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Sweet Tea Brined Chicken

sweet tea brined chicken recipeSweet tea is my husband’s favorite drink. Same as most southerners I know. When I found this recipe for Sweet Tea Brined Chicken in Southern Living Magazine, I thought that Wes would like it, dog-eared it, and promptly forgot about it. I kept bumping into this recipe and finally almost a year later, I got around to making it. I am kicking myself that it took me so long. It was incredible. Moist, tender, and perfect for a summer barbecue. You know how I feel about brining, and the idea of brining it in a drink intrigues me, what other drinks can we turn into brine? While this is really easy to make, it does require some planning, the brine needs 24 hours before you grill it. It is worth it entirely.

As I write this it is still Father’s Day, and I want to wish my husband a very Happy Father’s Day. We all think that he is the best dad around, and we love him very much. He starts his new job in the morning, and we will miss seeing him every day. We were so lucky to have a year of amazing family time, and we all got used to having him around so much. We were lucky to do a lot of things as a family that we ordinarily would not have, and it is going to be hard to get back to the real world tomorrow. Have a great first day!

sweet tea brined chicken recipe2 family sized tea bags
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup kosher salt
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 lemon, thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves
2 sprigs rosemary
1 Tablespoon crushed black pepper
2 cups ice cubes
3-4 pounds chicken pieces (I used bone in breasts)

sweet tea brined chicken recipeBoil 4 cups of water, add tea bags, and steep for 10 minutes.

sweet tea brined chicken recipeStir in sugar and salt. Stir until completely dissolved.

sweet tea brined chicken recipeAdd onion, lemon, garlic, and rosemary.

sweet tea brined chicken recipeAdd ice and cool completely.

sweet tea brined chicken recipePut the chicken into plastic bags and let sit in the brine for 24 hours.

sweet tea brined chicken recipeTake the chicken out of the brine, and throw the brine away. Dry the chicken off with paper towels. Heat the grill to medium, but only on one side.ย  Put the chicken skin side down, on the side that is not lit. Weird, but it works. Cover the grill and cook for 20 minutes. Flip the chicken and cook for 40 to 50 minutes or until cooked through.

sweet tea brined chicken recipeAbout 10 minutes before the chicken is ready to come off, throw on some lemons that have been cut in half and asparagus. I like to squeeze the grilled lemon over my asparagus, so good. I served this a small salad, and it was delicious. This recipe comes from Southern Living.

sweet tea brined chicken recipe
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Sweet Tea Brined Chicken


Ingredients

  • 2 family sized tea bags
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup kosher salt
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • 1 Tablespoon crushed black pepper
  • 2 cups ice cubes
  • 3-4 pounds chicken pieces (I used bone in breasts)

Instructions

  1. Boil 4 cups of water, add tea bags, and steep for 10 minutes.
  2. Stir in sugar and salt until completely dissolved. Add onion, lemon, garlic, and rosemary. Add ice and cool completely. Put the chicken into plastic bags and let sit in the brine for 24 hours.
  3. Take the chicken out of the brine, and throw the brine away. Dry the chicken off with paper towels. Heat the to medium, but only on one side. Put the chicken skin side down, on the side that is not lit. Weird, but it works. Cover the grill and cook for 20 minutes. Flip the chicken and cook for 40 to 50 minutes or until cooked through.
  4. About 10 minutes before the chicken is ready to come off, throw on some lemons that have been cut in half and asparagus. I served this a small salad, and it was delicious. This recipe comes from Southern Living.

 

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  1. Melissa from the Blue House

    June 18th, 2012 at 7:56 am

    My husband LOVES sweet tea as well, so I”ll definitely be making this for him! Thanks for sharing!

  2. bakedbree

    June 19th, 2012 at 9:57 pm

    He will love this Melissa!

  3. amy

    May 13th, 2013 at 7:56 pm

    Anyone ever made this in the oven??

  4. bakedbree

    May 23rd, 2013 at 9:35 pm

    You can just roast it. 400 degrees for maybe 35 to 45 minutes.

  5. Leeanne

    May 23rd, 2013 at 9:55 pm

    Yes! I put it in a skillet and put it in the oven.

  6. Venessa

    June 18th, 2012 at 12:03 pm

    Best grilled chicken recipe I’ve had in a long time and so easy!

  7. bakedbree

    June 19th, 2012 at 9:56 pm

    SO easy, glad that I am not the only one that loves it so much.

  8. Bree

    June 18th, 2012 at 12:58 pm

    Looks fabulous!

  9. bakedbree

    June 19th, 2012 at 9:56 pm

    thanks Bree, it totally is fabulous.

  10. Alexis

    June 18th, 2012 at 2:38 pm

    I made this many times last summer, and it was an instant favorite. My magazine copy is now a total mess! Now I know what to put on the menu this week…

  11. bakedbree

    June 19th, 2012 at 9:55 pm

    Well, now you have a fresh new copy! It was so good and so easy!

  12. Rachel @ Baked by Rachel

    June 18th, 2012 at 2:55 pm

    This is SO inviting! It seriously jumped off the screen at me. Wish I could have some right now.

  13. bakedbree

    June 19th, 2012 at 9:54 pm

    Thank you Rachel!

  14. Carla @ Carlas Confections

    June 18th, 2012 at 6:01 pm

    Sweet tea is one of my favorite drinks too! I cannot explain how good I think this looks! I cannot wait to try it!!!! ๐Ÿ˜€

  15. bakedbree

    June 19th, 2012 at 9:54 pm

    I am so glad Carla! It was so juicy and flavorful.

