Brining How To - Part 6

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Jim Minion:

Here are a couple of different recipes to try:

Honey Brine for Poultry

1 gallon water
1 cup salt ( sea or kosher)
1 oz tender quick (2 tbsp)
1 cup honey
3 bay leaves
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp pickle spice

Mix ingredients and bring to boil, allow to to cool to room temp and brine recomended times in the brine post.


Here is a second recipe

1 gallon water
3/4 cup salt( sea or kosher)
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup molasses
2 tbsp black pepper
1 tbsp thyme
1 tbsp oregano
bring mix to boil and allow to cool to room temp.

You can do your own other ingredients like maple syrup, garlic, onion, allspice,ginger, or spices you like can be used.


BigWheel's Prize Winning Brine !

1. Prize-Winning Brine Ingredients

1 gallon water
1 cup kosher salt
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup pure maple syrup or molasses
2 T. black pepper
1 T. mustard seeds
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup chopped garlic (from the jar) (or 2 Tablespoons granulated garlic)
1 T. Tarragon
1 T. Oregeno
2. Split the chickens down the middle and rinse.
3. 12 hrs. is about right on time ... a few hours either way wont hurt a thing.
4. Make sure the brine is "cold" before you place the birds in it or they will absorb too much salt.
5. Make sure you use glass, ceramics, plastic or stainless steel for brining cause it is highly reactive. 
6. I usually make this up in half gallon batches which fit nicely into empty half-gallon bottles of Ezra Brooks (Wife drinks the stuff ... I'm a teetoaler myself)

7. Procedure

I then get the bottles of brine cold in the icebox.

Put 2 chicken halves in each bag and dump a half gallon of cold brine on top of each.

Then stick the whole mess into an ice chest with ice.

Massaganate about once an hour or so ... (nothing critical ... just give them a shake now and then) while you help empty more bottles for future brining episodes.



(1) Joe Simone's Brine-Cured Roast Chicken

2 tablespoons kosher salt
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon whole fennel seeds
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
12 black peppercorns
3 sprigs fresh thyme
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
2 cups boiling water
4 cups ice water
1 whole chicken (about 3 1/2 pounds) - cut into 6
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 fresh lemon - cut in half

In addition to roasting, Joe Simone of Tosca in Hingham often grills these brine-cured chicken pieces (8 to 10 minutes on each side). The delicate flavor of the brine allows the natural taste of the chicken to shine through.

Combine the salt, sugars, fennel and coriander seeds, peppercorns,
thyme and rosemary in a large nonreactive container.

Whisk in the boiling water nad continue whisking until the sugars and salt are dissolved.

Whisk in the ice water and let the brine cool.

Add the chicken to the brine, making sure all the pieces are submerged.

Cover the conatiner with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 24 hours, but no more than 36 hours.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Remove the chicken from the brine and lightly pat dry.

Rub with the oil and shower with lemon juice. Season with several pinches of salt and place in a roasting pan.

Roast for 25 minutes, or until the chicken is just cooked through.

Compliments of Garry's Home Cooking
Garry Howard - Cambridge, MA


(2) Andy Husbands's Brine-Cured Tuna over Frisee
with Champagne Vinaigrette

For the tuna:
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup kosher salt
2 cups boiling water
1 dried chipotle chile - coarsely chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin seeds - toasted
1 pound fresh tuna - Approx 1 inch thick
Canola oil - For brushing tuna
For the salad:
1 clove garlic - minced
2 teaspoons fresh thyme - chopped
6 tablespoons Champagne vinegar
2/3 cup canola oil
1/2 teaspoon sugar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper - to taste
2 small heads frisee (or other delicate salad green) - rinse and pat dry

At Tremont 647, Andy Husbands smokes the tuna after soaking it in a stronger version of this brine.

Since the tuna in this recipe is going to be fully cooked, the brine contains less salt and sugar.

For the tuna: Combine the sugar, salt, and boiling water in a large nonreactive container.

Stir to dissolve the sugar and salt.

Add the ice water, chipotle, and cumin seeds, and let the brine cool.

Add the tuna to the brine, making sure it is submerged.

Cover the container with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 6 hours.

