A Brining Believer

I never accepted it until now

Up until recently, if you had asked me what my culinary opinion was on brining, I'd have told you it was a waste of time. To me, if you'd chosen the right cut of meat, the right cooking time, and the right seasonings, you shouldn't have to go through the extra step of soaking said meat in some sort of vinegar and salt bath before getting to the main event. In a way, I was wrong.

The boyfriend decided to grill a few chicken thighs in honor of Memorial Day on Monday, and when he started placing them in a brine of apple cider vinegar, herbs, and peppercorns around 1pm I snickered at him. He assured me I'd eat my words. I did.

The meat stayed so much more juicy — and chicken thighs are already known for retaining their flavor and tenderness regardless of how you cook them. The meat had it's own special flavor, too, enhanced by the layers imparted by Chef Master Kyle.

If you'd like to try out the whole brining thing, try this recipe incorporating similar flavors into your chicken. Note that when we did it, we used 4 chicken thighs and just enough apple cider vinegar and a bit of water to cover them in a large bowl. Then, Kyle added 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary, 5 sprigs of fresh thyme, 5 smashed cloves of garlic, and a handful of black peppercorns. He covered the bowl and set it in the fridge for about 3 hours before taking the chicken out and rinsing off the brine with cold water. Then, he sprinkled on a bit of poultry seasoning and broke out the charcoal grill. While the chicken grilled, he basted each piece with his favorite BBQ sauce. Talk about flavor!

Seriously, try the brining thing. It'll make a believer out of you.

Categories: Dine & Dish, Food + Drink