Christopher Koetke, Corporate Executive Chef of Ajinomoto Health & Nutrition North America, Inc., shares his Grilled Brined Chicken recipe, noting:
“The advantage of brining leaner pieces of meat like chicken and pork is that it improves moisture retention during cooking. What that means is that the cooked chicken is juicier, which naturally tastes better. If you come to my house for grilled chicken, you can be sure that it was brined and that there was a bunch of MSG in the brine to boost up the umami. The result is always the same—people asking how I made such delicious and moist chicken. The secret is in the brine!”
Grilled Brined Chicken
My guests often ask me how I make such delicious and moist chicken. The secret is in the brine!
- 3 cups water
- 3 Tbsp. salt
- 3 Tbsp. MSG
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1 1/2 Tbsp. minced ginger
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 large chicken cut into legs, thighs and breasts (if the breasts are very large, cut them in half)
Combine water, salt, MSG, sugar, honey, ginger, and garlic in a saucepan and bring to a boil.
Remove from heat and let the sauce infuse for 30 minutes, then cool.
Add the chicken and refrigerate. Let it brine for about 4 hours.
Remove the chicken from the brine and dry well. Discard the brine.
Grill over moderate heat. Be careful to not cook over too high heat as the sugars in the brine will cause the chicken to brown too quickly. Once the chicken is well-browned, you can continue to cook it on low heat or on the warming rack with a closed grill.
Remove the chicken from the grill when it is 165° F and serve.
Note 1: While the amount of salt and MSG appears high, remember that most remains in the left over and discarded brine.
Note 2: The basic brine of salt and water also makes tender pork chops that brine in a short 20 minutes. Add other seasonings such as a teaspoon of sugar and some chopped garlic.
Recipe provided by Christopher Koetke, Corporate Executive Chef, Ajinomoto Health & Nutrition North America, Inc.
Photo of brining chicken courtesy of Flickr user Ryan Anderson