For the salad: Place the garlic, thyme, and vinegar in a small bowl.

Slowly whisk in the oil to emulsify the dressing.

Whisk in the sugar and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Place the frisee in a salad bowl and toss with half of the dressing.

Transfer the dressed frisee to 6 salad plates.

Prepare a grill or broiler.

Remove the tuna from the brine and gently pat dry.

Lightly brush with the oil.

Grill or broil to desired doneness (approximately 6 minutes per side for 1-inch-thick tuna rare in the center).

Cut the tuna into thin slices and arrange over the salads.

Drizzle the remaining dressing over each salad.

Compliments of Garry's Home Cooking
Garry Howard - Cambridge, MA


(3) Maple and Dill Brined Salmon

1 quart cold water
2 tablespoons kosher salt
2 tablespoons real maple syrup
1 large bunch dill - coarsely chopped
2 cloves garlic - smashed
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 salmon fillet - About 2 pounds
1 tablespoon olive oil

this delicate brine performs magic on a sparkling-fresh fillet of salmon. It plumps the fish with moisture and produces the most tender, succulent salmon I have ever eaten.

Combine the water, salt, and maple syrup in a large nonreactive container.

Stir to dissolve the salt.

Blend in the dill, garlic, and pepper.

Place the salmon, skin side up, in the brine, making sure it is submerged.

Cover the conatiner with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 6 hours.

Turn on the broiler.

Remove the salmon from the brine and lightly pat dry with a paper towel.

Place on a foil-lined baking sheet, skin side down, and coat with the oil.

Broil for 15 minutes, or until just cooked through.

Compliments of Garry's Home Cooking
Garry Howard - Cambridge, MA


(4) George Germon and Johanne Killeen's Brine-Cured Pork Chops

1 cup fresh herbs (rosemary, oregano, thyme,
and - coarsely chopped
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup kosher salt
2 tablespoons fennel seed
10 coriander seeds
10 black peppercorns
5 juniper berries
5 bay leaves
1 quart hot water
3 quarts ice water
12 pork chops - 1 inch thick
2 tablespoons olive oil

Since brining partially cooks the pork, the finished chops will be rosy inside and very tender.

George Germon and Johanne Killeen often serve these pork chops with pickled pears. Caramelized onions or any kind of sweet-and-sour chutney would also make a nice accompaniment.

Combine the fresh herbs, sugar, and salt, fennel and coriander seeds, peppercorns, juniper berries, and bay leaves in a large nonreactive container.

Add the hot water and stir to dissolve the sugar and salt.

Stir in the ice water.

Add the porck chops to the brine, making sure they are submerged.

Cover the container with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 18 to 24 hours.

Prepare a grill or broiler.

Remove the pork chops from the brine and pat dry.

Lightly brush with the oil and grill or broil for about 8 mnutes on each side.

Place on a platter and let rest 5 minutes.

Compliments of Garry's Home Cooking
Garry Howard - Cambridge, MA


(5) Benjamin Nathan's Orange-Soy-Chile Brine-Roasted Duck

3 quarts ice water
3 cups soy sauce
1 1/2 cups mirin
3 tablespoons canola oil
1 1/2 unpeeled oranges - slice into half moon
1 1/2 peeled onions - slice into half moon
6 whole garlic cloves
1/3 cup fresh peeled ginger root - chopped
1/4 cup garlic chili paste
3 dried Thai chiles
1 1/2 tablespoons whole Szechuan peppercorns
1 1/2 tablespoons coriander seeds
3 tablespoons kosher salt
1 5 pound duck

This brine infuses the duck meat with a delicate, savory flavor and makes it velvety and moist. It's good warm from the oven or cold the next day. Note that the duck must soak in the brine for 3 days - prepare it on a Wednesday night for a dinner party Saturday night.

Combine the ice water, soy sauce, and mirin in a large nonreactive container.

Put the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.

When hot, add the orange slices, onions, garlic and ginger.
Saute until browned, about 5 minutes.
Stir in the garlic chili paste and saute for 2 minutes more.
Transfer to the soy mixture and stir to combine.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
Place the duck on the rack in a roasting pan.
Roast for 20 minutes and then reduce the heat to 275 degrees.
Roast the duck for 1 hour more, occasionally pouring off the fat as it accumulates in the bottom of the roasting pan.

