Easy Whole Chicken Brine (One Pot)

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Quick and easy whole chicken brine recipe, homemade with simple ingredients in one pot on stovetop in 20 minutes. Loaded with salt, honey, fresh herbs, garlic, citrus (lemon and oranges). This is meant to give you a super moist and juicy chicken every time!

Brining a chicken is no longer just for the restaurant chef! With this easy recipe, you too will have the perfect brine to produce the juiciest and most flavorful chicken ever! This Turkey Brine Solution (One Pot) will also help you get though hosting the next holiday meal like a pro.

How To Make Easy Whole Chicken Brine Recipe From Scratch?

  1. Cook ingredients– Add water, salt, honey, bay leaves, garlic, black peppercorns, cloves, orange, lemon, parsley, basil, rosemary, thyme in a large pot and cook.
  2. Simmer it– Cook for 2-3 minutes until salt has dissolved completely.
  3. Cool mixture– Remove from heat and let the mixture cool completely.
  4. Submerge chicken– Place the whole chicken fully submerged in the brine solution.
  5. Chill it– Cover pot with lid and chill in fridge for 12 – 24 hours.
  6. Cooking prep– Remove chicken from the brine solution and rinse it with cool water. Pat dry with paper towels to ensure a crispy skin.
  7. Enjoy– Continue with your normal chicken baking/ roasting cooking method.

Cornish Hen Brine/Fried Chicken Brine

This recipe works well for both. Just use drumsticks or thighs instead of a whole chicken for frying.

Ingredients For Chicken Brine For Grilling, BBQ, Smoking, Baking, Roasting, Or Air Frying

Salt & Water– These are the two main ingredients. I recommend Kosher salt, as it works best for brining.

Honey– To balance the acidity and salt.

Herbs– Use fresh parsley, rosemary, thyme, and basil.

Garlic– Use lots. 6-8 cloves that are slightly crushed.

Black peppercorns– They provide so much flavor.

Bay leaves and cloves– They add tons of depth of flavor.

Citrus– Add lemon and orange slices allowing the acidity to tenderize the meat and add more flavor.

How Long Should You Brine Chicken? Can You Brine Chicken Too Long?

You should brine chicken about 1 hour per pound. For this recipe I suggest 12-24 hours depending on the size of the chicken used. You can brine chicken too long. Do not brine longer than 24 hours. This will cause the chicken to become too salty and thus inedible.

Why Do You Brine Chicken?

Brining chicken tenderizes the chicken and helps it to retain moisture while it cooks. The chicken absorbs the salt solution, and therefore liquid, so that while it cooks it doesn’t dry out as easily. Brining keeps the meat moist and juicy while also adding tons of flavor from the herbs and aromatics.

How To Cook Brined Chicken?

You can cook brined chicken in the slow cooker, air fryer, grill, smoker, oven, or BBQ. Whichever method you prefer will work.

Variations For Overnight Chicken Brine

Add other herbs– Such as sage, coriander, or oregano.

Add other spices– Such as juniper berries, whole star anise, allspice, cinnamon sticks, or nutmeg.

Add alcohol– Like prosecco or sauvignon blanc.

Make it Mexican– Use jalapeno, cilantro, ancho chiles and Mexican oregano.

Make it Asian– Add soy sauce, cilantro, ginger, chili paste, and more garlic.

Buttermilk brine– Add buttermilk for another tenderizer.

Beer brine– Add your favorite beer to the solution for a flavor twist.

Add onions– White, yellow, red, vidalia, sweet, or whichever you prefer.

Add mushrooms– Such as porcini mushrooms.

Use another sugar– Such as white or brown sugar in place of honey.

Use other fruit– Such as apples, grapefruit, or limes.

Add smoke– Add liquid smoke for another flavor profile.

Tips And Techniques

Make sure to COMPLETELY COOL the brine before adding the raw chicken– Because this ensures that the chicken doesn’t start cooking when added to the liquid. The solution must be completely cool before adding the chicken to the solution.

