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Spicy Chicken Brine

Spicy Chicken Brine is a great way to add flavor to whole chicken or chicken pieces that are grilled, smoked, roasted or fried. A simple recipe with pantry ingredients that will make the most tender, juicy and flavorful chicken you’ve ever tasted.

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We have smoked chicken or grilled chicken on the menu at least once a week and the key to the best tasting chicken is to brine it. To save time and money we also love this Meal Prep Chicken recipe.

cut up grilled chicken on a blue plate with parsley garnish

Ingredients for Spicy Chicken Brine

  • Water
  • Kosher Salt
  • Brown Sugar
  • Louisiana Hot Sauce
  • Lemon
  • Garlic Cloves
  • Rosemary or other fresh herbs
  • Peppercorns

For the Chicken

How to Make Spicy Chicken Brine

spicy chicken brine with lemon, garlic and rosemary
  1. Pour 2 quarts of hot water into a large pot or large bowl.
  2. Add kosher salt and brown sugar, whisk until sugar and salt dissolves.
  3. Pour in 2 quarts of cold water to make a gallon of water.
  4. Mix in hot sauce.
  5. Squeeze lemon and add the juice and the rind into the brine.
  6. Add garlic, rosemary and peppercorns.
Brining whole chicken with hot sauce, lemon, garlic and rosemary
  1. Submerge chicken into brine and cover. A brining bag works great if you are doing more than one whole chicken or a whole turkey. 
  2. Refrigerate at least one hour or up to 6 hours before cooking.

BRINING TIP: If you are not cooking the chicken until the next day, go ahead and drain the chicken and place in a zip top bag or covered dish in the refrigerator until ready to cook. Brining overnight can result in the chicken being too salty.

Uses for Spicy Brine

Spicy chicken brine is great for pieces of chicken, whole chickens, whole turkeys or turkey breasts and even pork chops.

How to Cook Brined Chicken

Seasoned chicken - tied up ready to grill
  1. Remove chicken from brine and drain in a colander. Discard brine solution.
  2. Pat chicken dry with paper towels and place on a baking sheet.
  3. Rub softened butter under the skin and in the cavity of the chicken.
  4. Sprinkle dry rub over the chicken skin on all sides.
  5. Truss or tie up chicken legs and wings if desired.

Grilling Brined Chicken

chicken on grill
  1. Cook chicken over indirect fire on a 350° grill. Hickory or pecan will add great smoke flavor.
  2. Continue to cook with the grill closed for 1 hour. Check internal temperature of the chicken using a digital meat thermometer, near the thickest part of the thigh.
grilling a whole chicken
  1. Continue to cook until internal temperature reaches 165°.
sheet pan with grilled chicken resting before slicing
  1. Remove from the grill and and allow chicken to rest 15 minutes before serving.

For Oven Roasted Chicken

  • Place chicken on a wire rack set in a roasting pan and bake at 375° for one hour or until internal temperature reaches 165° and the roast chicken skin is deep golden brown.

How to Store and Reheat

  • Storage: Cooled chicken can be wrapped in plastic wrap or stored in a zip top bag in the refrigerator up to 3 days. Chicken can be whole or removed from the bones. 
  • Reheat: Cook leftover chicken in a covered skillet with chicken broth or a bit of water over medium heat, stirring occasionally until heated through. 

Keep the chicken carcass to make homemade chicken broth. It’s so simple to make and adds great flavor to your favorite Chicken Chili, soups and casseroles.

platter of grilled chicken pieces, corn on the cob on a platter

Wet brine chicken produces juicy tender chicken that has tons of flavor. Adding hot sauce to the brine adds just a touch of heat without being overly spicy.

Why You Should Try this Chicken Brine Recipe

  • Wet brining chicken produces juicy chicken that has so much flavor. Adding hot sauce to the brine adds just a touch of heat without being overly spicy.
  • As the meat soaks, it helps break down the muscle fibers for tender chicken and adds so much moisture to the meat and tons of flavor.
  • This quick chicken brine recipe will add delicious flavor and create moist chicken in as little as an hour of brining. 

