Each month we post a new recipe for you to try. We appreciate your comments and experiences with them.
This month's recipe is: How To Brine !
How To Brine Turkey, Chicken, and Other Meats
Why do we brine meats, fish and poultry? To make them moist and tender! I am captivated by the effects of brining on protein rich foods. The salt in the brine solution causes the proteins in the meat to unwind a bit, or denature, trapping extra water and flavors from the brine. The result -- a juicy, succulent, flavorful chop, chicken or fish fillet! And, it is SO easy!
To brine single size portions of meat, fish or poultry, mix enough brine solution to 'bathe' the item in liquid. This requires a fair amount of brine, and a vessel large enough to hold it. I like to use food grade bags, held in a shallow pan or for a large bird, in a cooler surrounded by ice. Mix the brine, add the meat; squeeze out the air and seal. Refrigerate or chill as necessary. But a good thing can be overdone, so brine only as long as directed below, especially for smaller cuts. Remove the meat from the brine and pat dry. If you are not ready to cook yet, refrigerate the meat until 15 minutes prior to cooking.
Dissolve the brine mix in 2 cups hot water, then add 3-1/2 qts cold water. Pour into large food grade bag or shallow dish. Brining times:
Shrimp & Scallops 15 to 45 minutes
Fish fillets or steaks 1 hour
Chicken breasts 1 to 1-1/2 hours
Whole Birds 1 hour per pound