This chicken brine recipe is your secret weapon to achieving the most tender, juicy roast chicken you've ever tasted. The brining process not only infuses the chicken with incredible flavor but also ensures that every bite is tender, even in the often-dry chicken breast!
If you've ever wondered how to make your roasted chicken more juicy and flavorful, then this chicken brining recipe is your answer. By submerging the chicken in a specially prepared briny solution, you'll be infusing it with a depth of flavor and tenderness that will take your roast chicken game to the next level.
Once you've brined your chicken, give my Southern fried chicken recipe a try for the most delicious fried chicken you've ever tasted. Use this brine to make my Tandori chicken recipe for Authentic flavors of India.
Read on to learn how to make this chicken brine recipe at home!
❤️ WHY YOU’LL LOVE THIS RECIPE
- Quick and Easy: This chicken brining recipe is easy to prepare. With just a few simple steps, you'll have your chicken ready for brining in no time.
- Delicious: The combination of lemon, salt, sugar, and spices gives the chicken a deliciously tangy and savory flavor that's hard to resist.
- Classic Flavors: This recipe uses classic brining ingredients like bay leaves and black peppercorns, which impart a traditional and comforting flavor to the chicken.
- Time-Saving: By brining the chicken ahead of time, you can save precious cooking time. The chicken cooks faster and stays juicy, making your job easier.
- Flavor-Packed: This brining recipe is packed with flavor. The combination of lemon, salt, sugar, and spices guarantees that every bite of chicken is full of taste.
More details about the ingredients and measurements are in the recipe card below!
- Lemon Juice: The juice of half a lemon will add a tangy freshness to our recipe, cutting through the richness of other ingredients.
- Salt: This essential seasoning will enhance the flavors of all the other ingredients, making them pop.
- Sugar: A touch of sugar will balance out the saltiness and acidity, helping the chicken to become tender.
- Crushed Black PepperCorns: These will add a spicy twist and a depth of flavor to our recipe.
- Bay Leaves: These aromatic leaves will infuse our dish with a subtle, herbal flavor that's hard to pinpoint but makes all the difference.
🔪 HOW TO MAKE CHICKEN BRINE
Clean Chicken: Start by washing the chicken legs with cold or room temperature water. This step is crucial to guarantee that your chicken is clean before you begin the brining process.
Prepare Brining Mixture: In a large bowl, combine your brining ingredients. Pour boiling water into the bowl and stir the mixture until the sugar and salt completely dissolve.
Infuse Spices: Let the mixture sit for about 5 minutes. This will allow the spices to release their flavors and oils, enhancing the taste of your brining solution.
Add Remaining Ingredients: Pour room temperature water into the spiced mixture, followed by the lemon juice. Stir the mixture well to ensure all ingredients are well incorporated.
Brine Chicken: Immerse the chicken into the brining solution. Make sure that they are fully submerged to ensure even brining. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 3 hours. This brining process will not only remove any smell from the chicken but will also make the meat juicier and help it to cook faster, even if the chicken legs are large.
👩🏽🍳 PRO TIPS
- Mix Properly: Make sure to stir the boiling water, salt, sugar, bay leaves, and crushed black peppercorns until the salt and sugar completely dissolve. This will guarantee a well-blended brining solution.
- Allow Time for Flavor Release: After mixing the ingredients with boiling water, let it sit for about 5 minutes. This allows the spices to release their flavors and oils, enhancing the overall taste of the brined chicken.
- Submerge the Chicken Completely: When adding the chicken legs to the brining solution, make sure that they are fully submerged. This will guarantee that every part of the chicken absorbs the flavors evenly.
- Refrigerate for Optimal Results: After submerging the chicken legs in the brining solution, cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours. This will not only remove any smell from the chicken but also make the meat juicier and cook faster.
- Use Fresh Lemon Juice: For the best flavor, use the juice of a fresh lemon rather than bottled lemon juice. Fresh lemon juice will give your brined chicken a bright, tangy flavor that can't be matched by the bottled variety.
- Herb Infused: For a more aromatic and flavorful brining solution, add a handful of your favorite fresh herbs like rosemary, thyme, and parsley to the mixture. The herbs will infuse the chicken with a subtle yet distinct flavor that will elevate your dish to a new level.
- Asian Twist: Give your chicken an Asian twist by adding a few slices of fresh ginger and a splash of soy sauce to the brining mixture. The ginger will add a spicy twist, while the soy sauce will give the chicken a savory umami flavor.
- Spicy: If you're a fan of heat, try adding a couple of sliced jalapenos or a teaspoon of red pepper flakes to the brining mixture. This will infuse the chicken with a spicy kick that's sure to satisfy your craving for heat.
💬 FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
The juice of half a lemon is used in this recipe to add a hint of tanginess and to help tenderize the chicken. It also aids in removing any unwanted smell from the chicken and guaranteeing that the meat comes out fresh and flavorful.
Boiling water is used to dissolve the salt and sugar, and to help release the flavors and oils from the bay leaves and black pepper. Room temperature water is then added to cool down the mixture before the chicken is added, to make sure that the chicken doesn't start to cook.
The chicken legs should be brined for at least 3 hours. This allows the brining mixture to penetrate the meat, resulting in a juicier and more flavorful chicken. For chicken wings, an hour should be ok.
Yes, you can use this brining recipe for any part of the chicken. The brining process helps to tenderize the meat and enhance its flavor, regardless of the cut.
- Refrigerate: You can make the chicken brine and store it for up to 1 week before brining your chicken in it. Once used, discard the liquid. You can also brine and store the chicken for up to 1 day before cooking it.
- Freeze: Unfortunately, it is not recommended to freeze chicken that's been brined. The freezing process can alter the texture of the brined chicken, making it less tender and juicy when thawed and cooked.
📣 MORE CHICKEN RECIPES YOU'LL LIKE
⭐ PLEASE RATE AND REVIEW
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Chicken Brine Recipe
- 6 large chicken legs with skin
- Juice of half a lemon
- 3 tablespoons salt
- 2 ½ tablespoon sugar
- 7 crushed black pepper corns
- 2 small bay leaves
- 3 cups water at room temperature
- 1 cup of boiling water
- Wash the chicken legs with cold water or room temperature water.
- In a large bowl, add the bay leaves, crushed black pepper corns, sugar, and salt. Pour the boiling water and mix until the sugar and salt dissolves.
- Keep the previous mixture aside for 5 minutes, it will help the spices to release its flavor and oil.
- Pour the room temperature water over the previous mixture and then add the lemon juice and stir.
- Add the chicken legs, make sure to submerge them. Cover and refrigerate for 3 hours. The mixture will remove any smell in the chicken, and the meat will come out juicy and cook faster even if the chicken legs are large.
- You can marinate the chicken legs for an hour instead of three; you will still get rid of the chicken smell, but the chicken will be more tender and juicy if left in the marinade for three hours.
- You can use this brine for any part of the chicken, with with or without skin.
- This brine works for 500 grams to 1300 grams of chicken. Double the brine recipe if the bird is bigger.
- Keep chicken wings in the brine for an hour or two; they are smaller and will need less time in the brine.