Chicken Brine for the juiciest roast chicken of your life!

How to brine chicken - photo of whole raw chicken submerged in brine solution

This is a chicken brine that will yield the most succulent, juiciest roast chicken you will EVER have in your life! Brining injects flavour and moisture as well as tenderising you will be blown awayhow juicy even the chicken breast is.

Once you learn how to brine chicken and taste the incredible results, you will never look back! Its simple and makes roasting a chicken stress free because you have extra insurance to ensure it stays juicy even if you overcook it a bit, plus injects flavour into the flesh!

How to brine chicken - photo of whole raw chicken submerged in brine solution

Chicken brine

Brining is the process whereby chicken (or other meat) is submerged in a salty liquid (brine) and left to marinate to inject flavour, tenderise the meat AND to inject moisture so the chicken stays juicier when roasted.

It injects flavour and seasoning right into the flesh of chicken in a way that no other method can, even by slathering liberally with herb and garlic butter under the skin which is my favourite non-brining way to roast chicken.

Its a technique widely used by chefs.In Sydney, there are a handful of restaurants famous for their roast chicken such as Glebe Point Diner, Boronia Kitchen and Restaurant Hubert and they are all brined!

This brine recipe is adapted from a recipe by Thomas Kellar, one of the greatest culinary masters of the world!

Photo of the juiciest roast chicken fresh out of the oven, ready to be served

The juiciestchicken breast EVER!

Heres an up close and personal of the breast of brined roast chicken LOOK HOW JUICY IT IS! Its hard to believe your eyes but its true, it IS possible to make chicken breast this succulent but only with a chicken brine!

Close up showing how juicy chicken breast is when chicken is brined

What you need for Chicken Brine

To make chicken brine, all you need is water and salt. Everything else is for flavour so its optional and customisable see below for substitutions for each.

What goes in brine for chicken

  • Salt and water the only two ingredients that are non negotiable, theyare the brine!
  • Honey for a touch of sweet, sub with sugar
  • Parsley, thyme and rosemary 100% optional, switch with other herbs, or use dried
  • Peppercorns use ground instead
  • Lemons, garlic and bay leaves for flavour, optional

How to brine chicken

Its as easy as this:

  • Bring all the brine ingredients to a boil with a bit of water just to bring out flavour a bit and dissolve the salt;
  • Add cold water to bring the temperature down, then refrigerate until fully chilled;
  • Submerge chickenupside down (ie drumsticks and breast facing down) and brine for 24 Horus (even 12 hours is terrific);
  • pat dry, brush with butter and roast!

How to brine chicken

How long does it take to roast a 2 kg brinedchicken?

60 minutes at 180C/350F or until the internal temperature is 75C/165F or until juices run clear.

The formula is: 20 minutes plus 10 minutes for every 500g/1 lb. So a 2 kg / 4 lb chicken will take 60 minutes, and a 1 kg / 2 lb chicken will take 40 minutes.

Brined chicken roasts fasterthanchicken that is not brined. a 2 kg / 4 lb chicken that is not brined takes 1 hour 25minutes.

Difference between brining and marinating?

Brining is different to marinading in that there is a much higher liquid to meat ratio a whole chicken is completely submerged in the chicken brine. Marinades usually have far less liquid and the chicken is mostly coated in it, rather than submerged (examples: my favourite Everyday Chicken Marinade, Greek Marinade, Vietnamese Lemongrass Marinade).

Platter of carved roast chicken on a plate, ready to be served

This chicken brine recipe is based on arecipe by Thomas Keller, one of the great masters of the culinary world. Known for high end iconic restaurants such as Per Se in New York and the French Laundry in the Napa Valley, as well as Bouchon Bakery in various locations across the US so you dont need to sell your soul for experience the magic that is Thomas Keller!

Watch how to make it

Succulent Roast Chicken

Brining is the secret to an incredibly moist, succulent, flavour infused roast chicken. This brine is based on a recipe by Thomas Keller, one of the great masters of the culinary world. This recipe includes a verjuice jus sauce, a lighter alternative to gravy.


