Tuesday, June 30, 2009
The Unbelievable Brined Birdy
"Brining" just does not sound all that pleasant. Definitely not something one would want to do to a defenseless little chicken thigh. But my husband just deemed tonight's dinner as "unbelievable." All I did was make a brine for the chicken thighs I used tonight. I have done this with the turkeys I make for the holidays, but never for a simple family dinner. I guess from the reaction of my men, this won't be that last time.
I got the recipe method while researching grilling for this month's newsletter. Not being the griller at our house, I am woefully ignorant in this art! It sounded like a great idea. I knew brining made a marvelous Thanksgiving bird, so I gave it a try. With only a package of thighs to deal with, I didn't have to bring out the giant pail to accomplish the soaking. Nor did I have to give it so much time and worry about keeping the contents safe from bacterial invasion!
This is from the July 24/7 Low Carb Diner Newsletter:
"For a basic brine, use 1/4 cup kosher salt to each quart of water. It is easiest to dissolve the salt in very hot water, so dissolve salt first in a cup of boiling water. Then add this concentrated solution to a quart pitcher and add cold water to top it off. Many people add spices, vinegar or wine to this brine as well. Experiment with flavors you enjoy."
Tonight, I soaked the thighs in the brine only for one hour, although most meal sized portions can be brined for up to six hours. Larger meats, such as turkey, benefit from longer brining. Amazingly, the poultry does not taste overly salty, but it is extremely juicy and flavorful. Brining is not about seasoning; it is about chemistry tenderizing on the cellular level. I won't get into that!
I added a touch of vinegar to my brine solution, then sprinkled the chicken with McCormick Rotisserie Seasoning. I intended to have the hubby grill these out, but he ended up working overtime, and I wanted to let him rest. Instead, I turned these into a "George" meal. Not being one who appreciates meat on the bone as much as some, I am a bit inexperienced at knowing when they are fully cooked. Glad to have that trusty meat thermometer!For sides tonight, I added some Nana's Coleslaw With a Kick, some sugarfree sweet pickles, and for the carbavore boys, some cheesy mashed potatoes. It's all good--well except for the pseudo potatoes. One day, perhaps they will see the light!