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Old 12-02-2006, 07:59 PM   #1
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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?

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Old 12-03-2006, 10:18 AM   #2
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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
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Old 12-03-2006, 01:28 PM   #3
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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..

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Old 12-03-2006, 01:39 PM   #4
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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.
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Old 12-08-2006, 06:34 PM   #5
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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.
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Old 01-10-2007, 12:56 AM   #6
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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).
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Old 01-10-2007, 08:16 AM   #7
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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. The duck went into gumbo...another winner!!
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Old 01-10-2007, 02:42 PM   #8
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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.
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Old 01-10-2007, 04:46 PM   #9
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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....
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Old 01-15-2007, 05:49 AM   #10
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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.

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Old 01-15-2007, 08:31 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anne
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.

Anne
You're very welcome.

Seeeeeya; Goodwed of the North
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Old 01-15-2007, 11:05 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Bob
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
Uncle Bob, I know nothing of brine recipes but I demonstrate as a blacksmith in a few local folk festivals every year. There is a lady who regularly attends one event and uses an interesting device over an open fire. It is supposed to be a period cooking appliance used in the 19th century and perhaps before. Essentially, it is a sheet metal box closed on three sides and the top, about an 18 inch cube, with a series of slots thru the parallel sides to hold one or more baster rods. The bird(s) is skewered and the rod laid in the slots then the assembly is placed near the open fire. The cook periodically turns the rotisserie and can move the box in or out to regulate the heat. This gal is a fine cook and uses a very simple baste that consists of butter, some basic herbs and salt/pepper. It takes about 3 hours to do a typical chicken but the wait is worth it. For some reason, this slow roast makes for an outstanding meal and the bird will easily pull apart with the fingers. I always make a little piece of iron for her and she saves me a drumstick - a satisfactory trade for both of us...
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Old 01-16-2007, 08:22 AM   #13
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HWooldridge.......

Sounds like a neat device...I have never heard of it...Probably designed for hearth cooking...set it close for direct heat and the box would act like an oven at the same time...move it back for less direct heat...

Slow roast birds are definately an excellent product..I usually need at least 2 1/2 some times 3 hours to roast a chicken to the proper doneness. All depending on fire control with all of its factors. Be sure to check out my "outdoor kitchen etc." In the member photo section under "Where we live"... The SS Rotisserie is kinda hard to see..It is 1 horse power...ME!

I am fairly new to the brining routine...It does a good job on poultry products and pork and some "seafood" items...There are numerous recipes for the brine.
Several here on DC....Most are a basic brine with variations on a theme depending on what one likes. I brined 4 big pork chops for about 2 hours using a basic brine plus a literal "handfull" of sausage seasoning...Then slow grilled...You could detect the sausage flavor but not so much as to think you were eating sausage rather than a p-chop. I can recommed you try brining as it does make for a tender and moist product.
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