Y’all. This chicken. And tea. As a brine??? Oh yeah. y’all. Man.
I have seen, I have read, and I have even bought “Smokin Sweet Tea” by McCormick’s as a marinade and knew I should be able to replicate a marinade from all that I have read. (I read a lot…especially in the recipe category!)
So I set out to do exactly that. I got some chicken tenders. I took some sweet tea (homemade, of course, cause that’s always the best kind), added some salt (about a tablespoon – I actually used a bit more and figure it might have been a bit too much) and threw in the tenders.
See, there they are marinating. The longer they can marinate the better. I marinated mine for about 5 hours. (maybe 4 1/2 to be exact). Then I took a bowl and put about a half cup of tea, and a cup of buttermilk and mixed that together with about two to 3 tsp. hot sauce (more if you want a kick). Then in another bowl I took about a cup and a half of flour, about a half teaspoon pepper, threw in some garlic powder, a pinch of cayenne pepper, a teaspoon of salt, and about a half to 3/4 cup of corn meal for extra crunch and mixed that all up real good.
Then I dipped each chicken tender in the buttermilk/tea mix and then in the flour mix and fried them up in a cast iron skillet that I had let get good and hot with some canola oil.
See how crispy and good they look? Well, they were. Next time I use this recipe I am using a whole chicken, cut up, bone in, and I will fry the chicken until crisp, lay the pieces on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and bake in the oven until done through and through. That chicken will be crispy, moist and good and done.
Try it. What a great flavor! And come back and tell us how you liked it.