8 quarts (2 gallons). Soak meat for 1 hour per pound, but not less than 30 minutes or longer than 8 hours. If brining multiple pieces, base the brining time on the weight of an individual piece.

It's also important to note that chicken pieces float. Put a small dish or bowl over the chicken so it's completely submerged.

Rinse well once done, and pat dry.

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