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Old 11-08-2006, 06:59 PM   #1
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Coconut-habanero Chicken Brine

for all of you to try... here's my latest brine experiment:

1/4 cup grey sea salt
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup coconut rum
2 habanero peppers - minced
2 cloves garlic - minced
1 scallion - minced
2 bay leaves
1/3 cup maple syrup (or honey)
2 T juniper berries
2 T allspice
2 T black peppercorns

heat about 2 cups of water and add salt, sugar and syrup
whisk the mixture well until all the salt & sugar is dissolved. transfer to large stainless steel bowl.
immediately dump 12 ice cubes into mixture to cool it down.
add remaining ingredients and whisk until blended
add-in 8 boneless skinless chicken breasts or one whole cut-up chicken
fill the bowl with COLD water to completely cover the chicken.
refrigerate for minimum of 4 hours up to 6 hours.
turn the chicken over and agitate mixture at 2 or 3 hours-let the osmosis take place!
discard brine... do NOT re-use.

cooking:

1. remove the chicken from the brine and rinse under cold water.
2. pat chicken dry and season your favorite way considering your brine ingredients... you should NOT need any salt. i season with french poultry seasoning.
3. i recommend a quick sear in olive oil and clarified butter followed by a 10 minute blast in the oven.

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Old 11-09-2006, 11:31 AM   #2
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Looks really, really interesting -- sort of a jerk brine. YUM!

IMO the salt sugar/proportions seem way off, with too much sugar. Obviously it's to taste, but generally you use about half as much sugar as salt. Could be interesting, though.

6 hours in the brine is way too long, IMO, for boneless skinless chicken breasts. You only need 8 - 12 hours for a 16 pound whole turkey.

Also, interetsed to know why you'd use $$ grey salt when you are adding all those other very strong flavors. I can't imagine you'd be able to tell any differenece between it and kosher (or even table) salt in that.

BUT ... you have given me a really great idea for my next brine -- your jerk idea mixed with my homemade Inner Beauty hot sauce.
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Old 11-09-2006, 11:33 AM   #3
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i was wondering the same thing about the grey salt Jenny and I agree about it being way too long to leave in the brine. I generally do not go more than 2 hours for boneless skinless breasts.

black chef the flavors sound very interesting. I bet it is delicious!
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Old 11-10-2006, 12:05 PM   #4
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i used the grey salt because i ran out of kosher salt, and surprisingly, it was NOT salty enough.

i did leave it in the brine a bit too long though... but i was stuck in houston traffic.

you have any brines to share?
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Old 11-10-2006, 12:08 PM   #5
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My brines are usually very simple. Salt and water. Sometimes I add soy sauce and possible some fresh herbs, but that is usually it.
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Old 11-10-2006, 12:16 PM   #6
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Salt, sugar, soy sauce, water.

I'll add aromatics depending on what I am making. I'll also usually add a pinch of Sauzon Goya.

Often habernero vinegar or my own hot sauce.

I'm going to try something like yours with some of my Inner Beauty sauce and see if the brine pulls enough flavor in.
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Old 11-10-2006, 08:59 PM   #7
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here's the one i gave my aunt... she's roasting the turkey this year:

8 cups water
2 cups maple syrup
1 cup kosher salt
1 cup light brown sugar
6 whole cloves
6 bay leaves
1 T whole black peppercorns
1 cinnamon stick
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Old 11-11-2006, 12:39 PM   #8
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I am curious as to why you use so much sugar. Basically twice as much or more as called for in a basic brine recipe.

Very basic brines don't use sugar at all. Sugar is added because it brings out the savory flavor in the food, not usually to make the poultry itself sweet tasting.

A 2:1 salt:sugar ratio suits my palate. Bet you have a sweet tooth!
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Old 11-11-2006, 01:17 PM   #9
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I always use some sort of sugar (usually brown) in my brine.

For my turkey I use all apple juice, no water - then go from there - oranges, limes, rosemary, thyme, garlic, bay leaves, peppercorns (this year I might try some dark rum!!!!)
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Old 11-11-2006, 03:44 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jennyema
I am curious as to why you use so much sugar. Basically twice as much or more as called for in a basic brine recipe.

Very basic brines don't use sugar at all. Sugar is added because it brings out the savory flavor in the food, not usually to make the poultry itself sweet tasting.

A 2:1 salt:sugar ratio suits my palate. Bet you have a sweet tooth!
i was always taught to use equal amounts of salt & sugar for brines suited for chicken... and i've never had any turn out too sweet. there is sugar to balance the salt and sugar to help balance the spices.

when it comes to salmon, i also use a brine and that's when i use the 2:1 salt/sugar ratio. usually, it's salt, maple syrup, soy sauce combination... sometimes, i'll use vanilla.
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