I work full-time, keep up with the house, run errands, etc. etc. etc……you get it!
I have been working really hard to find ways to make the most simple foods taste fantastic with the least amount of time and effort. I cook a lot for myself and my husband…..also for small house parties. So, it is important that I maximize time and effort.
I found the answer…..brining and/or marinating. I’m totally in love with brining!
If you Google brine you will learn that it means to soak or saturate with salty water. It is amazing what this process does to ordinary chicken. You can do this for a long as you have to do it….the longer the better.
I have now branched out, adding things like black currant tea, the juice of lemons or limes, black pepper or pepper corns, and bay leaves to the salty water. Use what you have on hand.
The best is to soak it overnight in a container wit a lid (after the meat is thawed) in the refrigerator. If you forget, as I often do, I will get it soaking sometime in the morning hours until dinner time. Some time is better than no time!
After you pull your chicken out of the brine, rinse it with cold water and pat it dry before you season it and cook it.
There is a fine line between brining and marinading…..since most marinades have salt and water in them. Anyway……
Some of the best chickens I have cooked lately have resulted from soaking in light beer, lemon juice, salt, and a lot black pepper overnight. Also, had really good results from just soaking overnight in Shiner Bock beer. Again, pulling the chicken out of the beer, rinse it with cold water and pat it dry before seasoning it and cooking it.
I did a recent marinade with steak, which I usually don’t do with beef, but again I was looking for something different for my tongue. It was comprised of equal parts whisky and balsamic vinegar. I think I used 1.5 oz or a standard shot glass worth of each. I let it sit in a ziplock with the steaks for about an hour turning it over frequently for even distribution. Then remove the steaks, let them rest and pat them dry before seasoning and cooking.
Every time I am grilling veggies I marinade them. This also works nicely when roasting the veggies in the oven. It takes your veggies to a whole other flavor level. The basics: olive oil, acid (vinegar or citrus fruit), sea salt, pepper (black or red), and herbs of your choice.
The best part is that it takes little to know time to do this but it can make all the difference in the world for the flavor of your dish. You will see your typical recipes be devoured faster than ever before if you brine or marinade them first.
Brining and/or marinading your most basic food items will make them delicious, flavorsome, scrumptious, succulent, mouthwatering and juicy!
Feel free to leave comments on this post with your brining experiences.