Thursday, January 19

Sweet Tea-Brined Chicken


                 Wintertime Grilling.....CHECK IT OUT! 
 

Now this is my kind of cut up chicken!
   Raise your hand if you have ever cut up a whole chicken. Anyone? If you find your hand is in the air you are either 60 years old, plus or minus a few, or you just have entirely too much time on your hands! I do love cooking but if there is a short cut I can take, giving me the same results....I'm taking it. Okay, so who has brined.....   well.....anything? If not you are missing out on a whole distinctive world of preparing and cooking meats and poultry. Brining is similar to marinating. In fact it is a salt marinade. It causes the meats tissues to absorb liquid and flavorings therefore keeping your meat or poultry moist while cooking. Leaving you with the most tender, juicy and flavorful chicken you will ever eat!
  I found this recipe in an old issue of Southern Living and I "tweaked" it just a bit to suit my families palette. It is a recipe for Grilled Chicken, don't fall out of your chairs. I am aware of the season, but here in North Texas our Winter has been relatively mild at best. So I'm thinking it's time to crack open the grill. Ladies if you have a husband like Mr. P, who loves to grill, give this recipe a complete turn around the room before dismissing the whole "my neighbors are going to think we are insane for grilling in January" thought. All you, the wife, will be responsible for is placing the brining ingredients and chicken in a 2 gallon Ziploc bag and popping it in the fridge on your way to bed. See, it's not such a bad idea now is it? Easy peasy, quick cooking AND clean-up. It's a great meal for a busy weekend.
  A hint of tea, brown sugar, rosemary and lemon makes up the brine for this grilled chicken. The combination is irresistible and oh so tasty! Pair it with a large green salad and maybe some old-fashioned Creamed Potatoes. HELLO! Really what more do you need??
                                                                     

Ingredients:  
  • 2 family size tea bags
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup kosher salt
  • 1 small sweet onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar* 
  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced 
  • 3 garlic cloves, halved 
  • 2 (6-inch) fresh rosemary sprigs
  • 1 tablespoon freshly cracked pepper
  • 2 cups ice cubes
  • 1 (3 1/2- to 4-lb.) cut-up whole chicken

Preparation

Bring 4 cups water to a boil in a 3-qt. heavy saucepan; add tea bags. Remove from heat; cover and steep 10 minutes. Discard tea bags. Stir in sugar and next 7 ingredients, stirring until sugar dissolves. Cool completely; stir in ice. (Mixture needs to be cold before adding chicken.) Place tea mixture and chicken in a large zip-top plastic freezer bag; seal. Place bag in a shallow baking dish and chill 24 hours. Remove chicken from marinade, discarding marinade; pat chicken dry with paper towels. Light one side of grill, heating to 300° to 350° (medium) heat; leave other side unlit. Place chicken, skin side down, over unlit side, and grill, covered with grill lid, 20 minutes. Turn chicken, and grill, covered with grill lid, 30 minutes or until juices run clear. Transfer chicken, skin side down, to lit side of grill, and grill 2 to 3 minutes or until skin is crispy. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
*If you are NOT a fan of "tart" you can conveniently leave the apple cider vinegar out of your brining mixture.
ENJOY!!

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