Brined Fried Chicken

Once you’ve brined fried chicken, you’ll never cook it any other way. Brining is an easy way to ensure your chicken is juicy and has tons of flavor. 

I’m just going to come out and say it: I am OBSESSED with this brined fried chicken. I’ve made plenty of fried chicken in my life. I’ve marinated it in buttermilk. I have brined and oven fried it. I’ve made it spicy. I have slathered it with garlic. I’ve even marinated it in curry yogurt. But this friends, this fried chicken right here, is my favorite by far. It is succulent, crispy fried chicken perfection.

Once you've brined fried chicken, you'll never cook it any other way. Brining is an easy way to ensure your chicken is juicy and has tons of flavor

 

Ryan even loved it. He said “This fried chicken is really good” and proceeded to eat a couple helpings. That may not sound like much but trust me it is because Ryan is not a fried chicken fan. Like at all. Crazy man.

I also made this for some friends who were visiting last week and they couldn’t stop talking about how good it was while they were eating it. That’s always a good sign.

Once you've brined fried chicken, you'll never cook it any other way. Brining is an easy way to ensure your chicken is juicy and has tons of flavor

I’ve made it twice in two weeks. And I’ll probably make it again this week because I can’t stop thinking about it.

That is also a good sign.

What is brining?

The definition of brining is to “Soak in or saturate with salty water”. Basically, it’s osmosis. While the meat marinates in the brine, it retains some of the water and salt. The salt helps soften the proteins in the meat. Food52 has a great article on How to Brine Meat and Why You Should Bother, if you want to learn a bit more about the technique.

How to make brined fried chicken:

Yes, it takes time to brine chicken. Four hours to be exact. But it is beyond worth it. The meat is simply succulent. And my favorite new frying technique that I tried with this Garlic Fried Chicken, helps the meat cook perfectly while allowing the skin to stay perfectly golden brown.

First you start by making a brine. The brine in this recipe is composed of water, salt, brown sugar, summer savory (which is my favorite herb, but thyme can be substituted in a pinch) and granulated garlic. To make it simply combine half of the water, the salt, sugar and seasonings and cook just until sugar and salt dissolve. Then add the remaining cold water to the brine and allow it to come to room temperature.

How to make Brined Fried Chicken

Once it comes to room temperature, place the chicken in a resealable plastic bag, pour the brine over the top, seal and refrigerate for at least 2 hours but not more than four. You don’t have to use a resealable plastic bag another non-reactive container will work as well.

How to Make Brined Fried Chicken

After the chicken has brined, you want to rinse it to get all the extra salt off. Then pat the chicken dry with paper towels.

How to make brined fried chicken.

The secret to frying the perfect fried chicken:

My personal secret, in addition to brining, is the technique in which I cook the fried chicken. And I figured I’d share it with you because, everyone needs the perfect fried chicken in their life right??

Once you've brined fried chicken, you'll never cook it any other way. Brining is an easy way to ensure your chicken is juicy and has tons of flavor

 

For the longest time whenever I’d make fried chicken, I’d have the issue that it’d be practically burnt on the outside before it was cooked through on the inside. Not anymore.

The technique I use for making the perfect fried chicken is to cook it in a cast iron skillet covered for 7 minutes. Turn it an then cook covered for another 7 minutes. Then maybe 3 or 4 more minutes uncovered just to get the color that I want. By covering the chicken while it cooks, it ensures that both the inside and outside will be done at the same time. It’s that easy!

Once you've brined fried chicken, you'll never cook it any other way. Brining is an easy way to ensure your chicken is juicy and has tons of flavor. 

I’ve said perfect a lot in this post. I can’t help it. This Brined Fried Chicken. Is. Perfect.

It’s perfect for Sunday supper alongside some homemade mashed potatoes and roasted green beans.

It’s perfect for picnics and midnight snacks too.

Just make it, you’ll see.

Once you've brined fried chicken, you'll never cook it any other way. Brining is an easy way to ensure your chicken is juicy and has tons of flavor. #friedchicken #chickenbrine #brinedfriedchicken

Note: Post originally published in 2014. Updated in 2018.