  16. Maeghan

    June 18th, 2012 at 8:32 pm

    Anything sweet tea draws me in, but the fact that you used Luzianne knows you mean business. As a southern transplant to Maine, I keep boxes of tea bags handy and now I have another great use for them. Thank you! Think I’ll have to try freezing most out of the brine since we make very small portion around here. Thanks so much for sharing!

  17. bakedbree

    June 19th, 2012 at 9:53 pm

    My husband is Southern, and I have been scolded for using Lipton in the past! I know better now.

  18. Jennifer | Mother Thyme

    June 18th, 2012 at 10:54 pm

    Sweet tea is my husband’s favorite too. I am excited to see this recipe. I always love new chicken recipes and I think this will be a hit. Definitely adding this to my dinner menu soon.

  19. bakedbree

    June 19th, 2012 at 9:52 pm

    This recipe is really easy, with a huge payout. Hope that you love it too.

  20. Geneva M. Wilgus

    June 19th, 2012 at 11:32 am

    This is a lovely post!! I am definitely giving this chicken a try tonight. Your photography is also stunning ๐Ÿ™‚ Thank you!!

  21. bakedbree

    June 19th, 2012 at 9:51 pm

    Thank you so much Geneva!

  22. anita

    June 19th, 2012 at 2:10 pm

    great new BBQ recipe to try out!

  23. bakedbree

    June 19th, 2012 at 9:50 pm

    It is Anita! You will love it.

  24. Jacqueline@HowtobeaGourmand

    June 20th, 2012 at 11:29 pm

    Bree, the sweet tea brined Chicken looks like a great success :-)Truly a mouth watering and a dish I would love to try it! When you are brining the chicken, do you keep it in the fridge for 24 hours?

  25. Veselina Zheleva

    June 25th, 2012 at 3:20 am

    Looks sooooo delicious. I am definitely trying this out, plus I love asparagus!

  26. bakedbree

    June 27th, 2012 at 3:59 pm

    Me too! On the grill is my favorite way to eat it too!

  27. Daniel Nestor

    June 27th, 2012 at 11:34 am

    Thanks for your nice instruction. I’ll try it for my joy and hope for success.

  28. bakedbree

    June 27th, 2012 at 3:49 pm

    You are very welcome Daniel!

  29. BrittanyBraasch

    June 28th, 2012 at 9:33 am

    Okay, dumb question… could this work on a grill pan as well?? We recently moved into a house and have yet to purchase a grill.

  30. bakedbree

    July 12th, 2012 at 10:08 pm

    Of course! You could also bake it.

  31. Nikki @Pennies on a Platter

    July 7th, 2012 at 9:01 am

    HOLY COW! I’m all over this, as my family of three are sweet tea lovers as well. And, wow, all of your kiddos look just like each other. Super cute!

  32. bakedbree

    July 12th, 2012 at 9:39 pm

    I know, they really do. I hope that you like it!

  33. Kena Childers

    July 29th, 2012 at 8:09 pm

    I made this for dinner tonight and it was pure deliciousness. Thanks!

  34. bakedbree

    August 6th, 2012 at 10:59 am

    Glad that you liked it Kena!

  35. Brandon

    July 29th, 2012 at 11:17 pm

    I’ve brined foods in tea before, but have never tried sweet tea… it sounds like it would be good, I’ll have to try it in the future. Beautiful photo with the lemons, matches your new logo! ๐Ÿ™‚

  36. bakedbree

    August 6th, 2012 at 10:58 am

    Thank you Brandon!

  37. Concetta

    January 15th, 2013 at 10:42 pm

    This may be a stupid question but what is “sweet tea”?

  38. bakedbree

    January 15th, 2013 at 11:29 pm

    A Southern staple, tea that has been sweetened. It is not sort of sweet, it is really sweet and something that people in the South adore.

  39. Leeanne

    February 21st, 2013 at 9:21 am

    It doesn’t say when to add the black pepper… is that for the brine or the chicken? A tablespoon seems like a lot for the brine?

  40. bakedbree

    February 21st, 2013 at 11:11 pm

    Yes it is, and there is a link to reference the original recipe if you would like to check yourself.

  41. Melissa

    April 1st, 2013 at 12:01 am

    If you don’t have family-sized tea bags, what’s the equivalent # of regular bags to use? 4? 6?

    Thx.

  42. bakedbree

    April 2nd, 2013 at 7:10 pm

    4.

  43. Erin

    August 9th, 2013 at 12:23 am

    Has anyone tried this on a gas grill? Everything seems to cook so quickly in this grill, in under ten minutes, I am worried about drying it out.

  44. bakedbree

    August 11th, 2013 at 11:05 pm

    Me! I use gas.

  45. Amy

    August 23rd, 2014 at 8:01 pm

    Bree, do you think this recipe would still taste good with skinless chicken? Or is it important to have the skin in the brine for flavor? Thanks for all of your yummy recipes!

  46. bakedbree

    August 31st, 2014 at 9:53 pm

    Thank you Amy! I think in this case, it will taste good, but it will not be worth the trouble to brine it. The brine sticks to the skin.

  47. Camille

    August 19th, 2015 at 6:43 pm

    Bree, Have you ever used boneless chicken breast for this recipe. And if so, how long did you brine it for?

  48. bakedbree

    August 26th, 2015 at 11:45 pm

    I haven’t. I’d brine it for an hour or so.

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