Saturday 18 August 2007

Recipe - Brined Chicken Breasts

Chicken breasts that are barbecued can quite easily turn dry and boring. Brining them is a way of avoiding this. It's not just chicken that can be treated this way. Turkey, pork and even fish steaks can benefit from being brined. If you try this recipe you'll definitively notice a difference in how moist the chicken is. Just don't overdo it, two hours is well enough.

I'm sorry about the low number of pictures in this post. I was so hungry that I forgot all about taking pictures. ;)

Brined Chicken Breasts - serves 4

4 skinless chicken breasts
60 ml coarse salt
60 ml firmly packed dark brown sugar
20 whole black peppercorns
1 red chile pepper, thinly sliced
2 bay leaves
250 ml hot water plus 750 ml cold water
1 lemon, thinly sliced
1 small onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed

Put the chicken breasts in a non reactive dish.

Place the salt, brown sugar, peppercorns, chile pepper and bay leaves in a large non-reactive bowl and add the hot water. Whisk until the salt and sugar dissolves. Pour in the cold water and let cool to room temperature. Pour the brine over the breasts and stir in the lemon slices, onion and garlic. Cover the dish with cling film and put it in the refrigerator for 2 hours. Turn the breasts over once or twice.

Set up your barbecue for direct grilling and preheat to high. Brush and oil the grill gate once the barbecue is hot enough. Put the chicken breasts on the barbecue and grill until done, 4 to 6 minutes per side. To test for doneness, poke a breast in the thickest part of the breast. It should feel firm to the touch.


The chicken breast are in the brine.

Some rice with sweetcorn and peas makes a nice side.

Here we are, you can almost see how juicy and tender the chicken is.

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// Mike