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Old 12-04-2004, 11:19 PM   #1
 
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Brining Experiment

Otter, Audeo and GoodWeed have all been "brining" birds to various effects over the past few months, and cooking by different methods, stuffing the birds internally or cooking the stuffing "beside"...as of course have I been doing the same!

We have all used different ingredients, probably different methods and experienced arguably "different results" (no wonder!)...

There have been different observations on the herb additives and their affects, as well as the "sugaring" question...

So I thought, why not lets start from a standard point, that is quantified/qualified, and give us some point that we can all work from in arriving at the best reipe and or technique...

To this end, I donate a President's Choice, air chilled grade A chicken on the menu for tomorrow...its body mass is 1.33 Kg, or about 3 lbs...it was bought "air chilled", but frozen, and subsequently defrosted...

Sadly, there are no neck or giblets in the cavity. so will be "roasted" unstuffed...

At 2000 hrs tonight, a 2 litre (68 imperial ounces) quantity of water was brought to a boil, and the heat removed...

I added, (measuring) the following...

2 fluid ounces quantity of Sea Salt (iodized)
3 fluid ounces of Cdn #2 "light" Maple syrup
4 fluid ounces of Knorr "Herb and Garlic" marinade
1 fluid ounce "light" (ie salt reduced) Soya Sauce
1 fluid ounce Rice vinegar
1 fluid ounce Basalmic vinegar
2 fluid ounces lemon juice
1 teaspoon "poultry seasoning"
3 tablespoons chopped garlic


Stirred and dissolved all ingredients...

Added 30 ice cubes to cool...

Added chicken, breast down, to marinate...

Okay, its a wee bit late in the day to argue over methods or ingredients, but if you have any comments or suggestions at this point, lets hear them...

Otherwise, I will be removing the bird from the soaking tomorrow afternoon, with no big fanfare of air-drying/chilling...and will cook unstuffed and un-beer-butted/tamponed...and serve up at supper time...unless you have other ideas or demands and will comment "critically" on the experience...

So you have the night asnd the day to insert your inputs and advice, and I will try to conform as best I can...

And hopefully, we can adjust the Christmas Day/New Years Day efforts accordingly...

Lifter

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Old 12-05-2004, 03:05 AM   #2
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Lifter; There are a few things I know from one of our current freinds on this site, who peforemd lab experiments with marinades and poultry. His findings were, and I do concurr with them, that whenever an acidic substance is used in a marinade, it inhibits the infusion of ingrediants into the muscle tissue. This happens becaus when acid is applied to a protien, the protien bunches up (molecularly) and forms a tight barrier against any entrance of material into the tissue behind it. He found that it didn't matter whether he left meat in a marinade for 15 minutes, or 15 hours. The results were the same. The acidic marinades just won't penetrate.

Brines, on the other hand, permeat the musckle fibers and spread flavors throughout the meat. The water has caustic properties of its own, but does not react with the protien to creat a barrier. So it helps tenderize the meat. The salt flavors it. Other spices and herb oils are absorbed into the meat as well.

INjecting serves exactly the same purpose as does brining, but uses less resources to accomplish your goal. Plus, you can make the flavoring broth unique, and tailored to your tastes. Also, you will be able to target specific areas and allow the liquid to spread evenly through the bird byu injecting it in strategic places.

I truly love brined pork chops, or chicken breasts. But for whole birds, I do prefer injecting. That way, I can assure that whatever flavors I want, inclucing acidic marinaids, will permeate the inside flesh, not just the surface layer.

Seeeeeya; Goodweed of the North

Seeeeeya; Goodweed of the North
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Old 12-05-2004, 03:16 AM   #3
 
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OOH boy...

Another "failure on the way"

Lifter
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Old 12-05-2004, 05:30 AM   #4
 
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Oh Lifter! Don't feel bad. It will not be a "failure" -- just another ride on the culinary experience.

Everything we do is not a "gourmet experience". If we do not try, we can not succeed. Trial and error is the way to go.

Only you know what your family likes best anyway. Rock on!
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Old 12-05-2004, 04:21 PM   #5
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lifter; I agree with Chocolate Chef. It won't be a failure, even if the flavor doesn't completely permeat the meat. The outer layer should carry enough flavor to enhance the chicken. In fact, as marinades are often quite strong, if the flavor did permeate the muscle, it would overpower the natural chicken flavor.

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Old 12-05-2004, 11:07 PM   #6
 
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You guys were right...damnnit all!

My seasoning did not give any effect, suggesting that I "toss" the seasoning now, as opposed waiting to spoil my Christmas bird...

Regrettably, I grew "entranced" with "History Channel" this afternoon, and committed a basic error of not getting out of the stove in time, and it overcooked slightly, reducing the "juiciness" (the temp was 167 F, I wanted about 150-155, tops)

I've been puzzling over the advice by both Chocolate Chef and GoodWeed on "acids in marinades"...

I've had some excellent success in using vinegars and lemon, or orange juices in pork and beef (after just about watching a ribeye steak "dissolve" after 30 minutes in an acidic marinade)...and witnessed some very spectacular successes when doing this with tougher cuts, and ungraded meats...

Of course, I've had my "learning curve", too, such that any sort of "acid" tends to "cook" shrimp, or lobster, and you should only add lemon or any other acid AFTER, its cooked and you are about to stuff it in your mouth...

Still, with poultry, its always been that bit different...am thinking this all through still...

Any ideas are appreciated!

Liftr
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Old 12-05-2004, 11:28 PM   #7
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Hey Lifter, sorry to hear you overcooked it a bit. I am sure it was still delicious though.

I can't remember where I read it, but I read that basically you should use sugar and salt and then only herbs. Something about upping the umami. Salt alone is good, but the addition of the brown sugar makes it much better. Darn! I will see if I can find the link. I think you posted something about umami didn't you?

Sorry I am not more scientific for you. I will go look for that article.
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Old 12-05-2004, 11:45 PM   #8
 
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The posting on "Umami" was certainly not mine...

But may be interesting, vis a vis pork/beef vs chicken in brining and acids...

Lifter
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Old 12-05-2004, 11:47 PM   #9
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Still looking...sorry to be so long...I can't remember where I read it :oops:
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Old 12-06-2004, 12:32 AM   #10
 
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Alix and GoodWeed, how do you "inject"?

I think its abit scarey with the "needle", or "sharps" issues of the day, let alone how you pump through the material from the hearts and livers innto another piece of raw meat...

Some thoughts here would be appreciated...

Gearingup to cook an 18-20 lb bird for Christmas, giving away a "ton" of it to the "kids" on their own...frozen, of course...on the other hand, being used to the idea that 1 14-16 lb stuffed bird is a"monster", what times should I expect to get the "big bird" done, and carved by 6 PM?

Some "help" would be appreciated...wil do it traditionally, the stuffing "inside"...

Lifter
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