When we’re talking about bird meat, chicken is the world’s most favorite meat. Although turkey, duck, and other poultry meats are tasty, nothing beats chicken. With that said, don’t be fooled by how simple cooking chicken can be, there’s a lot of ways to mess it up.
People would think that all the flavor is in the skin but the white meat is just as tasty. The problem is, most inexperienced cooks often dry out the chicken meat, turning it into a dry and tasteless white slab of meat. To avoid such a problem from happening to your chicken dishes, you can try bringing them.
Brining is a process wherein you submerge meat into a salty or flavored solution in an attempt to bring the flavor into the meat However, there is an alternative to bringing and that’s dry brining. You can find out more about dry brining below:
What Is Dry Brining?
It’s precisely what you’d think when you hear the word “brine” – which is to submerge meat into a salt solution. However, in the case of dry brining, it’s the same thing just without the solution. We’ll tell you the steps one by one, so it should be easy how to learn to dry brine chicken.
How To Dry Brine Chicken
The process itself is quite easy, but it isn’t necessarily quick, per se. The waiting time can take you from about 2 to 24 hours, depending on how much you want to crisp up the skin. So this isn’t recommended if you want a quick solution to your hunger at dinnertime – not without careful planning!
Step 1 – Dry Your Chicken
After you’ve thawed and rinsed your chicken, you can let it sit over a wire rack over your sink to allow a majority of the excess water drain out. Take your chicken and put it in a shallow tray, and use paper towels to soak up any of the remaining loose liquids. Press the paper towels firmly to the bird to get it as dry as you can.
Step 2 – Add Your Salt
You’re going to want to buy a lot of salt for this step since you’re going to be using a lot – don’t be afraid to be really gratuitous with how much salt you rub on your bird. Make sure to use coarse salt and cover every nook and cranny that the bird has. Your salt shouldn’t be too fine – kosher, or any other medium grain salt will do. Table salt isn’t ideal for dry brining.
Step 3 – Let It Sit In The Fridge
After you’ve generously covered the poultry in salt, let it sit in the fridge uncovered for as long as you want – not really. You can take it out after 2 hours or let it chill up to 24. Why? Because the longer you let it stay in the fridge, the dryer the skin will get, which then leads to more moisture trapped inside. Giving you crispier skin and juicier meat!
Step 4 – Dry Rub Time!
Though this step is fully optional – you can go with a sauce like mustard concoctions or a plain old sweet barbecue sauce or any other pastes you have lying around in your kitchen. A brine and a rub will definitely change your outlook on how chicken should be cooked! You can whip up something yourself or search some dry rub recipes online!
Don’t confuse dry brining with putting on a dry rub. It’s a mistake to add your spices while you’re dry brining because then you’re not bringing anymore. It’ll just turn into a dry rub that is sort of like marinating your meat to add lots of flavors by having a crust of spices on the food’s surface.
Step 5 – Cook it!
The step that you’ve been waiting for is cooking the bird. Grill it, roast it, broil it, deep-fry it, butterfly it, throw it in a rotisserie. No matter the method you use, the meat will always stay juicy, and the skin will stay crispy! If you did the optional step, then you’ll have a lovely layer of spice right on that crispy skin, making it 10 times better!
Wet Brine vs. Dry Brine
In both processes, the salt works in essentially the same way. The salt breaks down the protein strands within the poultry of your choice, meaning the muscles can’t contract and expel moisture while being cooked. So what’s the difference between the dry brines and wet brines?
A wet brine increases the amount of liquid that the poultry can hold, but the salt in the solutions retains the meat’s moisture. A dry brine is exactly the same but in a more concentrated version. Instead of using extra water, the dry brine uses the bird’s internal juices, which then gets reabsorbed into the meat.
With there being so many different ways you can cook chicken and turkey, I suggest trying them out first before serving it to family, friends, and neighbors! If you want to be nominated for the best cook for all of the holidays, then it’s best to master your ways of cooking dry brined chicken!