I first heard about brining from a friend wei (must give credit where credit is due..haha!) some 7 months back when she invited a few of us for a homecooked lunch of (you guessed it!) roasted brined spatchcock, GR (Gordon Ramsay) crackling belly pork, roasted pumpkin/tomatoes/onions & focaccia etc.
At the time I was doing a rather nice but boring oven roast chicken the usual way of rubbing with a marinate of seasalt, pepper, herbs (rosemary, basil, parsley flakes etc) and pushing whole cloves of garlic under the skin & putting it to the oven. So I was reading about brining for interest but has yet to find much use for it.
see here for a good read about brining.
Then I came across a super video recipe for this skin-on pan-roasted brined chicken breast & tried it on New Year Eve 31.12.2012 & it worked beautifully. I have since done it a few times & it unfailingly produces the best moist, tender, tasty chicken breast. I cooked it for the CNY (Chinese New Year) 3rd Day gathering of 14 hungry 19-year olds for Su Lin, my youngest daughter & the youngsters all loved the chicken; and I might add also the belly pork, pasta & angus beef steak!
I have gone on and tried the recipe on chicken drumstick (I have to agree with Su Lin that I actually like the drumstick even better) and also varied the recipe on duck breast & drumstick – here both are very good but the brined duck breast is just, just SENSATIONAL!
and here is the video recipe.
- 2xchicken breasts with wingstick (I use a 1.4kg chicken from Sheng Shiong or Giant hypermarket)
- 1 litre water
- 5% salt (about 50g)
- 3% sugar (about 30g)
- 5 limes (or about 30ml bottled lime juice)
- Preparing the chicken breasts with wingstick – use kitchen scissors to cut chicken in 1/2, then cut around the drumstick into 1/4 (breast with wingstick & drumstick quarters), then cut away & remove the bones under the breast completely, then cut away the fat, wash & clean
- Brining – add 1 litre water in a large plastic container, mix in about 3 heap tablespoon salt & 2 heap tablespoon sugar & stir to dissolve, then pour in 30ml bottled lime juice or squeeze juice from about 5 limes. Put 2x cleaned chicken breasts with wingstick into the container and place container in fridge for 24hours. Remove & wash chicken breasts thoroughly in slow running water & place on a rack to airdry in fridge for 24hrs (can also skip this step & dry with kitchen towels)
- Cooking – Remove chicken breasts from fridge & leave it at room temperature for at least 1/2hr. Heat oven-proof non-stick pan on high heat, add olive oil to grease pan & turn to medium heat. Place the chicken breasts 1 at a time skin-down in hot pan & fry for 4minutes to get crispy skin. The oil will sputter a bit, turn to low heat after 1 minute. Preheat oven to 250degC. Place oven-proof pan in oven & let the chicken cook for 10minutes. Remove pan from oven & remove chicken breasts from pan immediately & let them rest for 10 minutes, Serve.