Friday, June 17, 2011

Brined and Baked Chicken

Have you been told your baked chicken is dry and tasteless inside? If you have then brining is your answer. I bake chicken and fish after marinating for hours and get good results. No doubt! But after brining and baking chicken, I am amazed how juicy even simple chicken bake can be. It’s a wonderful process for poultry and shrim. Works great when grilling them too.

Brined and Baked Chicken

Every time we eat a store bought rotisserie or baked chicken my husband and I would be amazed how the inside is juicy and tasty without any visible masala or obvious marinade flavors. Trying to find out how the hotels get prawns and chicken to taste good inside and outside was always a challenge until recently I tried brining chicken and am totally in love with the outcome.

I am totally sold on brining poultry and shrimp before cooking now. Read about it here and here. Especially since we all sort to refrigerated / frozen chicken the taste is never like in a restaurant. But after trying this method I am sure you will think differently.

Brined and Baked Chicken

I recommend reading the highlighted sites in the previous paragraph to know more about the proces and different combinations. The chemistry of how things work is explained well in these sites. Basically, through osmosis salt and water travels through muscles of the poultry or fish and lodges within making the cooked meat soft and juicy. For a gallon of water the recommended salt is ½ cup but depending on the amount of time you have you can decrease the amount of salt but follow the measurement of 1/2 cup salt to 1 gallon water. Sugar is added and caramalization while grilling gives a better color. I avoid sugar but it you like , go for it.

Recently Updated

The recommended measurement for brining as per the blogs mentioned above are given below.

½ cup kosher salt

½ cup sugar

1 gallon water

What I did and it worked for me is as follows:

For Brining

Chicken – 3 breasts bone in

Water – 8 cups

Kosher Salt – ½ C

Dry Red Chillies – 8

Bay Leaf – 1

Garlic cloves with skin – 4


1. In 1 cup of water, boil the red chilies, bay leaf and garlic cloves. While hot, add the salt and mix. Cool and add to the remaining water. You may add ice cubes and cool it down quickly. It is very important to cool the brine before you immerse the chicken.

2. If you have read the sites I have mentioned, it clearly states that warm water stimulates growth of bacteria so make sure you add the chicken only to cool water.

3. Add chicken to the spiced brine and refrigerate for 4 hours

5. Take them out of the water pat dry with tissue paper and rub it with any rub used for grilling or even the masala of your choice.

6. Drizzle oil over it and in a oiled baking pan place them with bone down and bake at 350 D F for 40 – 50 minutes. If you have a thermometer then the internal temperature of chicken should be 170 D

7. I add diced potato, carrots, and celery while baking and squeeze a wedge of lime over.

8. You will have some juices in the pan after the chicken is cooked.

9. To brown the chicken - after it cooks for 40 – 45 minutes change the oven setting to broil and broil on high flipping sides until you have the desired results. Do not overdo cooking time, as it may result in a dry chicken. Even though with brining there is some room for error since the brined chicken is flush with water.

Rubs I use:

Weber's Kickin chicken
Cajun spices

For sides:

You can bake vegetables and yesterday I made some roasted beets.

1. Wash, peel and dice the beets. Make sure the beet is dry of water before you start roasting.
2. Add salt, pepper, thyme and drizzle some olive oil and bake in a pan for 45 minutes or a fork goes through easily. It will cook with the chicken, this way you can stay hand free while everythign just cooks in the oven.

Great to cook over weekends while you can enjoy a movie with you loved ones on the couch.. bliss!


  1. I too have heard that brining the poultry locks the juices and doesn't dry it on baking / grilling. The baked chicken looks juicy and so flavorful. Perfect !!

    Luv the presentation and the clicks are gr8 !!


  2. This is something I must tell my wife (brining)

  3. Chicken looks droolworthy!!!! I had heard abt brining but was not so sure abt doing it...thanks for posting the procedure!!!

  4. Thanks for the details on brining,delicious dish.

  5. Chicken looks so inviting and tempting. Excellent preparation.

    Hamaree Rasoi

  6. Chicken looks juicy and delicious....beautiful clicks as always...

  7. Stunning clicks! I have been looking for this one for a while. Loved the idea of brining as I too gave up baking as it used to turn out very dry and tasteless. Will surely try this one. Thanks..

  8. Very informative...thanks for sharing, surely will give this a try!! Do you write anywhere about your photography process etc...they are great!!

  9. oh i didnt know that..its certainly interesting..

  10. Very informative and looks delicious too:)

  11. Hey Dear thx for opening this new topic its indeed adding another..way of interestg cooking....umm pics have come out very well

  12. Looks delicious...awesome clicks

  13. That sure is a great way of cooking chicken, I remember the Meat Science course where we had a chapter on Brined meats and vegetables very well!!!

    Awesome clicks Sunitha..

  14. Wow, that is a killer tip. Loved it!Nice clicks too:)

  15. Yummy looking chicken...the fact that it is baked is very tempting

  16. Seriously am drooling over that delicious chicken,mouthwatering here..

  17. Wowo that chicken piece look indeed moist and yummy.

  18. Yummy and delicious looking chicken... So mouthwatering... YUM!

  19. agree frozen chicken is never the same as the fresh ones and brining the best to tenderize chicks looks amazing :)

  20. Dear Sunitha
    How are you? Thank you so much for this get post. I learnt a lot.
    Will try as soon as the weather cools a bit in Delhi.
    Have a nice weekend

  21. wonderful post! thanks for the extremely useful info :)

  22. Hi great qn..Do i need to add more salt while rubbing the chicken with Indian masala after brining...

  23. @scattered thoughts : I will go easy on that since the chicken already has enough salt. I will not add any more unless I am making a really watery gravy :-) hope this helps !


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