This Chicken Brine recipe is full of flavor and the best way to enjoy juicy chicken. You can roast, smoke or deep fry your chicken or turkey, and the brine makes sure it remains moist, tender and juicy. Check out my Smoked Chicken recipe!
How to Make Juicy Chicken
That's that question everyone wants to know when preparing diner. How can you make a roast chicken juicy, tender and flavorful. I have a Juicy Roast Chicken Recipe that you may have read before, which is tasty, but not as juicy as brining your chicken. Brining truly adds flavor and juiciness. You can also Brine a Turkey using this method too! Sometimes I brine a turkey when we make Deep Fried Turkey. It just tastes better!
What's Wet Chicken Brine?
Wet Brine is the solution that you submerge your cuts of meat into, almost like submerging it into a liquid marinade. It's a salty liquid, infused with your favorite herbs and spices. Well, at least my recipe is. Some brine recipes are just plain water and salt, which I think is way too boring. The brining liquids are absorbed into the chicken, so you want to have a flavorful brining solution. This is known as a wet brine, the more traditional way to brine chicken.
When making my chicken brine recipe, it's almost like making a soup broth. In a large pot of water, add sliced onions, garlic, carrot, celery, salt and spices and of course, parsley. Bring this to a boil for about 4 or 5 minutes and place in the fridge to completely cool before using. The chicken is refrigerated in the brine for up to 24 hours before ready to be cooked. If it's not, you can get salmonella and get everybody sick, so don't do it!
I suppose I should maybe rename this paragraph Poultry Brine, as you can use any poultry when using this recipe. From a whole chicken, a spatchcocked chicken to chicken thighs, breasts or drumsticks, they will all benefit from brining. If brining turkey, you need to make enough brine to full submerge and cover the whole turkey.
What is Dry Brine?
I suppose the answer is in the name, a way to brine a bird (chicken) in a dry method using salt and spices. It works similar to a wet brine, but instead of using liquid, you simply rub in the salt and spices directly onto the chicken. The salted chicken then is covered and refrigerated for up to 24 hours to do it's magic. The salt draws out the moisture from the chicken and then it's gradually re-absorbed into the chicken. Remember to pat dry the chicken before rubbing the salt mixture over it. This helps the chicken to be crispier.
You add 1 teaspoon of salt per pound (500g) of chicken and about 5 teaspoons of your favorite spices. I bought Cajun Spice, which was easy to use, but it can be too salty if you buy pre-salted spice mixes. I also use Chipotle seasoning too. If making your dry brine spice rub from scratch, I use 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon of paprika, 2 teaspoons black pepper and a teaspoon of oregano. Or use your own favorite spice blend.
Some people say dry brining chicken doesn't water down the flavor like a wet brine does. This is definitely the easier and faster way to brine a chicken, but may not be as effective.
Wet Brine vs Dry Brine
A few things to consider when deciding which method is right for you.
Firstly, how much space do you have in your fridge? Using a wet brine needs more space. You need to brine the chicken in a pot or a large covered bowl. A dry brine can be placed in the fridge in a smaller container, as it doesn't need to hold any liquids.
Secondly, how much time you have. Both brining methods need the chicken to sit at least overnight in the fridge before they are ready to be cooked. Brining up to 24 hours brings juicy results. When making a wet brine, it takes time to prepare the brine solution, and allow it to fully cool before submerging the chicken. Dry brine is quicker to rub, but both methods need resting time in the fridge.
Which Chicken Brine recipe is better?
In the video, I make both ways and do a comparison of the 2 brining methods. Both chickens are juicy and full of flavor. However, the wet brine chicken is juicier visibly and when you take a bite. You can see it in the video, and your stomach will thank you. Winner Winner, Chicken Dinner. I'm sorry, but I had to say it once!
Here are two chicken brine recipes that both moist, tender and juicy. A wet brine and a dry brine recipe that you can use for any poultry, ready to roast or smoke for your next family dinner. Bon Appetit! Приятного аппетита!
Easy Chicken Brine Recipe (Video)
- 1 gallon / 4 litres of water
- ¾ cup table salt or use 1 cup of Kosher Salt
- ¾ cup sugar
- 1 small onion
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 carrot
- 1 small celery stalk
- 2 bay leafs
- 1 teaspoon whole peppercorns
- 1 clove
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- 1 bunch of parsley
- 4 teaspoons kosher salt or coarse salt (1 teaspoon per pound of chicken)
- 5 teaspoons spice mix paprika, garlic powder, black pepper, thyme
- Place all ingredients into a stock pot. Bring to a boil, mixing the ensure the salt and sugar has dissolved. Boil for 4 minutes and remove from heat. Place into refrigerator until completely cooled before using.
- Fully submerge chicken into cold brine solution. Cover and refrigerate at least overnight, up to 24 hours. Remove from brine, season and cook by your preferred method.
- Mix together the salt and spices. Rub the spice mixture all over the chicken, including the inside cavity. Cover and refrigerate at least overnight. Cook by your preferred method.