Yipes! Brined Chicken goof!

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AllenOK

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I decided to brine a chicken, then roast it, tonight. I just realized I majorly goofed! I have read the threads concerning brining, and I even started a document on brining to record the water/salt ratio, and any flavorings I wanted. I had recorded 1/2 c of salt to 1 gal of water. However, my dumb brain remembered it as 1/2 x salt to 1 CUP of water. Hopefully, it won't be to bad, as I only had time to brine for about an hour before I rinsed it and started the roasting process. I'll report back later how it was.
 

Lifter

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This is very interesting to see your follow up, AllenMI!

Note that its through "mistakes" such as this that new methods are "invented" and new understandings reached...

(So please do get back on the Board and let us know how it turned out!)

While I expect that your bird tasted a tad "salty", and that any "herbing" you did was very muted, due to the short brining period, the lack of balance with sugars, and the very "different" avenue that you have "accidently" taken on this feed...(which of course is why there'll be any number of us eagerly awaiting your next post on the topic!)

I've seen a recipe (but never tried it!) where either a fish or chicken is "crusted" a quarter inch deep in Kosher Salt, and I forget the bonding agent that kept the salt solidly together, which is supposedly to be pretty good, so you were not terribly far from a copy of that....

Your response is avidly waited...

Maybe IronChef will offer a comment, as you have delved into something he may be interested in...in which case, someone notify the Elf, so she can "Summon the IronChef"!

Chuckle!

Lifter
 

AllenOK

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Ok, here's the results:

I roasted the chicken for 2 hours at 350°F, basting with the juices in the pan every twenty minutes.

The skin crisped up really well. It was darker and crispier than what I normally get. It smelled great! It was somewhat salty, but it was edible. I didn't add any salt to the stock that I used to deglaze the pan with to make the gravy. It already had enough salt in it. My DW agreed that it was good, but a little on the salty side.
 

Audeo

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Ha! Another "Happy Accident"! (What a relief!) This was really interesting to read about, Allen. Thanks!

Lifter, the technique you described of encrusting a fish, etc., with a thick layer of wetted kosher salt does produce a nice, tasty, exceptionally moist fish. And it's cook to crack open the salt to get to the fish inside! However, having done that several times and now having found brining, I'm going to lean toward the latter....it doesn't use nearly as much salt and is a darned site easier to clean up.
 

jennyema

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Glad that it came ok reasonably ok. :D

If anyone makes that mistake again, I'd recomend basting not from pan juices (that's where lots of salt concentrates so you are putting it back into the bird) but from unsalted giblet broth or low sodium chix stock mixed with some butter.

Also, you will be ver pleasantly surprised when you add sugar to the brine. Sugar very much highlights the savory flavors brining brings out. It does not make it taste sweet.
 

Audeo

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jennyema said:
Also, you will be ver pleasantly surprised when you add sugar to the brine. Sugar very much highlights the savory flavors brining brings out. It does not make it taste sweet.

Strong agreement to that point, jennyema!
 

kansasgirl

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Hey Audeo - crusting fish or chicken in salt is a marvelous way to cook that is nearly foolproof and produces tender moist meat every time. The 'bonding' agent is many times egg whites and water. I have used about 2 lbs salt, 1 egg white, and 2 tb of water. I feel like the egg whites help the crust stay together really well.
 

Audeo

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kansasgirl said:
Hey Audeo - crusting fish or chicken in salt is a marvelous way to cook that is nearly foolproof and produces tender moist meat every time. The 'bonding' agent is many times egg whites and water. I have used about 2 lbs salt, 1 egg white, and 2 tb of water. I feel like the egg whites help the crust stay together really well.

You are absolute right, kansasgirl. I forgot about the egg white, which does bind the stuff well!
 

AllenOK

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One thing I did notice, even 24 hours after we cooked and ate that chicken, is that I can't really eat a lot of salty foods at the time. When I was at work last night, one of my co-workers prepped up a pan of bacon bits (we get cooked bits, frozen, in bulk). When it came out of the oven (to drain the grease), I always do a "quality check" :) I could barely taste the stuff, as my tongue was just registering the salt.
 

Andy M.

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Brining works becuase the concentration of salt in the water is greater than the concentration of salt in the meat. There is an exchange through the cell walls to equalize the salt content.

If you find yourself in that situation again, all you have to do is soak the bird in plain water for a while and some of the salt will come out of the bird to the water.
 

Lifter

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Hey Andy M!

Really good point! Where were our heads at?

Should somebody do this again (ie make the mistake of too much salt) the "rinse cycle" would be a good opportunity to add some sugars and spices, too...

Lifter
 

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