Thursday, October 10, 2013

Sweet Tea-Brined Fried Chicken

                                  Makes 6 to 8  servings

A marriage of Southern favorites: Our salty-sweet brine of brown sugar and freshly brewed tea infuses this picnic-perfect chicken with juicy flavor before frying. Bonus: The tannins in tea act as a natural tenderizer.

2                family-size tea bags
1/2             cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/4             cup kosher salt
1                small sweet onion, thinly sliced
1                lemon, thinly sliced
4                garlic cloves, halved 
1                tablespoon cracked black pepper
2                cups ice cubes
1                (3 1/2-lb.) cut-up whole chicken 
2                cups self-rising flour
1                cup self-rising white cornmeal mix 
2                tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
2                teaspoons table salt
1                teaspoon ground red pepper
                         **Vegetable oil**

 
1.           Bring 4 cups water to a boil in a 3-qt. heavy saucepan; add tea bags. Remove from heat; cover and steep 10 minutes.
2.           Discard tea bags. Stir in brown sugar and next 5 ingredients, stirring until sugar dissolves. Cool completely (about 45 minutes); stir in ice. (Mixture should be cold before adding to chicken.)
3.           Cut chicken breasts in half crosswise. Place tea mixture and all chicken pieces in a large zip-top plastic freezer bag; seal. Place bag in a shallow baking dish, and chill 24 hours.
4.           Remove chicken from marinade, discarding marinade. Drain chicken well.
5.           Whisk together flour and next 4 ingredients in a medium bowl. Spoon 1 cup flour mixture into a brown paper bag or large zip-top plastic freezer bag. Place one piece of chicken in bag; seal and shake to coat. Remove chicken, and transfer to a wire rack. Repeat procedure with remaining chicken, adding more flour mixture to bag as needed. Let chicken stand 30 minutes to form a crust.
6.           Pour oil to depth of 1 1/2 inches into a cast-iron Dutch oven; heat over medium heat to 325°. Fry chicken, in batches, 15 to 22 minutes or until browned and done, turning occasionally. Drain on a wire rack over paper towels.

TIP: If using a 12-inch-wide (2 1/4-inch-deep) cast-iron skillet, pour oil to depth of 1 inch.

12 comments:

  1. very interesting chicken recipe!

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    1. Hi Medeja , I had it at a friends house about 5 years ago and it's good thank you for stopping by :)

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  2. I would never have thought to use sweet tea as a brining solution for chicken. Thanks for sharing, Nee.

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    1. I Nellie , I'm glad to be back up and sharing be to see you soon thanks for stopping by :)

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  3. I always brine my chicken before cooking it, Nee. I've even used both tea and coffee as a brining ingredient. However, I never would have thought to include Sweet Tea. What a terrific idea!

    Thank you so much for sharing...I hope your computer is now up and running. But, we understand if you are not able to visit or comment yet:)

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    1. Dear Louise , I am up and running , got to get the hang of this new one but that too will pass be to see you soon thanks for stopping by :)

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  4. Dear Nee, Delicious post! My tastebuds are dancing just thinking about this chicken recipe. What a great idea to use sweet tea for a brine. I have never done that before, and I love tea! The photo looks amazing! Thanks for sharing...Blessings, Dottie :)

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    1. Hi Dottie , try it and you will be amaze at the taste , I will be to visit soon , thanks for stopping by :)

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  5. Hi Nee,
    Another delicious dish from you! We love chicken, especially fried or roasted! And I have never tried using tea before! Love it!

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  6. Hi Joyce , I love to cook , growing my own vegetables helps a lot I will be over to check on what you are up to thanks for stopping by :).

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  7. Sweet tea brine sounds wonderful. My aunt brine her turkey for 3 days before roasting and it was so juicy and delicious. I'm sure your fried chicken are just as wonderful with this special brine.

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  8. Hi Amy, your aunt was a very smart lady and a great cook , brine makes all meats juicy and delicious especially a cheap cut of steak , thanks for stopping by :)

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Hi friends, thank you for stopping by and for taking the time to say hello. The welcome mat is always out and the coffee is always hot .I really appreciate your sweet gesture!