Should the chicken be completely thawed before brining? Can you brine frozen chicken? It is ok if it is partially thawed as long as it can finish thawing in 12-24 hours. You do not want to keep the chicken sitting in the solution longer than that or it will become too salty, and the texture of the meat will be off. Therefore, a totally frozen chicken will not work, but a partially thawed one should be just fine.

Do you need to rinse the chicken after brining? Yes, rinse the chicken lightly and then pat it dry to ensure a crisp skin.

Do you refrigerate a chicken while brining? Yes. Be sure to so make room in that fridge!

Do you have to cook chicken immediately after brining? Can I take the chicken straight out of the solution and put it in the oven? You can put it straight into the oven as long as you pat the skin dry first so that is will crisp nicely in the oven.

Use as many fresh herbs as you can– They produce the best and brightest flavor in the solution.

Don’t exceed 24 hours– That would make the chicken very salty and also make the meat tough.

Storage

Refrigerate– The prepared solution (without chicken) can be stored in the fridge for up 2 days. However, if the chicken is already in the solution, it should be refrigerated no longer than 24 hours.

Freeze– The prepared solution (without chicken) can be frozen for up to 1 month and thawed in the fridge overnight. However, you cannot freeze the solution and use it again after a raw chicken has been in it. Yuck! Simply discard it.

More One Pot Chicken Recipes

Easy Whole Chicken Brine Recipe in Glass Bowl on White Background
Easy Whole Chicken Brine Solution In Glass Bowl
Print

One Pot Whole Chicken Brine Solution

Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
12 hrs 20 mins
 

Quick and easy whole chicken brine recipe, homemade with simple ingredients in one pot on stovetop in 20 minutes. Loaded with salt, honey, fresh herbs, garlic, citrus (lemon and oranges). This is meant to give you a super moist and juicy chicken every time!

Servings: 4 People
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: homemade brine solution
Calories: 511 kcal
Author: Abeer Rizvi

Ingredients

  • 8 cups Water
  • 1/3 cup Salt Preferably kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup Honey
  • 3 Bay leaves
  • 6-8 cloves Garlic Slightly crushed
  • 1 tbsp Black peppercorns
  • 1 tsp Cloves
  • 1 Orange Roughly sliced or diced
  • 1 Lemon Roughly sliced or diced
  • 2 sprigs Parsley Fresh
  • 2 sprigs Basil Fresh
  • 2 sprigs Rosemary Fresh
  • 2 sprigs Thyme Fresh
  • 1 Whole chicken 3-5 pounds

Instructions

  1. Add water, salt, honey, bay leaves, garlic, black peppercorns, cloves, orange, lemon, parsley, basil, rosemary, thyme in a large pot and cook over medium-high heat.

  2. Bring to a simmer and cook for 2-3 minutes until salt has dissolved completely.

  3. Remove from heat and let the mixture cool completely.

  4. Once it cools completely, place the whole chicken in the brine solution. It should be fully submerged.

  5. Cover pot with lid and chill in fridge for for 12 – 24 hours. Do not go past this time frame or else the chicken will become very salty.

  6. When you are ready to cook, remove chicken from the brine solution and rinse it with cool water. Pat dry with paper towels to ensure a crispy skin.

  7. Then, continue with your normal chicken baking/ roasting cooking method. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes

  • Read all my tips above.
  • Brine cannot be reused. Discard after chicken has been removed. 
     
Nutrition Facts
One Pot Whole Chicken Brine Solution
Amount Per Serving
Calories 511 Calories from Fat 261
% Daily Value*
Fat 29g45%
Saturated Fat 8g40%
Trans Fat 1g
Cholesterol 143mg48%
Sodium 9591mg400%
Potassium 530mg15%
Carbohydrates 27g9%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 21g23%
Protein 37g74%
Vitamin A 485IU10%
Vitamin C 38mg46%
Calcium 87mg9%
Iron 3mg17%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Quick Brine Solution For Chicken (Breast, Whole, Wings, Drumsticks) in Glass Bowl
Closeup Shot of Fresh Herbs and Spices in Simple Brine Solution

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