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.


  1. very interesting chicken recipe!

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

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

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

  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:)

    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 :)

  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 :)

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

  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!

  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 :).

  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.

  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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