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Southerners know their sweet tea.
And the beverage can be enjoyed outside drinkable form, here sweet tea suffuses a nuanced flavor to roasted chicken in a recipe you may want to add to your regular rotation.
“We strive to be a zero-waste restaurant. At the end of the night, instead of pouring sweet tea down the drain, we add salt to it and use it as a brine for our proteins. Since tea is naturally acidic, it makes the perfect brine — denaturing the protein strands of meat, tenderizing it,” says Sara Bradley, owner/proprietor of freight house in Paducah, Kentucky.
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“It not only makes the meat more tender and juicy, but the natural caramel color of the tea and its sugar help give the meat a beautiful golden brown color during cooking,” Bradley added.
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Sweet Tea Brined Chicken by Sara Bradley of freight house
Makes 2-4 servings
Prep time: 15 minutes (some prep days in advance)
Cook time: 60 minutes
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1 gallon water
4 tea bags
1 cup salt
1 cup sugar
1 whole chicken (can be cut or whole)
1. Bring the water, sugar and salt to a boil. Steep the tea bags in the water mixture for 10 minutes.
2. Strain the brine and let cool.
3. Pour cooled brine over chicken and let sit for 24-48 hours.
4. Drain chicken, let sit uncovered in the fridge for up to 24 hours. The skin will dry out and get super crispy during cooking.
5. Roast chicken at 375° F for 15 minutes per pound or until internal temp is 165° F.
This original recipe is owned by freighthousefood.com and was shared with Fox News Digital.
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