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Brine your Chicken before you Roast it!!

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When we roast a chicken, brining is by far our favorite way to do it.  Yes, it takes some planning ahead.  But, no joke, we get to enjoy a very tasty bird when we plan ahead. I think it is safe to say that once you try brining before roasting, you will never go back to your old way of seasoning.  This brine recipe yields a flavorful, moist, and tender bird every time.The process is simple.  The day before you plan on roasting your chicken, dump all of the brine ingredients in a pot and bring to a boil for about 10 minutes.

Next dump in some ice to quickly cool the brine enough so that it doesn't cook your chicken!  Remember, we are brining, not boiling.

Once the brine is nice and cold (this should take just a few minutes) drop your thawed chicken into the pot, cover, and place it in the fridge.  I like to let the chicken sit in the brine for at least 24 hours if I can.  If it ends up being a little less, I still get a delicious chicken.  So, I don't worry about it much.

When it is time to roast the chicken, pull it out of the brine and give it a good rinse.  I don't season it anymore at this point.  I pat it dry, put it in a pot, and stick it in the oven.  Feel free to roast your chicken as you normally do.  I am sure it will turn out fantastic.

If you are curious as to how I roast our chickens, I mention the method in the recipe below.

Beer Brined Chicken


  • 5 12 oz beers* a brown or scottish ale works best - just not too hoppy
  • 3/4 cup Kosher salt I have used coarse sea salt as well
  • 1/2 cup sugar I typically use a little less than this
  • 1 lemon quartered
  • 1 bunch of thyme
  • 1 onion coursely chopped
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 5 cloves of garlic smashed
  • 2 Quarts of ice heaping


  • Place everything but the ice in a pot and bring to a boil. Simmer for about 10 minutes or so. Just be sure all of the salt and sugar have incorporated into the brine.
  • 2. Remove from the heat and add all of the ice. Let the brine cool down completely before adding your chicken. Cover and place in the fridge for 12 to 24 hours.
  • 3. Remove the bird from the brine and give it a good rinse. Pat it dry and place it into a dutch oven, breast down.
  • 4. I like to pour 2 tablespoons of melted butter over the back before I put it in the oven. Roast at 350 for an hour.
  • 5. After the hour, flip the bird (hehe), and pour 2 tablespoons over the breast. Cover the breast with a bit of foil to help prevent drying. Roast for another hour.
  • 6. Remove the chicken from the oven and let it rest. I like to let it rest for an hour so that I can carve it with my hands. It is still warm, but I don't get burned fingers. And, if you are anything like me, you will eat those tasty little "oysters" and not share them with anyone!


* For the beer, we have used Kilt Lifter (local AZ beer) as well as Sierra Nevada's Tumbler (a seasonal). My husband says the best beer will be the brown or scottish ale at the local brewery in your neck of the woods.
Adapted from The Homebrew Chef

Do you brine your chickens?  What is your favorite method?


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  1. I’ve never seen a brine recipe that calls for boiling. Do you suppose that’s to cook off the alcohol first?
    My mother is constantly amazed at some of the stuff I try since she knows I REALLY don’t like cooking! And since I also live alone and therefore have a pretty haphazard kitchen I quite often don’t have the ingredients specified on hand I can get pretty inventive – after all, cooking is basically scientific common sense, right? So – in that spirit – I went charging ahead anyway! I only had one (large) bottle of a lovely raspberry lambic so I used that and the rest water AND since I didn’t have a lemon – and assuming it is there for the acidity – I threw in some traditional aged balsamic vinegar instead since I thought it would go well with the lambic. So we’ll see how it all comes out!

    1. Nice! I’m glad you are changing it up! Let us know how it turns out. If you ever use a stout or a porter, be sure to shorten the brining time to 6 hours. Otherwise your chicken will taste like beer.

      1. Actually the lambic is the closest I get to beer since I really don’t like the taste and I try to stay gluten-free anyway. Thanks for the heads-up though in case I pass your link along. I DO think it would be really good with a nice hard cider too. Hmmmm … maybe next time.

        1. Just thought I’d let you know that it came out great. I’ve done brining before but only on a turkey and only w/salt water. So, the next chicken is getting a good hard cider for sure!

  2. I’m not that good of a planner. I’m thinking next time I hit the market im going to buy a couple birds, brine them all in a big batch then freeze them. That was I either can just defrost and roast or throw a frozen bird into the crockpot.

  3. I brine my chickens and turkeys as I defrost them. That’s how my grandmother would defrost hers, if they were frozen. She didn’t use frozen meat that often, most of what she cooked was fresh.

  4. Oh, and I just used water in my brine and drank the beer ;). Still, hubby said it was my best chicken yet and I have made many, many chickens.

  5. Yikes! I didn’t read the recipe very carefully and boiled the chicken with the brine! It was only 10 mins, but he’s pretty hot. I took him out and continued to simmer the brine. Can I continue and use my chicken???

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