Lemon-Herb Brine for 1 Chicken, whole or cut into pieces

Ideal brine is 5% - 2 tablespoons Morton’s coarse kosher salt for every 2.5 cups water. So: When that powerful, powerful urge to have fried chicken strikes at midday, I make a 10% brine but use only half the water. I bring this, along with herbs and garlic and lemon to a simmer, let it steep for 10 minutes, then add the rest of the water as ice (another handy use for a scale, weighing frozen water). By the time the ice is dissolved, minutes, the brine is cool. I throw it all in a plastic bag and leave it at room temp for 2 to 3 hours, remove it, rinse it, and let it rest for another hour or so, to give the heavy salt concentration on the exterior time to penetrate and equalize.

Lemon-Herb Brine for 1 Chicken, whole or cut into pieces
Lemon-Herb Brine for 1 Chicken, whole or cut into pieces

PREP TIME

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minutes

TOTAL TIME

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minutes

SERVINGS

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servings

PREP TIME

--

minutes

TOTAL TIME

--

minutes

SERVINGS

--

servings

Ingredients

  • 15

    ounces water (or 1/2 liter)

  • 3

    ounces salt (or 100 grams)

  • fresh herbs (I used sage above)

  • 4

    cloves garlic

  • 1

    small onion sliced

  • 1

    lemon halved

  • 2

    bay leaves

  • 2

    teaspoons black peppercorns, cracked beneath a saute pan

  • 15

    ounces ice (500 grams ice), or 15 ounces of ice water

  • 1

    chicken (3 to 4 pounds)

Directions

Combine all of the above except the ice and chicken in a small pan and bring to a boil over high heat. Cover and remove from the heat and let sit for ten minutes. Put the ice (or ice water) in a bowl or large measuring cup. Pour the herb brine over the ice. Stir till the ice is dissolved. Put the chicken in a plastic bag, pour the brine in, seal the bag, and let sit at room temperature for 2 to 3 hours. Remove the chicken from the bag, discarding the brine. Pat it dry and let it sit out for another hour before using (or you can refrigerate it till needed). Great for roasting, but especially fine for frying.

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