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Brine Chicken in Salt Water

Whole Chicken Brining in Bag
I was looking to do something special with three chicken breasts. I first learned about brining meat when I found a recipe reproducing KFC chicken. Before KFC prepares their chicken, they soak it in salt water. Just plain old salt water. Salt water is the most basic brine for poultry and foul. It causes water and salt to be drawn into the chicken´s flesh making it more juicy. Brining chicken makes a big difference. It should be done at the bare minimum, four hours before cooking. Brining prevents your chicken from drying out while cooking it. 

Two major processes at work during brining:
  • Diffusion. This is when particles move from a region of higher concentration to an area of lower concentration. For example, when you're brining chicken, the brine has a lot more salt in it that the chicken. To balance things out, the salt gets absorbed by the chicken — not just on the surface, but all through the meat (although it does take a bit of time).
  • Osmosis. This is when water (or another liquid) moves through a membrane from one region that has more water to another region that has less water. When you brine chicken, you're creating just that situation: the brine has a lot more water than the chicken, so the water moves through the chicken cells, from the brine to the chicken. The result? Moister chicken!

Instead of just salt, this would be an excellent time to add other flavorings to the brine...sugar, juniper berries, whole allspice berries, pepper berries, etc. It is recommended to first boil the additional flavorings, allow the brine to cool, then add the meat. This is called boiled brine, but not put your chicken in hot water, the water must be cold. 

Brining is an easy way to get extra flavor into meat as well as moisture. I have not had a chance to brine my poultry yet, this is the first I heard about it. I will be sure to try it. 

Today I made fried chicken with a twist

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