Use this all-purpose brine to add flavor and juiciness to chicken, turkey and pork loin.
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I've made the brining liquid a day before in the evening and stored in the refrigerator. Next day I put about 1 kg chicken breast to brine for 30 minutes. After that I take out the chicken and dried it with towel paper and started to fry them. (Of course, I left them a bit air dry too.) The color and the juiciness of the chicken was great but it felt a bit un-salty.
Should I have seasoned with salt the chicken breast in addition to brining before frying them?
Or should I have kept them for longer period to brine?
Actually, this is a generic question. Is seasoning necessary when you brine meat or brining should do it if properly done?
This is a low-salt brine. The chicken breasts will benefit from a quick soak for 30 minutes, but it is still a good idea to lightly season the meat with some salt (and pepper, if desired).
You can make the brine saltier next time and soak the breasts for 30 minutes; however, go even lighter on the salt just before cooking. Basically, you'll always want to season just a bit before cooking.
Keep on brining. You'll find the best concentration to suit your tastes and time frame.
This is a good question. Yes you should season the meat even when you brine. The only thing you have to keep in mind is, how strong your brining solution was. Sometimes I do a strong brine 60 gr. salt to every liter/quart of water and I just know that I need to light on the salt when I go to season.
Brining does take some practice, not the technique itself, but finding what amount of salt/time and then seasoning afterwards works best for you.
Did you make a "standard/low salt" brine (30 gr per lt)? If so, you may need to brine the chicken breasts just a bit longer next time, or do a bit higher solution (45gr per lt). I might just suggest doing it again as you did it but this time make sure to season the chicken with salt and pepper before you cook it. Then you will be able to judge for yourself, if the brining solutions or times need to be adjusted, for the next time.
Hope this helps! Remember every great cook has done things a million times, which is why they know what they are doing - so keep up the good work!
Thanks a lot for both of you for the advice.
Yes, I have down the 30 g salt per lt exactly as the recipe describes above.
Definitely, I will try seasoning the meat after brining and play around with brining time too... :)
This was a fantastic introduction to using a brine technique! I tried it with 2 chicken breasts tonight and it was a good and noticeable difference from the normal pan cooked chicken method (also learned on Rouxbe) I have recently been using. I have learned so much in a short period of time with Rouxbe. Thanks for the great information!
Hi, I think brining is a great way to produce juicy results! What I wanted to know is what the results would be if you brined a pork tenderloin and then marinated it for about 24 hrs. I'm thinking off the top of my head that the result would probably be good if there was salt control in the marinade. Am I on the right track? I need an answer soon because I'm having a dinner party tomorrow and that is my plan. Thanks!
For info on this see the lesson called "How to Brine", in particular topic 2 which talks about brining lean meats. There is also a text drilldown attached to that topic that you might find helpful called "What to Brine". This goes into a bit more detail regarding beef etc. Cheers!
1 quart of brine should be sufficient for 1 pound of meat; but it's better to work backwards as shown in the lesson on How to Brine. First determine how much brine you need to make by submerging the meat in water and measuring how much you'll need. This will ensure you'll have the correct amount. Cheers!
Ideally, it is better to brine meats once they are thawed as this will produce the most consistent results; however, I have been known to brine frozen chickens overnight (I usually go for a low brine solution in this case). I have always been happy with the results. Utimately, the best way to test this is to brine 2 birds, one frozen one thawed and see if you notice a difference. Hope this helps. Cheers!
I am going to brine some wings for Super Bowl before I roast them. I want to have them completely dry before prepping them, so my question is about timing. Because this is a low salt brine (and even though the pieces are small) I thought I would brine over night, pat dry and place in the refrigerator over night on a baking sheet to completely dry, and then cook and serve on the third day. Is it OK to leave them in the refrigerator over night exposed on the baking sheet? My refrigerator is pretty much odor free.
Not sure that you need to brine chicken wings. Brining is generally more useful and/or noticeable when brining lean cuts of more neutral tasting meats, such as chicken breasts and pork tenderloin. Wings are usually marinated rather than brined (search "wings" on Rouxbe for a couple of examples).
If however you still want to brine the wings I am not sure that you would want to brine them for 24 hours. This just seems like it might be a bit too long as wings are so small. To answer your question about letting them dry out in the refrigerator, I think this would be fine. I might check them after 8 hours or so just to make sure they are not totally drying out though.
Hope this helps. Have fun at the super bowl party. Sounds like it will be a yummy one. Cheers!
Thanks Dawn, I actually ended up brining (10 hrs) a few breasts for Saturday night dinner and grilling on the BBQ - absolutely the best ever! It's always difficult to grill boneless/skinless breasts without drying them out, but these came out perfectly. Great grill marks, moist meat, and great (mild) smoky flavor.
I still brined the wings, but only for a few hours. They were totally amazing, but I'm not sure how much was because of the brine. They were the most moist I can ever recall, but again I can't say whether it was because of the brine or just that I got some especially fresh wings from my butcher. Ha-ha, isn't half of the wing "white" meat?
The bottom line is that everything came out great, I tried some new things, and am encouraged to try more. I am (truly) approaching Rouxbe as if I had returned to school, and am enjoying the challenge and rewards. I am very much impressed with the quality of the site AND the genuine care and encouragement expressed by the faculty.
Good for you for getting in there and experimenting Bryan. That's what cooking is all about. We are glad to hear that you are enjoying the school but most importantly we are really glad to hear that you are taking your studies seriously and practicing...that's where the real learning comes in. Keep up the great work. Cheers!
I attempted to brine pork chops cut from the bone today. My question is whether the brining time formula remains the same even for smaller cuts as taking the pork out of the brine after 20 mins for a 200g portion just seemed like I wasn't doing it justice. 20 mins just doesn't seem very long for anything to happen. Maybe its just first time jitters but I was wondering if there is a minimum.
Also, I had to rush out to work and didn't get to cook them so I've dried them and put them in the fridge. Will I need to brine them at all again tomorrow to touch them up or should I just go ahead and bread & cook them?
One last thing... I was wondering about whether or not brining and marinading ever get used in conjunction. I know I'd have to avoid saltiness in the marinade.