Use this recipe for any chicken cooking method: grilled chicken, roasted chicken , fried chicken or Nashville Hot Chicken. It’s great for a whole bird or your favorite cuts of chicken. We also love it for making the best chicken wings.

Rotisserie chicken makes a convenient meal for busy weeknights but we love to make our whole chickens on the grill over the weekend to make easy meal prep chicken for quick dinners throughout the week. This is the best smoked chicken brine recipe and makes the juiciest chicken you can cook at home.

Recipes using Leftover Chicken

  • Grilled Chicken Enchiladas is easy to make to feed a crowd. We generally cook a couple of small chickens for our enchiladas and everyone loves them.
  • Grilled Chicken Parmesan Soup is a family favorite that is so quick and easy to make if you have a pound of meat that needs used up. Smoky chicken with vegetables and pasta in a tomato broth for a comforting and delicious meal.
  • Chicken Stuffed Poblano Peppers is made with simple ingredients and great for leftover chicken. Smoky poblano peppers filled with hearty chicken and cheese.
  • Chicken and Sausge Gumbo is great to make with a small amount of meat along with smoked sausage or shrimp. A must-try for a warm winter dinner. 
platter of chicken, grilled and cut up into pieces

If you love this recipe as much as we do, please leave a comment and a five star review. Help us share on Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook!

This best chicken brine recipe is the best way to ensure cook the most amazing chicken that is juicy and delicious whether you grill it, roast it or deep fry it.

grilled chicken pieces on a blue plate with parsley garnish
Yield: 1 whole chicken

Spicy Chicken Brine

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Additional Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 5 hours 10 minutes

Spicy Chicken Brine is a great way to add flavor to whole chicken or chicken pieces that are grilled, smoked, baked or fried. A simple recipe with pantry ingredients that will make the most tender, juicy and flavorful chicken you've ever tasted.

Ingredients

For the Spicy Chicken Brine

  • 2 quarts hot water
  • 1 cup kosher salt
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 quarts cold water
  • 1/3 cup Louisiana Hot Sauce
  • 1 whole lemon
  • 3 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns

For the Chicken:

Instructions

  1. Add 2 quarts hot water to a large pan or large bowl.
  2. Whisk in salt and brown sugar until dissolved.
  3. Add 2 quarts cold water and hot sauce. Squeeze lemon into brine and add lemon rinds, rosemary, garlic and peppercorns.
  4. Lower chicken into brine, totally submerging in brine. Cover and refrigerate at least one hour and up to 6 hours.
  5. Drain chicken in a colander and discard brine solution.
  6. Prepare a grill fire to 350° with hickory or pecan for smoke flavor.
  7. Pat chicken dry and place on a baking sheet.
  8. Rub butter under the skin and in the cavity of the chicken.
  9. Sprinkle dry rub over the chicken on all sides.
  10. Truss or tie up chicken legs and wings.
  11. Grill chicken over indirect fire with the grill closed for one hour. Use a digital meat thermometer to check chicken in the thickest part of the thigh, near the bone. Cook until chicken reaches 165°.
  12. Remove to a serving platter and rest 10 - 15 minutes before serving.

Notes

Oven Roasting Instructions: Cook chicken on a wire rack placed in a roasting pan for 1 hour or until internal temperature reaches 165°.

Store leftover chicken wrapped in plastic wrap or a zip top bag in the refrigerator up to 3 days.

Reheat in a covered pan with chicken broth or water over medium heat until heated through.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

4

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 519Total Fat: 36gSaturated Fat: 15gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 17gCholesterol: 176mgSodium: 248mgCarbohydrates: 5gFiber: 0gSugar: 1gProtein: 43g

Nutritional information is estimated and may not be accurate.

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