Sunday, April 28, 2013

Herb Brined Chicken

Herb Brined Chicken – The Smart Way


Recently, I had the honor of working with Café Tecumseh – Smart Chicken at the Spartan Culinary Classroom.  They treated the classroom to a free demonstration featuring the Organic Smart Chicken, that is air chilled.

For more information please go to:


Susan and Doug supplied us with answers to all of our questions and handed out some nifty give a ways – tote bags and aprons for all of the attendees!


Though I was demonstrating, I did get several of our guests to help me remove the wishbone prior to roasting, and I did get some of them to break down a whole chicken.  After one person got started, well, the others joined right in to find out how easy it can be.  Why remove the wishbone?  It makes it easier to care.  With the Smart Chicken breast side up, use your chef’s knife to “scrape” the wishbone, and then using your thumbs (notice plural, use both of them) as guides remove the bone.  This will make carving the bird much easier.


Our menu for the evening


Thai Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Chicken & wild Rice Soup

Not so Swedish Meatballs

Spatchcock Chicken with tomato cream sauce

Herb Brined Chicken


One of the surprising moments of the evening was taking the chicken out of my cooler!  Yes, I brine chicken in a beverage cooler, it saves space that you may not have in your refrigerator!

Believe it or not, the chicken is in there!

I have to say, it’s hard to stop and take pictures of your products when everybody wants some, but, I did get a picture after we carved into them!  They were wonderful.

Brining is a mixture of salt, sugar and aromatics.  It helps make your chicken (or turkey) juicy and delicious, and it will not become SALTY!


Herbed Brined Chicken

This recipe works equally well when roasting a whole chicken or with chicken breasts and thighs on the grill. Make sure the chicken is covered with brine and refrigerated until ready to cook.

For a
large whole chicken, use the brine recipe as listed. For 4 to 6 pounds of cut up chicken thighs and/or breasts, halve the brine recipe.

2 gallons water
6 ounces kosher salt
6 ounces granulated sugar
2 carrots, diced
2 celery stalks, chopped
2 leeks, whites only, sliced
4 fresh bay leaves (or 2 dried)
1 to 2 tablespoons black peppercorns
1/2 bunch flat leaf parsley, washed and whole on stem
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
2 star anise
4 to 6 sprigs fresh thyme

Bring the water to the boil in a large stainless steel pot. Add salt and sugar and stir until dissolved. Turn off the heat and add all remaining ingredients except the chicken. Refrigerate until the brine is cold. Add the chicken, weighing it down with a plate so that it remains submerged in the brine. Refrigerate for 24 to 72 hours.

Cook the chicken until internal temperature reaches 165ºF and juices run clear. Remove from heat and let sit for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.



After you remove the chicken for roasting, make sure that you pat it dry completely; this will help the chicken brown while baking and not steam.


Try brining some chicken soon!  You’ll enjoy the difference that it makes.



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