  • 4 liters / 1 gallon water
  • 3 lemons (, halved)
  • Half a bunch ((50g / 2oz) flat leaf parsley)
  • Half a bunch ((15g / 0.5oz) thyme)
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • 12 bay leaves
  • 14 Cup honey
  • 1/2 head garlic (, skin on, cloves smashed)
  • 2 tbsp black peppercorns
  • 1 cup kosher salt1

Roast Chicken

  • 1 roasting chicken ((around 1.5kg/3.3lbs), rinsed with water)
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • Salt and pepper to season


  1. Combine all brine ingredients in a large pot (large enough for the brine and submerged chicken), cover, and bring to boil. Boil for 1 minute, stirring to dissolve the salt and honey. Remove from heat and let cool completely before using. The brine can be stored in the refrigerator for 3 days.
  2. Completely submerge the chicken in the brine and refrigerate for 12 hours. If you brine for longer than 12 hours, it could be too salty.

To prepare the chicken for roasting:

  1. Preheat fan forced oven to 220C/430F.
  2. Remove chicken from brine and pat dry to remove excess moisture. Truss the chicken (note 2), rub 1 tablespoon of butter all over and season with salt and pepper, then leave to come to room temperature (note 3).
  3. Place chicken on a rack in a heavy based roasting tray.
  4. Turn down the oven to 180C/350F (note 4), then place chicken in oven and roast for 50 minutes to 1 hour (note 5), checking every 15 minutes and rotating the pan if the chicken is not browning evenly.
  5. After 30 minutes, take the chicken out of the oven and quickly rub the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter over the chicken, then return to the oven.
  6. To test if ready, pierce the meat between the leg and thigh the juices should run clear. Otherwise, if you have a thermometer, insert it between the leg and the thigh the temperature should read approximately 68C/155F. Note: the chicken will continue to cook while resting.
  7. Remove chicken from the roasting tray and rest for 10 to 15 minutes.
  8. While the chicken is resting, make a gravy, or for something different, a light jus with verjuice.

Verjuice jus:

  1. Remove most of the fat from the pan, then place on the stove, add 14 cup of verjuice (note 6). Bring to a gentle simmer for 1 minute or so, just to bring the flavours together. Adjust the acidity in the jus to your liking, and season to taste. This is a great, lighter alternative to traditional gravy. Add some thyme leaves for extra flavour.

1. Kosher salt substitutes: table salt or rock salt decrease by 14 cup.

2. Trussing a chicken is simply using twine to fasten the wings and legs to the body of the chicken so it cooks evenly.

3. Bring the chicken to room temperature before roasting to help it cook more evenly.

4. If you do not have a fan forced or gas oven, increase the oven temperature by 20C/70F.

5. As a guide, an unstuffed chicken at room temperature in a preheated fan forced oven
at 180C/350F will take about 20 minutes per 500g/1lbs. So a 1.5kg/3.3lbs chicken will take approximately 60 minutes.

6. Verjuice is like a vinegar but is not as tart as lemon juice and vinegar. It is made from the juice of unfermented grapes. Lemon could also be used, but as it is tarter, reduce the quantity to 1/8 cup and add sugar until the sharpness of the lemon mellows.

Originally published May 2014, updated November 2019 with fresh photos, video and most importantly, Life of Dozer added!

Life of Dozer

Dozer taking me for a walk in Melbournes Bourke Street Mall! Staying in an Air BNB for a week, cramming in meetings and generally pretending to be a Melbourne-ite for a week. First time Ive driven down its a long 10 hour drive but I REALLY wanted to bring Dozer down with me this time and Im so glad I did! Hes having a blast, More photos to follow hes causing a riot down here!

Dozer the golden retriever and Nagi in Melbourne - November 2019

The post Chicken Brine for the juiciest roast chicken of your life! appeared first on RecipeTin Eats.

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