Sweet tea – it’s not just for drinking

Hubby is in charge of cooking tomorrow.   He wants his fresh fish one of our sweet neighbors gave him (the kind that came out of our lake/river we live near and I don’t eat) and he has some chicken he will be cooking on the grill for me.  Mine is going to be cooked on the grill and I am going to brine mine first – in a sweet tea brine.  Yep- and it is going to be so good.  I have wanted to try this process for some time and looks like tomorrow is the day. The bring has fresh rosemary.  Have I told you lately how much I love fresh rosemary?  I will be planting my own just after Easter.   (I was taught not to plant until after Easter – and I can’t seem to get that little instilled lesson out of my mind – sort of like not wearing white until Easter).

I hope you will try it.   And go and cook you up some chicken, or something else on the grill – its the one thing I am excited about with the coming of Spring.  Outdoor cooking!

Sweet Tea-Brined Chicken

2 family-sized tea bags

1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar (I will use my Splenda brown sugar and it will work just fine)

1/4 cup kosher salt

1 small sweet onion, thinly sliced

1 lemon, thinly sliced

3 garlic cloves, halved

2 (6-inch) fresh rosemary sprigs

1 Tbsp freshly cracked pepper

2 cups ice cubes

1 whole chicken, cut up (or the pieces you prefer)

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 6 ingredients, stirring until sugar dissolves.  Cool completely (about 45 minutes to an hour); stir in ice.   (Mixture should be cold before adding chicken.)

3.  Place tea mixture and chicken in a large zip-top plastic freezer bag; seal.  Place bag in a shallow baking dish and chill 24 hours.   Remove chicken from marinade, discarding marinade; pat chicken dry with paper towels.

4.  Light one side of grill, heating to 300 to 350 degrees (medium) heat; leave other side unlit.  Place chicken, skin side down, over unlit side.  and grill, covered with grill lid, 20 minutes.  Turn chicken, and grill, covered with grill lid, 40 to 50 minutes or until done.  Transfer chicken, skin side down, to lit side of grill, and grill 2 to 3 minutes or until skin is crispy.  Let stand 5 minutes before serving.


Now since it is just the two of us, I mostly cook with skinless/boneless chicken breasts, or boneless chicken thighs (with skin either on or off, depending on what the store has that week), and usually at least 5-8 pieces, since that is also how many are in the package (and we like to slice up on salads for leftovers) I am certain that the grill master (aka hubby) will most likely change #4 above.   He will most likely cook over the fire – on medium – as he usually does.   

So in # 4 above, I say, if you are a griller, cook YOUR chicken, depending on whether you are using bone-in or bone-out, the way YOU normally cook your chicken and for the length of time YOU normally cook YOUR chicken to get it done.   I am certainly not one to tell anyone how to grill.

I am just saying try this recipe – I do believe you will like it!  


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