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Old 01-02-2005, 02:24 PM   #1
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Brining Questions

Hey everyone... its been a while since I have posted anything on here (moving between states can become hectic :)

Anyhow... Im going to try and brine some pieces of boneless chicken breasts tonight and was wondering what some input was on my proposed method

Im going to add a 50/50 mix of chicken broth and water mixed with kosher salt, rosemary, sage, garlic and maybe some coriander seeds... and of course sugar. bring it to a boil then let completely cool... then soak chicken.

im going to do two different intervals because I have no idea what Im doing... i figured an hour and a half and 45 min would be two good intervals to start with... what are your thoughts on that? also... do i take it straight from the brine to the already hot grill or should i dry it off? im confused on that..

also.. if the brine turns out to be good, is it possible to maybe boil it for a few minutes and reduce it to a sauce (perhaps add something to thicken it a bit) ?

Im going to be cooking it on an indoor grill... its a fajita grill that someone got me for christmas. but you can cook other things on it.

Thanks for all the input in advance... I hope I can get this right. It seems to be a very useful technique :)

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Old 01-02-2005, 02:27 PM   #2
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Good luck to you. Sounds like you have it covered. I don't think you need to dry off your chicken. From what I have seen it does not seem to influence the taste much. As for the sauce...I say boil, reduce and let us know how it tastes. As long as you boil it first all should be well.
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Old 01-02-2005, 02:33 PM   #3
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That was pretty much my thinking... although it may be too salty, it could be promising for a sauce base at least (again... provided it taste ok).

I almost forgot... im also adding a bay leaf... what are you throughts on the herbs used? to much? not a good combo? im new to this as well

heck.. im new to the entire kitchen except the frig and the microwave :)
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Old 01-02-2005, 03:59 PM   #4
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I'm sorry to disagree but firstly rinse the chicken after brining and dry it because it wll not brown properly if wet...the nxt thing is the brine is not meant to be a sauce...I say toss it....a brine is suppose to be a salty solution w/the use of sugar and sometimes spices....use it for what it is and then toss.
Also be careful on amount of sugar using when pan browning...it may tend to burn the cutlets.
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Old 01-02-2005, 04:53 PM   #5
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Why would you want to brine chicken breasts? There is so much you can do with them, brining should be the last thing on your list. Save brining for whole birds, large roasts, things like that, not chicken parts.

Marinate them, then you can cook and thicken the marinade to make a sauce. Here's a couple of recipes where you can use the marinade as a sauce aftrerwards.

Chef Caine's Cashew Crusted Chicken

4 chicken breasts, pounded thin
1/2 pkg Mee Krob or bihon (rice noodles)
1/2 cup orange juice
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup peanut oil
1/4 cup oyster sauce
2 Tbs brown sugar
2 tsp white pepper
2 tsp minced garlic
2 tsp minced onion
1 tsp crushed chili peppers
1 tsp minced ginger
1 tsp salt
1Tbs corn starch dissolved in 2 Tbs water

1 cup flour
2 eggs beaten with 1/4 cup milk
1-1/2 cups finely crushed cashews

1 bunch scallions
1 mango, shredded
1 red bell pepper, julienned

Combine orange juice, soy sauce, rice vinegar, peanut oil, oyster sauce, brown sugar, white pepper, garlic, onion, chili peppers, minced ginger, and salt in bowl and marinate pounded chicken breasts for 2 hours. Remove chicken breasts from marinade and pat dry with paper towels. Reserve marinade.

Place rice noodles in strainer inside bowl and fill bowl with boiling water. Pour marinade into pot, add cornstarch mixture, and heat in saucepan until thickened.. Dredge chicken in flour, egg mixture, then crushed cashews. Fry coated chicken in 4 Tbs peanut oil until done, turning once. Remove strainer from bowl to drain noodles, then divide on 4 individual plates. Place one chicken breast on each bed of rice noodles. Pour sauce over chicken and garnish with mango, scallion, and bell pepper. Serve with stir-fried mixed vegetables, such as broccoli florets, baby carrots, and Chinese pea pods.

