Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The Daring Cooks make Sweet Tea Brined & Roasted Chicken

Audax of Audax Artifax was our November 2012 Daring Cooks’ host. Audax has brought us into the world of brining and roasting, where we brined meat and vegetables and roasted them afterwards for a delicious meal!

 I was excited to see that this month's challenge was all about brining and roasting. Brining is a fantastic and simple way to infuse flavor and moisture into your meat, and it is something that every cook should know how to do! A simple roasted chicken makes a great dinner (plus the leftovers are great to use for other meals, too!). I've been in kind of a funk lately, partially because I'm just tired (Ladybug is working on three of her two year molars...), partially because I'm definitely missing the sun. My once bright kitchen, perfect for taking photos, has now turned into a dark cave. Blah. But even when its dark out, nothing lifts you mood quite like taking a perfectly golden roasted chicken out of the oven, and having it be utterly delicious! 

This was probably the best roasted chicken I have ever made! It was very moist, super flavorful, and delicious in every way. Plus I love the golden crispy skin - it not only tastes good but it was gorgeous, too! I will definitely be doing this recipe again! A lot! 

Sweet Tea Brined & Roasted Chicken (adapted from Southern Living Magazine, May 2011)

4 family sized tea bags
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup kosher salt
1 vidalia onion, thinly sliced
2 lemon, thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced in half
2 fresh rosemary sprigs
1 TBSP pepper
2 cups ice cubes
1 whole chicken, about 3.5-4 pounds)
Olive Oil

Bring 8 cups of water to boil in a large saucepan.
Remove from heat and add the tea bags - allow to steep for 10 minutes.
Stir in the sugar, salt, onion, lemon, rosemary, garlic and pepper.
Stir until the sugar is dissolved.
Cool completely (about 45 minutes).
Stir in the ice cubes.
Pour the mixture into a large zip-lock bag (or a large stock-pot) and place the chicken in.
Seal and place in the refrigerator for 24 hours.

Preheat the oven to 450F.
Remove the chicken from the marinade and pat dry.
Pull all the solids out of the marinade (the lemon, onion, rosemary, garlic) and stuff inside the cavity of the chicken.
Place the chicken on a roasting pan.
Rub olive oil all over the chicken and sprinkle with a tiny bit of salt (the brine was really salty, so you don't need a lot) and pepper.
Place the chicken in the oven and bake for 15 minutes at 450F.
Lower the temperature of the oven to 375 F and roast for another 45 minutes - 1 hour.
You might want to watch the chicken and tent with foil if it starts getting too dark.
When the internal temperature of the chicken reads 165F and the juices are running clear, remove the chicken from the oven and tent with foil (if it wasn't already) and let rest for 20 minutes.
Carve and enjoy!


  1. So you just kept it covered in the stock pot in the fridge overnight? What a brilliant idea! And I love that we both made similar brines :) Great minds, I tell ya... :)

  2. Oooh, jealous of how golden and crispy your skin got! I'll have to work on that for next time!

  3. That chicken looks perfect! That kind of crispy skin is definitely a guilty pleasure.

  4. I love the color of your chicken! I will definitely try brining with tea next time. Great job!

  5. I really love the idea of brining this in tea. I have been poaching fish in tea lately, but never thought to use it as a brine for poultry. Awesome job!

  6. This looks fabulous, Jenni! Im doing a stuffed and rolled turkey breast (late, as usual), which is kind of a bad idea since I was thinking T-Day was on the 29th! Too much turkey in 1 week. I wish I made this chicken instead. Sweet tea is an amazing brine!

  7. Next time I will try some tea in my brine. Your chicken looks amazing and I bet it tastes just as good!

  8. Chicken with tea? Sounds really neat!

  9. Brining in tea was my next project but after reading your post it became a must!
    I love the combination of flavors that you used Jenni!

  10. I wanted to tell you, I was inspired to brine my Thanksgiving turkey after seeing this post. I'd never done it before and was really nervous it would be too salty or something but of course, it was amazing-and so easy! I am obsessed with tea and will be trying your recipe on a chicken soon!

    1. That is awesome! Glad you tried a brine, they really do make an amazing bird! :)


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