high sodium/sugar| Prep: 10 min | Chill: 120 min | Yield: 5 cups
Have you ever just thrown chicken into a pan or oven with some random seasoning and some butter or oil? How about from the package straight to the grill? Well, stop it! That’s why everyone wants store and restaurant cooked chicken and not the kind you probably put a lot of work into. If you’ve never brined chicken, you should start because that’s the secret to turning that dish from drab to fab. You’ll go from dry and tasteless chicken breasts to tender and juicy. Even the dark meat, arguably the best, could use some help. My kids get picky sometimes and this is how I’ve been able to avoid the dreaded “I don’t like it!” comment followed by “…because it’s too dry-y-y!” I don’t post many savory things, but this is important! This is my mommy-approved easy chicken brine solution.
- 5 C. water
- 1/4 C. kosher salt*
- 1/4 C. brown sugar
- 1/4 C. soy sauce
- 1 Tbs. minced garlic
- 2 Tbs. chopped onion
- 1 Tbs. olive oil
- *optional* 1 tsp. crushed red pepper or sriracha sauce
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs
- In a large pot, heat oil and sweat garlic, onion, and crushed red pepper/sriracha (about 15 seconds).
- Add the water, salt, sugar, and soy sauce and bring to a full boil. Stir while heating to dissolve the salt and sugar.
- Remove from heat once the salt and sugar are completely dissolved and incorporated. Allow brine to cool to room temperature or place in an ice bath for faster cooling time.
- Once cooled, rinse the chicken and place in brine, cover, and refrigerate for at least two hours before using.
*Kosher salt and table salt are two completely different things! If you don’t have kosher salt, use 1/2 the amount called for in a recipe for table salt. For this recipe, use 2 Tbs. table salt instead of 1/4 C. or it will be way too salty.
Feel free to leave a comment below and let me know how this turned out. Also, any edits or things you did different that worked better or enhanced this recipe, do tell!