Good morning, lovebugs. It is a cloudy, clammy Monsoon Morning, here. And while I am loving the occasional rain, this humidity is driving me absolutely batshit! On a stick.
Brining is a method of infusing meat that would ordinarily become very dry and chewy, like white meat chicken and turkey with flavour and moisture so that it cooks up much more tender and juicy. Now, a word of warning here, raindrops; (I stole that one from Draz ;)) brining does infuse a good bit of salt into the meat so if you are a lo sodium type of person, brining isn't for you. Brining works because salt, in suspension in water is able to actually pass through and penetrate the fibers of the muscle tissue, filling it with moisture. There is probably a scientific term for it but I am not familiar with it.
Anyhoozle, brining is easy as being pushed off your chair. And it doesn't take a lot of ingredients. Here is how I make mine. Oh, another word of warning: when I cook, I don't measure. Anything. Just about ever. I just throw shit together and hope for the best. Probably one reason why I am not much of a cook... ;) lol
In a largish mixing bowl, preferably glass, ceramic or enameled metal combine about a cup or so of very, very hot water, some regular table salt, a few tablespoons-ish, I toss in some seasoned salt, probably in the neighbourhood of a tablespoon or so and stir them to dissolve. Then I add the juice of a lemon or two, a few good shakes of soy sauce, a few good dashes of Tabasco and a handful of dried onion flakes or about a half a fresh onion, grated and grind in some fresh cracked black pepper. Add cold water and ice to cool the mixture and bring it to the level that it will completely cover the meat you are brining. It is essential that the brine be very cold and that all of the meat will be fully immersed.
Add the meat, making sure it is down in all the way and cover and toss it in the fridge. You will want to leave it in there for at least an hour. The longer, the better. I brined my latest chicken overnight and wow! The juiciness. Then, when you are ready to cook your meat in your manner of choice, just pick it out with tongs, let it drain a bit and fire it up. Throw the brine away, it is not reusable. If you don't want to brine in a bowl, you can also use gallon size zipper food bags. Just be sure to push out as much if the air as possible and flip the bag at least once, about halfway through the brining process. Oh! And don't forget to lay it in a large, high sided baking pan before putting it in your fridge. You don't want raw chicken juices dripping on your salad greens... *puke*
You can add any seasonings, herbs, spices, you like. I would put in a ton of garlic, if Husband weren't so anti garlic. You can add orange juice, lime, whatever. The sky and your imagination are the limit, here. Play with it and see what makes your taste buds go "Oh, yeah!" I mostly grill my chicken, but brining works for baking, broiling and frying, too. Done on a larger scale, brining transports your Thanksgiving turkey from just good to fabulous. :D
I hope that you will give brining a try.
Is that anything like giving peas a chance?
Are you thinking it is time to haul my ass off the stage with that big hook thingy?
Can I just say, "Thank God for spell check?"