Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Brined Chicken

Last night I started went to my first "Cook Like a Chef" class through the community association. It was fabulous - we made chicken breasts stuffed with figs and spinach. But it wasn't just figs and spinach. It had onions sautéed in sesame oil, saffron, and coriander seeds. Then we sprinkled it with salt, pepper, and cayenne, and poured a ginger/garlic rosé sauce over top before baking it. It was amazing! I can't wait to learn more! (I'll make this recipe again sometime soon and post a picture for you... it was such a pretty meal!)

Tonight I tried out a new technique: brining. It involves soaking your meat in a cold salt/sugar mixture to break down the tissue and give you a deliciously juicy hunk of meat. I'd like to try it out for our Thanksgiving turkey (I hate dry turkey), but I thought I better practice first. So I tried it out on a little chicken, and it really did turn out very juicy!
This recipe is from Epicure's new brining collections. I used the Tex-Mex recipe, thinking it would be really spicy, but there actually wasn't any flavour to the chicken at all... it just tasted like a really moist, slightly salty chicken. It was great, but obviously I was hoping for a little more heat to it. Next time I guess I will rub some spices onto the meat after washing off the brine. Here's the recipe:

4 c. water
1/4 c. kosher salt
2 tbsp. brown sugar
4 c. ice
1 chicken
1 brining bag (or large freezer bag)

Simmer first 6 ingredients until salt & sugar dissolve. Bring to a boil, then remove from heat and let it cool to room temperature. Refrigerate in brining bag until ready to use. When ready to use, add ice and chicken. Refrigerate for 3-4 hours (1 hour per pound.) Remove chicken and rinse it with cold water. Pat dry and place in roasting pan with veggies around it. (Rub some butter and more spices on it if you like.) Do not add salt. Cover and cook at 350 F for approx. 1 hour 45 minutes.

Now I'm off to put the kids to bed and soak my poor body in a hot bath.... if you want to know why, check out my newest blog.
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Lesa said...

If you want to brine your Thanksgiving turkey, I highly recommend using Alton Brown's "Good Eats Roast Turkey" recipe. That's what I did last Thanksgiving, and it was terrific. And it was my first time ever doing a turkey, so I had no idea what I was doing! It's really fabulous. You can read my blog post about it here: http://edesiasnotebook.blogspot.com/2008/12/good-eats-roast-turkey.html

Kathy said...

Thank you Lesa! I'll check out your blog later.

Sherry said...

Love your blog Kathy! Way to go!