Summer Savory Fried Chicken

Brined Fried Chicken Recipe

Serves 8 Prep Time: Cook Time:
5(5)

Ingredients:

  • 2 quarts cool water
  • 1/2 cup plus 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons dried summer savory
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 8 chicken drumsticks

Instructions

1

Combine 1 quart water, 1/2 cup of kosher salt, brown sugar, 3 tablespoons summer savory and garlic powder together in a large pot. Heat over medium heat until salt and sugar dissolve.

2

Pour in remaining quart of cool water. Allow brine to come to room temperature.

3

Place chicken pieces in a gallon size bag. Pour brine over the chicken. Seal and refrigerate for at least 2 hours but not more than 4. You can also complete this step in a non-reactive bowl with a lid.

4

Rinse and pat dry the chicken.

5

Combine flour remaining summer savory and salt together in a bag. Place chicken in bag and toss to coat. Allow to set for 15 minutes.

6

Turn oven to warm setting. Cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil and place a cooling rack over the top.

7

Heat 1 - 1 1/2 inches of oil in a 12 inch skillet over medium heat. Once the oil is hot lay 4 pieces of chicken in the oil, skin side down, and cover for 6 - 7 minutes or until browned. Turn the chicken and cook another 6 - 7 minutes. Remove the lid and cook an additional 2 minutes or until it is golden brown. Use tongs or a slotted spoon to transfer the chicken to the prepared cooling rack. Place in the warmed oven to keep warm while you cook the remaining chicken.

8

Once finished with the second batch, transfer all chicken to a serving platter, sprinkle lightly with salt and serve.

Notes

Nutrition facts not guaranteed.

Nutrition information

Amount per serving: 8 servings
Calories: 696 , Total Fat: 57.5g , Saturated Fat: 4.8g , Cholesterol: 40mg , Sodium: 7120mg , Carbohydrates: 29.7g , Fiber: 1.6g , Sugar: 4.6g , Protein: 16.1g

Leave a Comment

  • Reply
    sakinah
    September 8, 2018 at 3:58 am

    tried this last weekend at home to so delicious and easy

    • Reply
      Deseree
      September 8, 2018 at 9:21 pm

      So happy to hear that Sakinah! It’s one of our favorite dinners!

  • Reply
    Theresa
    September 3, 2018 at 9:52 am

    What is dried summer savory??

    • Reply
      Deseree
      September 3, 2018 at 11:22 am

      Hi Theresa! Dried Summer Savory is an herb that you should be able find in the spice section of your grocery store. I know spice islands carries it. If you can’t thyme is a great substitute. They both have a peppery taste. http://spiceislands.com/products/summer-savory

  • Reply
    Toni | Boulder Locavore
    August 31, 2018 at 2:50 pm

    My kids will surely love this! Great to try for dinner tonight!

  • Reply
    Katerina @ diethood .com
    August 31, 2018 at 4:29 am

    This looks fantastic!! I bet it tastes amazing!

  • Reply
    Mahy Elamin
    August 31, 2018 at 2:36 am

    Oh my gosh I love fried chicken!!! Is good food and this looks like one of the BEST! Love the unique flavors in this recipe! YUM!

  • Reply
    Brandy @ Nutmeg Nanny
    August 30, 2018 at 6:41 pm

    This looks amazing! Thanks for this!

  • Reply
    Jocelyn (Grandbaby Cakes)
    August 30, 2018 at 6:02 pm

    I love a good brine! It gives chicken so much flavor.

  • Reply
    Demeter
    August 30, 2018 at 4:46 pm

    You really nailed the crispiness of this chicken! Wow!

  • Reply
    Amanda
    August 30, 2018 at 2:31 pm

    I absolutely love this idea ! Thank you for sharing !

  • Reply
    Jocelyn
    August 15, 2014 at 9:55 pm

    I’ll have to try this recipe out for my family. We’re always looking for the perfect fried chicken! :) Yours looks awesome!

  • Reply
    Kimberly
    August 7, 2014 at 10:24 am

    Oh my goodness … I love fried chicken, and yours looks perfect! Crunchy and delicious … just the way I like it!