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Uncle Bob 12-02-2006 07:59 PM

Open Fire Chicken
With all of the popularity/talk of brining turkey for the holidays I plan very soon to brine 3 birds and give them a turn over an open fire...Will be interesting to compare...maybe I will brine 2 and not brine one...do a taste test...Any ideas for the brine itself?

Uncle Bob

Chief Longwind Of The North 12-03-2006 10:18 AM

Start with 1 cup salt and 1/2 cup sugar per gallon of water. This is the basic brine. But remember, the brine carries with it the flavors that are in the brine and so can be the vehicle to flavor the meat with savory or sweet herbs/spices. Just remember to not add any acidic ingredients to the brine, such as citrus, as it will inhibit the absorption of the brine into the bird. For my tastes, I would add the following for each gallon of water:
1 tbs. Coarse grind black pepper
1 tsp. granulated garlic
2 bay leaves
1/tsp. each Sage and Thyme
1 sprig fresh Rosemarry, bruised

You could also add herbs such as cloves, basil, marjoram, tumeric, etc. If you want a more smokey bird, with a bit of sweetness, you might try the following. To the basic brine, add:
1/2 cup pure Maple Syrup (B-grade dark for a richer maple flavor)
or 1/4 cup clover honey

This will work very well with the salty brine, serving to ballance the flavors and will also give the skin a gorgeous color when cooked.

Others will shortly arrive with more suggestions. I wish you the best of luck with your birds. Just make sure to take them away from the heat when an accurate meat thermometer reads 150 degrees F., and let rest for 15 to 20 minutes before carving.

Seeeeeya; Goodweed of the North

Uncle Bob 12-03-2006 01:28 PM

Thanks Goodweed...I think you are right on target with the brine recipe...Especially for birds....
I have roasted many birds over the camp fire...with excellent results.
I am looking forward to brining first.. then roasting....I probably will throw a duck on the spit for good measure 'cause I make a smoke duck and andouille gumbo that my family fights over for the last cup..

Uncle Bob

Alix 12-03-2006 01:39 PM

Uncle Bob, my brine is much less salty than Goodweeds. My sugar proportion is the same, but we use equal amounts of sugar and salt. Just an option for you.

Uncle Bob 12-08-2006 06:34 PM

Am still looking forward to turning the "brined birds" on the spit...This cold spell has me just grilling...salmon, chicken, chops etc...right out the back door.

outdoorcook 01-10-2007 12:56 AM

I use the following:
1 gallon of water
1 cup pickling salt
1 oz tender quick
1 cup honey
4 bay leaves
1/4 tsp ground spices
1/2 tsp pickle spices

You may have to double it to get enough to cover the bird(s). I put it in a cooler overnight with lots of ice in zip lock bags to keep it cold (I put the ice in zip lock bags so it doesn't dilute the brine as the ice melts).

Uncle Bob 01-10-2007 08:16 AM

Sounds like a very good brine OutdoorCook...I was able to get in a duck and a couple of birds just before Christmas on the spit...one bird was brined...was was not...A blind taste test revealed the brined bird quickly!! Very good! With the crew that was hear they both disappeared however.:smile: The duck went into gumbo...another winner!!

jennyema 01-10-2007 02:42 PM

I would suggest using more like 1 1/2 cup salt to a gallon of water if you are using kosher salt. The 1/1 ratio of a basic brine is, I believe, for table salt.

Uncle Bob 01-10-2007 04:46 PM

Thanks Jennyema...!!!

I mostly use "table" salt for bring...prefering the subtle taste of Kosher and sea salts for last minute flavoring and other uses....

Anne 01-15-2007 05:49 AM

Goodweed, I've never brined a bird before, but it's obvious I'm one of the last of the foodies not to have done so! Thanks so much for your brining recipe and suggestions. I'm copying and pasting. It sounds good already. :chef:


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