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Old 07-04-2011, 07:41 PM
 
Location: where you sip the tea of the breasts of the spinsters of Utica
8,299 posts, read 12,759,230 times
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Nothing fancy, but it tasted so good I thought I'd share the recipe, which I just invented.

Pick out the chicken legs. Of course you can use bone-in breasts also, but you will need to roast at a lower temp for those. I prefer the legs to be very big and plump, that makes them juicier. Pick the package with the fewest visible red spots and the fewest blobs of fat.

Make a brine: about a gallon of cold water, half a cup of salt, quarter cup of sugar, half cup wine, quarter cup soy sauce. Stir until salt is dissolved (it will dissolve ok in cold water).

Herb rub: In this case I used a pre-mixed curry powder. Other times I've used Creole or Cajun seasoning like Zatarains. Greek seasoning is ok. I also mix in freshly ground black pepper and a ton of rubbed sage, to taste. I don't think the exact blend you use matters, but this time it was curry and sage, and it turned out fantastic. If you prefer simple, less intense flavors, you could just rub it with paprika and garlic powder.

Rub the legs, dump in the brine, set overnight in the refrigerator.

Pre-heat oven to 235F for legs, or 220F for breasts. Yes, that low! Place the legs on some sort of roasting arrangement, I had a roasting pan with a little grill to keep the chicken off the bottom. Let 'er rip for 4 hours.

It's actually ready to eat and delicious in its own way now, even without BBQ sauce. It has been barbecued (roasted at a low temp for a long time, as opposed to grilling which is higher heat for a shorter time). So you might want to nibble at one just to see what it's like. But they're best finished off at the park or place of festivities on a grill - just transport them, heat them for a few minutes over hardwood coals, and apply barbecue sauce. If you don't want to bother making your own BBQ sauce, I recommend Original Flavor Bulls-Eye as my personal favorite among the commercial ones.
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Old 07-06-2011, 08:29 PM
 
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Sounds yummy
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Old 07-10-2011, 01:28 PM
 
Location: Conejo Valley, CA
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I can't imagine the soy sauce going well with the other ingredients...I don't know...I don't get the recipe as a whole.
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Old 07-10-2011, 03:18 PM
 
Location: where you sip the tea of the breasts of the spinsters of Utica
8,299 posts, read 12,759,230 times
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The soy sauce is just for the msg, the wine is to help bring out alcohol-soluble ingredients in the herbs and blend flavors - but neither is present in large enough amounts to be tasted. Actually I was rather surprised it worked, some things like vanilla and yogurt don't seem like they would work together but do.

You don't really need them for a brine to work. I think traditionally a brine is about one cup of salt to each gallon of water, plus huge amounts of sugar, but I find a smaller amount of each works well - half a cup of salt and a quarter cup of sugar.

Many chefs cook the brine with the flavorings in a small amount of water for a few minutes, and then add a large amount of icewater so that the meat is put into cold water and is less likely to spoil before it's cooked. Personally, I'm lazy so I just pour a gallon of cold tap water, I find that it doesn't take long for the salt to dissolve in cold water, and the herbs have all night in the refrigerator to blend in.

Chicken should always be brined before cooking, even if it's just a plain salt and sugar brine. It makes all the difference in the world for the flavor, the chicken goes from being a mediocre bland meat to being a food that delights the palate.
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Old 07-10-2011, 03:24 PM
 
Location: Kountze, Texas
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This sound great!
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Old 07-10-2011, 03:51 PM
 
Location: Conejo Valley, CA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Woof View Post
I think traditionally a brine is about one cup of salt to each gallon of water, plus huge amounts of sugar,
Traditionally a brine doesn't have sugar, its just water and salt. The sugar does nothing for the brine, it just at best counteracts some of the saltiness.

What you had wasn't a brine, it was a marinade. Marinades are acidic, they break down the meat, a brine isn't and it doesn't break down the meat instead it infuses it with moisture.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Woof View Post
Chicken should always be brined before cooking, even if it's just a plain salt and sugar brine. It makes all the difference in the world for the flavor, the chicken goes from being a mediocre bland meat to being a food that delights the palate.
Huh? Chicken, especially when cut, is usually not put into a brine. A brine is used to make meat more juicy, but chicken cooks fast enough where dryness isn't really an issue.

