Thursday, December 27, 2007

To brine or not to brine

That is the question. Well, frankly, I prefer brining my poultry as it makes for a juicier and tastier bird. Here is a simple everyday chicken soaking in a mixture of sugar, salt and spices. For this three pound bird I let it brine for about 3 hours. A very good rinse in lots of fresh water and it was patted down with towels to dry it off. I rubbed the skin with a bit of butter and sprinkled it with salt and pepper. The bird was placed on top of a bed of carrots onions and celery in my favorite Revol chicken roaster. I set the oven to 450F to roast this at a high temperature. Once the internal temperature reached 170F I took it out, covered it with foil and let it rest for about 20 minutes.

This day I also spent a few hours cleaning out my pantry. I have lots of different kinds of dried beans and grains on hand so I thought I would make a medley of healthy grains to serve with the chicken. There's kamut and red beans and mung beans and bulgar wheat and wheat berries and spelt and thai brown rice and yellow somethings and black eyed peas and black beans and lots of other things I had. These were soaked for a few hours before being thrown into my rice cooker and cooked on the "brown rice" setting.


Antonia said...

Hope you had a great Christmas. And thanks for an interesting post - brining is not something we tend to do over here in the UK, but I hear that it is very successful. Perhaps I should have tried it with the Christmas turkey.

Greg said...

I did have a nice holiday, thanks. Brining is not so much about flavoring or salting the meat as it is a way to draw more water molecules into the cells of the meat. This makes for a moister bird after cooking. I have used salt alone or a mixture of sugar and salt and it works well. A quick hour brine for pork chops helps too. Here's a good web page that describes it more.