Taste the Air-Chilled Difference®

Herb Brined Chicken

by , R.D., Hillis & Company, Lincoln, Nebraska

This recipe works equally well when roasting a whole chicken or with chicken breasts and thighs on the grill. Make sure the chicken is covered with brine and refrigerated until ready to cook.

For a large whole chicken, use the brine recipe as listed. For 4 to 6 pounds of cut up chicken thighs and/or breasts, halve the brine recipe.

  • 2 gallons water
  • 6 ounces kosher salt
  • 6 ounces granulated sugar
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 2 leeks, whites only, sliced
  • 4 fresh bay leaves (or 2 dried)
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons black peppercorns
  • 1/2 bunch flat leaf parsley, washed and whole on stem
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 2 star anise
  • 4 to 6 sprigs fresh thyme

Bring the water to the boil in a large stainless steel pot. Add salt and sugar and stir until dissolved. Turn off the heat and add all remaining ingredients except the chicken. Refrigerate until the brine is cold. Add the chicken, weighing it down with a plate so that it remains submerged in the brine. Refrigerate for 24 to 72 hours.

Cook the chicken until internal temperature reaches 165ºF and juices run clear. Remove from heat and let sit for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.