Transfer the duck to a platter and let cool slightly before slicing.

Compliments of Garry's Home Cooking
Garry Howard - Cambridge, MA


*** Honey and Apple Smoked Turkey ***

By Marlene Rausch

You don't have to brine a turkey before smoking it, but it does provide you with a moist, succulent bird. I prepared four turkeys before getting this recipe right and it is quite delicious. It turns out slightly sweet and salty, nicely smoky and is one of those mahogany visions that would be the envy of any every gourmet magazine food stylist. You could probably use maple syrup for this instead of honey. I also tried a glaze of brown sugar and water, applied every hour or so, during smoking and got great results.

1 turkey (10 to 12 lbs.)


16 cups of water - approximately
4 cups hot water
3 cups pickling salt
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon garlic powder
2 tablespoons onion powder
2 tablespoons pickling spice
1 teaspoon saltpetre (optional)


2 tablespoons paprika
1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
4 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 cup maple syrup
2 apples, quartered


Pre-soaked apple and/or maple chunks
apples, about 3 medium, quartered

24 hours ahead: brine turkey. Fill a large, non reactive container such as a large stock pot with 16 cups of water. In another bowl, stir the four cups of hot water with the salt, sugar, onion powder, garlic powder, pickling spice and saltpetre (if desired). Stir into cold water in stock pot to dissolve salt and sugar.

Immerse turkey in salted, spiced water and weigh down to keep submerged. (I used a brick wrapped in a ziplock bag). Refrigerate overnight or at least 4-6 hours. Once in awhile, swish turkey around (this is called "overhauling').

Meanwhile, soak about 12-20 medium large chunks of maple and apple hardwood in water overnight (or at least a couple of hours).

Next day, remove turkey from brine. Dry very well. Mix dry rub seasonings together: paprika, Old Bay, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Pat all over turkey.

Fill turkey cavity with a couple of quartered apple sections.

Prepare smoker according to manufacturer's instructions. Add apple pieces to water tray.

Once briquettes are hot, place 4-6 wet wood chunks on top.

Place turkey on cooking grate and close lid. Baste with maple syrup during the last three hours (every 45 minutes or so).

Smoke cook, about 4 1/2 - 6 1/2 hours, until turkey temperature reads 160-165 F. Technically, turkey is thoroughly done when a meat thermometer inserted into the thigh reads l80 F. However, I found if you actually keep it on the grill until that point it will dry out. At 160-165 F., the temperature continues to climb rather quickly - even as you remove the turkey. Taking it off at l60 F. ensures it will not be overdone and dry.

The first three turkeys I smoked were taken off between 170 and 180 F. They were flavorful but rather dry. The last one, removed at 160 F., was perfect. For safety's sake, please note that many home economists are emphatic about the l80 degree minimum.

Remove turkey from smoker, drain inside cavity. Cool to warm before placing in fridge to "mature". (24 hours is best. Overnight is okay).

Eat and Enjoy !



Courtesy Of Marlene Rausch

4 gal. Apple cider
4 oz. Kosher Salt
1 ea. Onion (diced)
2 ea. Heads Garlic split
4 oz. fresh ginger, chopped
3 pcs. Star Anise
4 bay leaves
4 ea. Oranges quartered

Method (In a large stock pot):
Sautee the onion, garlic, ginger, and anise together in a little canola oil, until lightly browned. Add the bay leaves and the oranges. Sautee another 2-3 min. Add the cider and the Kosher salt. Bring to a simmer for 1 minute. Remove from heat, transfer to another container and chill completly (use an Ice bath if possible).

Rinse and dry bird. Place bird in a large vessel to marinate in. Pour the well chilled brine over the bird and turn to coat well. Place a weighted plate or something of the sort over the bird to keep it immersed. Cover and refrigerate while marinating. Turn the bird daily. Marinate a minimum of 48 hours. Reserve some of the brine to baste with if you like.

Proceed with roasting as usual ( I like to start with the breast side down).
I made this much brine to marinate (2) 14# birds.

I highly reccomend this brine and recieved rave reviews with it last year. I will do it again this year. Please let me know how it turned out for you !