TIP: Add a few drops of sesame oil to the stir-fried vegetables just before they are finished cooking.


Chef Caine's Polynesian Pig-Out

4 boneless pork chops, pounded thin
Peanut oil for frying
2 Tbs corn starch
2 Tbs water

Marinade

1/2 cup pineapple juice
1/4 cup teriyaki sauce
1/4 cup pineapple vinegar
2 Tbs sesame oil
2 Tbs brown sugar
2 tsp minced garlic
2 tsp minced onion
2 tsp minced ginger
2 tsp salt
2 tsp pepper

Coating

1 cup flour
2 eggs beaten with 1/4 cup milk
1 cup finely crushed macadamia nuts

Chutney

1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1 small green mango
1/3 cup crushed pineapple
3 Tbs chopped white onion
2 tsp lemon juice
2 Tbs Pineapple vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper (optional)
1/2 small red bell pepper, chopped
4 scallions, sliced

Combine pineapple juice, teriyaki sauce, vinegar, sesame oil, brown sugar, pepper, garlic, onion, chilis, minced ginger, and salt in bowl and marinate pounded pork chops from two hours to overnight. Remove pork chops from marinade and pat dry with paper towels. Reserve marinade.

Pour marinade into pot, and heat. Combine 2 Tbs corn starch and 2 Tbs water, add cornstarch mixture to saucepan, and continue to heat, stirring, until thickened.

Dredge pork chops in flour, egg mixture, then crushed macadamias. Fry coated pork chops in peanut oil until done, turning once. Place one chop on each plate, pour sauce over chop, and and top with chutney. Serve with fried rice and stir-fried broccoli, carrots, sugar snap peas, and water chestnuts.
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Old 01-02-2005, 08:52 PM   #6
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Whoo...some spirited repartee here!

I have never brined chicken breasts before, but I think whatever turns your crank as far as the herbs goes is fine. I personally like sage and thyme, I don't like too much "green" flavour on my chicken. Just a personal choice though.

Let us know what you did and how it went. We all love to kibitz with recipes here. Hope it was tasty!
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Old 01-02-2005, 10:04 PM   #7
 
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I think you are off to a pretty fine start, Will, although I will differ with Alix and state that I believe the "green" herbs fit right in...rosemary, marjoram, bay leaf all fit well, whether you want to go to sage, I dunno, but I would consider parsley, the strongest onion concentrate (liquid or powder) I could get hold of...

And adding "more" rather than "less", as GoodWeed has pointed out, and I've experienced, this does not "penetrate" so well...mind, using just the breast meat, you might get "enhanced results"...

(Don't forget the garlic!)

You've got that method down, to bring the brine to a low boil to "mix it up" and "flower it out", then you can either cool it or add ice cubes to bring it back down in temp, then add the meat...

And please do discard the "brine" once you are done with it...unless you want to "salt yourself silly"!...

I'd pat the meat dry, and give it a "rub" (the Club House BBQ Chicken Seasoning?)...

I expect that if you could get the grill hot enough, the brining would keep the meat juicy enough that you could get some great "sears" burnt on to it, and flip it back and forth on the "hotter" parts of the grill to make those attractive "X"'s on the meat...using the probe to make sure you don't overcook it...

Man, I gotta get me one of those grills! This is getting me hungry!

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Old 01-03-2005, 02:13 PM   #8
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Note: the chicken broth may congeal
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Old 01-03-2005, 04:07 PM   #9
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A brine will be too salty to use for a sauce, especially after you boil it.

But you could reserve some before you put the chicken in it and thin it out with water or unsalted chicken stock.
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Old 01-04-2005, 11:22 AM   #10
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Brines can be re-used a number of times, just boil them in between uses to kill off anything that may be present, strain to remove coagulated protein and store in the fridge.
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