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+ servings

Simple Turkey and Chicken Brine

This Simple Chicken Brine is so easy and will make your turkey or chicken ridiculously moist and flavorful.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time5 mins
Brine Time5 hrs
Total Time10 mins
Course: Essential Skills, Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Simple Chicken Brine
Servings: 8
Calories: 57kcal

Ingredients

  • 16 cups water - divided 16 cups = 1 gallon
  • 1 cup coarse kosher salt such as Mortons
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary chopped or 1 tablespoon dried
  • 1/4 cup fresh thyme or 1 tablespoon dried
  • 6 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon peppercorns
  • 1 4-6lb whole chicken (or turkey breast) see recipe notes for a large turkey

Instructions

  • Boil 2 cups of water either on the stovetop in a small saucepan.
  • Add the sugar and salt to the boiling water and stir until dissolved.
  • Remove from heat and add the rosemary, thyme, garlic, and peppercorns.  Let spices and herbs sit in hot water for 1 minute.
  • Using a tall stockpot, add the boiled water and the remaining 14 cups cool water and stir to combine.
  • Add a 4-6lb chicken (or turkey breast) and place in the refrigerator for 4-5 hours.
  • Remove the chicken or turkey from the brine and rinse thoroughly.

Video

Notes

-This brine amount is perfect for a 4-6 pound chicken or turkey breast.  Double the amount of brine for a large turkey.
-If brining overnight or longer then 8 hours, use 1/2 cup of salt per gallon of water and reduce the other brine ingredients in half. 
-I don't recommend leaving the chicken or turkey in the brine for over 24 hours or it tends to become too salty even with the over 8 hours lesser salt recommendation. 
-If one gallon of brine is not sufficient to cover your chicken due to the size of the vessel that you are using to brine in, increasing the amount of water to 1.5 or 2 gallons is fine as long as you are also proportionately increasing the brine ingredients.
-If you no longer plan to cook your chicken or turkey when originally desired, remove from the brine and thoroughly rinse the chicken to stop the brining process.  Seal and refrigerate until ready to cook. The previously brined chicken or turkey can be refrigerated up to two days before cooking if the brine has been thoroughly rinsed.
Nutrition facts are approximate and are based on brine ingredients only.

Nutrition

Calories: 57kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Sodium: 14147mg | Potassium: 38mg | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 90IU | Vitamin C: 3.3mg | Calcium: 30mg | Iron: 0.7mg