*** Zippy Smoked Chicken***

Here's a little hopped-up brine that I did for 6 chickens yesterday. Smoked at 230 for 3 1/2 hr .... was scrumptious. Did with hickory. Fishing time is here now and the boy and his friend caught a few brookys threw them in the brine after the chickens came out. Grilled them ...and they were outstanding. Brined the chickens 14 hrs.

Chicken Brine

5 gal water
4 cups salt
4 heaping tsp garlic powder
4 heaping tsp onion powder
3/4 bottle liquid smoke (just do it)
1 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
3 tbl oregano
4 heaping tsp black pepper
1 tsp caynenne
1/2 cup olive oil
5 bay leaves
4 heaping tbl pickling spice
1/2 26oz can whole jalepeno plus juice
(snaped jalepenos in half)
3 tsp celery salt

Put all the dry spices in warm water for half hour or so. Then place chicken in brine for appropriate time.

Wash chicken thoroughly afterwards



Karen Green wrote:
*I think* that (other than the smoking, if course) the big flavor enhancer is injecting the chicken with spiced beer the night before. Whaddaya think?

Now you're talking. But consider this; A marinade only penetrates 1/4" into meat. So that means a lot of poking. If marinaded too long, the acid makes the texture mushy. A marinade, BTW, has oil, acid, and spices. The way to get the flavor into the meat is brining because the as the salt is absorbed, it brings in the flavors from the brine.

A brine is salt, water, and spices.

Funny. As a beer judge and homebrewer, I am not big on beer marinades. They end up reminding me of a garbage can. (I think that may be acetaldehyde, but that's another story.) Dan Gill's turkey brine is superb. My favorite brine follows. I have used it on chicken, turkey, duck, and venison. Just brine for a few hours if smoking. The pastrami is excellent, BTW.

Plain old water (1 gal) and salt (3/4 cup) is also excellent.

Duck Pastrami

Recipe By Emeril Lagasse

1 tablespoon black peppercorns
3 teaspoons dried thyme
3 bay leaves - crushed
1 teaspoon whole cloves
2 tablespoons garlic - minced
1 teaspoon whole juniper berries
1/3 cup crushed juniper berries
4 cups water
1/2 cup light brown sugar - packed
1/2 cup kosher salt
1 duck breast, boneless, split ~2.25 lbs
1/4 cup coarsely ground pepper

In a small mixing bowl, combine the peppercorns, thyme, bay leaves, cloves, garlic, and whole juniper berries. In a saucepan, over medium heat, combine the water, brown sugar and salt. Bring to a boil and stir to dissolve the sugar and salt. Remove from the heat and add dry spice mixture and steep for 1 hour. Place the duck breast in a glass or plastic container. Pour the seasoned brine to cover the breasts completely. Cover and refrigerate for 48 hours, turning the breasts a couple of times. Remove the duck breasts from the brine and rinse thoroughly with cool water. Pat dry with a towel. Preheat the oven (smoker) to 250 degrees. Combine the crushed juniper berries and ground black pepper in a small bowl. Using the palm and heel of your hands, press 2/3 of the berry and pepper mixture into the underside of the breasts. Press the remaining mixture onto the skin side. Place the breasts, skin side down, on a rack in a roasting pan in smoker) and roast for 1 hour. Remove and let cool for 30 minutes. Wrap the breasts tightly in plastic wrap and place in an airtight container. Store in the refrigerator for at least 1 week before using. To serve, remove the meat and slice thin.

He serves this on french bread with provolone, mustard and onion marmalade.


Dan's Chicken Marinade

Recipe By Our Own Dan Gill !

ginger ale
garlic powder
hot sauce
cayenne powder
Old Bay seasoning

For chicken, I use a marinade and mop based on ginger ale and vinegar with ginger, garlic powder, salt, tumeric, hot sauce, cayenne powder, and Old Bay for flavor. These are my standard and favorite spices but I also look through the cabinet to see  if anything else sounds good at the time. No measurements - I just pour in what I think is right for the amount of chicken. When the mixture passes the smell and taste test, I dump in the chicken. After the chicken has marinated, I boil the liguid (for safety) and use it as a mop.



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