This classic brining method can make your chicken even more flavorful and juicier. Never again will dry chicken breasts be a problem!
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I just started brining my chicken! Why has it been 49 years since I ate dry chicken breasts? Because I was confident that I could cook them without becoming too dry, I tend to eat boneless, skinless chicken breasts.
But, now that’s all changed! My protein cooking skills have improved by 10,000 since I started my culinary program!
I now commit to always preparing containers of chicken, freshly cooked and brined.
The Basic Steps of Brining Chicken Breasts or Tenderloins
- Combine water, sugar, and salt. I use 2 cups water, 1/4 c sugar, and 1/4 c salt for 1 lb. You can brine whole birds (such as turkeys or whole chickens) with 20 parts water to one part salt and one part sugar.
- First, heat the sugar and salt in water until they dissolve.
- You can add any herbs to your chicken, including peppercorns, rosemary, garlic, and lemon.
- Let the water cool completely before removing it from the heat source.
- Place your chicken breasts in a sealed container.
- Let soak (or brine) for at least 24 hours.
- In a heated skillet, heat the brined chicken with butter or oil.
How many calories are added for brined chicken?
So you made a brine of salt, sugar, herbs and are now on a low sugar/low carb/low sodium diet. But how much of the brine actually gets into your chicken?
Well, it isn’t that much. In fact, I weighed both the chicken before and after brining. Here’s what I found:
- My chicken weighs 16.7 ounces before it is brined
- My chicken’s post-brine weight is 19.8 ounces
- The brine alone has the following calories and macros:
- 200 calories,
- 52 g carbs
- 28,318mg sodium.
- After -brine, the macros and calories that ended in the chicken were
- 4 calories per 12 ounce (66 calories for the entire pound).
- 1 g carb per ounce
- 36 mg sodium per ounce.
To make things more complicated, the POST cooking weight for the chicken when it was cooked in a skillet was 17.8 ounces. We lost 2 ounces of chicken in the cooking process. The cooked weight of the chicken was:
- 1 ounce un-brined, raw chicken =27.5 calories/0g carbs/11.25mg salt for the chicken
- After adding the brine, 1 ounce of chicken contains 31.5 calories/1g carb/46.25m sodium
- A 4 ounce portion of raw chicken has 126 calories and 4 g carbs/185 mg sodium
- After cooking, a cooked 3.5 ounce chicken breast would yield the same results as a cooked 4 ounce chicken breast.
In a nutshell: For a 3.5-ounce piece brined chicken, expect it to have about 126 calories, 4g carbs, 185 mg sodium, and approximately 3.5 oz of meat.!
- 2 Cups water
- 1/4 Cup Salt
- 1/4 Cup Sugar
- 1 sprig Thyme
- 1 sprig rosemary
- 1 Slice Lemon
- 1 clove Garlic
Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan. Heat until sugar and salt are dissolved.
Remove from heat and allow to cool completely.
To cover 1 lb of chicken breasts or tenderloins, pour the brine into a container.
Let the chicken rest for 24 hours, then heat up a skillet on medium-high heat until it is cooked.
Serving: 1Recipe | Calories: 200Cal | Carbohydrates: 52g | Protein: 0.3g | Fat: 0.2g | Saturated Fat 0.01g | Polyunsaturated Fat 0.03g | Sodium: 28318mg | Potassium: 36mg | Fiber: 0.4g | Sugar: 50g | Vitamin A: 52IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 45mg | Iron: 1mg