Recipe: Wine Brined Chicken
Wine Brined Chicken
Brining poultry and pork for flavor and juiciness is all the rage these days. A brine is nothing more than a sugar and salt solution that penetrates the meat proteins to break them down reducing fluid loss during cooking. Additions to the brine will enhance the flavor and can be any choice of herbs, spices or aromatics such as garlic, onions or citrus peels. This recipe calls for white wine in the brining liquid but sherry also produces a wonderfully juicy & flavorful bird. Because the acid in the wine speeds the brining process up there’s no need for a lengthy brining period.
For this recipe, the chicken has been butterflied or “spatchcocked”. This makes for a shorter cooking time than a whole bird and is easier to carve. It also makes a nice presentation.
Save your best wine for drinking; for this recipe any domestic bargain dry white wine will give great results. For a delicious pork brine, substitute apple cider for the wine called for in this recipe.
1 whole chicken butterflied and backbone removed
2 cups dry white wine
2 cups water
¼ cup salt
¼ cup sugar
1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
herbs of choice such as thyme, rosemary, tarragon or garlic if desired
1 tablespoon oil or softened butter
Combine everything except the chicken in a large measuring cup to dissolve salt & sugar. Place the chicken in a large ziplock bag or high sided dish large enough to lay the chicken out flat. Pour brine over the chicken and seal the bag. Refrigerate 2-6 hours.
Remove bird and pat dry with paper towels. Rub a small amount of oil or softened butter on the skin and season both sides with fresh ground black pepper and any dried herbs of choice. Grill or roast indoors basting once or twice during cooking till chicken is cooked through and skin is crispy (juices will run clear when done).