Anyhow, your recipe seems overly complex for no good reason. For example, what is the goal of the marinade? What is the goal of slow cooking it? Why would you reheat a meat that was slow cooked? It would loose its juice. Anyhow, I didn't understand this recipe, it all seemed rather random.
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Old 07-10-2011, 03:55 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles>Little Rock>Houston>Little Rock
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We brine our Thanksgiving turkey every year and we use very little sugar compared to the amount of water/stock/salt involved.
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Old 07-10-2011, 04:05 PM
 
Location: where you sip the tea of the breasts of the spinsters of Utica
8,299 posts, read 12,759,230 times
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User, it's a BRINE made with sugar and flavorings in addition to the salt, as is usually the case in professional cooking - I just saw a video last night where a large amount of Mexican brown sugar was used. There's nothing in it to tenderize other than the technique of slow cooking (which makes meat more tender than high temp cooking), standard factory farmed chicken is tender enough because they don't get any exercise. I suppose you could say it seems "random" because I did invent it, but I just explained the reasons for the extra ingredients.

The point of cooking it before grilling it was so it wouldn't take so long. Chicken legs take forever, this way large amounts can be done beforehand and only need a little heating. However if you have lots of time for cooking at your barbecue, I guess you could do all of it there.

It tastes great. What does it matter that you don't see the "sense" in the recipe even after it's explained? All that matters is that it worked, that's why I put it here.
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Old 07-10-2011, 04:33 PM
 
Location: Conejo Valley, CA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Woof View Post
User, it's a BRINE made with sugar and flavorings in addition to the salt, as is usually the case in professional cooking
No, it was a marinade made with sugar and flavorings. A Brine is typically salt and water, though you can add (some) flavorings and still have a brine. But the addition of an acidic element turns your brine into a marinade, an acidic element changes the properties.

The distinction between a marinade a brine is important, they have different effects on the meat.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Woof View Post
However if you have lots of time for cooking at your barbecue, I guess you could do all of it there.
You are putting chicken in the oven for 4 hours, chicken doesn't take anywhere close to that long to look on a grill. Furthermore, double cooking it makes it dry, eliminating the utility of the marinade you let it soak in.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Woof View Post
What does it matter that you don't see the "sense" in the recipe even after it's explained?
Well, you can certainly cook whatever you wish and you can call a marinade a brine and whatever else. I was just stating my view on the recipe, but apparently this isn't the sort of place where you actually say anything about real cooking (from looking around more, my bad). That's fine, its a ladies recipe corner. I'll move along.

Also, you didn't explain much at all. In fact, the recipe just appears more directionless and conflicting than it did initially.
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Old 07-10-2011, 06:48 PM
 
Location: where you sip the tea of the breasts of the spinsters of Utica
8,299 posts, read 12,759,230 times
Reputation: 8058
I'm not a woman, and there was no acid in the brine with the exception of a small amount of wine which was well-balanced, and itself only would have been slightly acidic. The sugar makes the brined meat taste good, it's better than salt alone.

It's not at all complicated or hard except in reading it. It takes about 5 minutes to get a gallon of cold water and mix up the brine. Sugar, soy (or some other MSG source, but soy is natural msg if it's a decent brand), some wine, then throw in a handful of your favorite chicken spice mix. What's so hard about that? Ten minutes tops.

Then you put it in the refrigerator. You're not slaving over it, it's just sitting in there while you sleep.

Then you put the legs in any kind oven pan, sure a roasting pan but probably anything would work well. Again, it only takes a few minutes to pre-heat (and you probably wouldn't even have to pre-heat) you're not slaving over it, you just do your thing until it's done cooking. You can cook a huge amount for many people with an absolute minimum of time and effort. And like I said, it's delicious right then, but if you're having an outdoor BBQ you'd want to keep it cold to prevent contamination, and heat it a little before and after applying the BBQ sauce - not necessarily cook it - until the BBQ sauce thickens a bit on it.

I have no objection to you or anyone else putting their own BBQ chicken recipe here. I prefer legs but whatever works for you is fine.

It's moist, tender, and delicious. Other people make great BBQ in entirely different ways, I like reading about them too.

Last edited by Woof; 07-10-2011 at 07:01 PM..
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