Brining Poultry

Brining foods, especially poultry, makes the meat moister, more tender and adds flavor.  I never believed it, and it sounded like an ordeal, but once I brined a chicken, I became a believer.  You need to try brining, and here are the basics.

The science behind brining is pretty simple, and has been used in food preservation for ages.  By immersing raw meat into a liquid with a high concentration of salt, the liquid is absorbed into the meat.  Any flavoring added to the brine is absorbed with the liquid.  The meat is now flavored and contains extra moisture.  It will stay that way throughout the cooking process.  How can you go wrong!

Brine is pretty simple to create.  To each gallon of water add 1 cup salt and 3/4 cup sugar.  Stir the mixture well until the salt and sugar is totally dissolved. If you want flavoring, add whatever spices you like.  You can also add cut up vegetables for flavor. Make enough so that the poultry will be completely covered in the brining container.

When ready to brine, submerge the meat in the brine.  Use a plate or other heavy object to keep the meat submerged.  Put the container in a refrigerator or otherwise keep cold, under 40F. Whole chickens should be brined 4-5 hours while turkeys (12-14 pounds) should be brined for 12 hours.  Use a non-reactive container. That means no aluminum, cooper or wood.

Once the brining process is completed, rinse the meat in cold water to remove the solution.  Pat dry, season or  rub and prepare for cooking.

If you haven't been brining, I promise you will be amazed and you'll wonder why you haven't been.

Bon appetit!

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