Thursday, February 6, 2014



  1. Peel garlic cloves and set aside.
  2. Place the ziploc bag inside an appropriately-sized bowl to help the bag stand up-right.
  3. Pour into the bag the water, then add in the garlic cloves, sea salt, coconut aminos, bay leaf, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, and peppercorns. Stir with your hand or large spoon to help dissolve the salt and spices.
  4. Place your chicken into the brine.
  5. Seal the bag and, while remaining inside the bowl, place it in the refrigerator for two hours.
  6. Take the chicken out of the brine and rinse well to remove any seeds that may have gotten stuck to it. Set it in a colander to dry. 
  7. At this point you can either cook the chicken or wrap it up and refrigerate it to be cooked another day. The chicken will survive in the refrigerator like this for about 2-3 days.**
*Coconut aminos can be substituted with low-sodium soy sauce; however, using soy sauce will end up making this recipe non-Paleo.
**Always cook or bake chicken until the inside temperature reaches 160-165 degrees Fahrenheit. (Buy a meat thermometer if you do not have one!)

Details and Tips for New Cooks

INGREDIENTS: For new cooks, a lot of items on here, especially the spices and coconut aminos, will be very new to you. Don't be intimidated by this - I promise this recipe is easy peasy! 

SPICES: The following items can be found at pretty much any grocery store (I found them all at Safeway); sea salt, bay leaf, whole coriander seeds, whole cumin seeds, and whole black peppercorns. The whole seeds are a little harder to find, only because they're obviously not as commonly used as spices such as salt, pepper, and cinnamon; however, I was able to still find them right at my local grocery just took me a little longer to sort through all the brands of spices to find them.

COCONUT AMINOS: The coconut aminos is going to be harder to find. But, with technology right at our fingertips nowadays this still should not intimidate you from searching for the item. Amazon is always a great place to turn to whenever you're having a hard time finding a certain recipe item. Another good place to look is your local health food stores as they are more likely to stock the more healthy-alternative items than regular grocery stores. Coconut aminos is actually a healthier (and paleo) version of soy sauce. If you absolutely cannot find coconut aminos by the time you want to prepare this brine recipe then using soy sauce in it's place will work just fine.

CHICKEN: For the chicken, the recipe says 2-3 pounds. I actually purchased a package of chicken breasts that weighed about 2.93 pounds and had five very good-sized breasts in it. I only ended up putting four of the breasts in to the brine and the fifth one I wrapped up and stuck in the freezer for a different meal. The four ended up being the perfect amount for the brine, as well as the spice blend I ended up using later before baking them. This is something you will just have to "eyeball". If the chicken breasts you bought seem a lot smaller, then maybe five breasts will work better for you. In my experience with this amount of brine produced by this recipe, about 2- to 2.3-pounds of chicken is what worked best. Remember, if it ends up making too much, you can always wrap the chicken up and put it in the fridge to make the next day.

COOKING/BAKING/STORING: After your chicken has sat in the brine, in the refrigerator, for 2-hours and you have rinsed the chicken well then it is now time to either cook it, bake it, or wrap it up to save for later. If you wrap it up to save for later it will keep well in the refrigerator for about 2-3 days - this would be a good idea for pre-prepared chicken throughout the week for those trying to stay on a healthier diet and stick to a meal plan. After it's sat in the brine though, I wouldn't put it in the freezer due to it soaking in so much water. Keep your chicken and meals fresh by following the directions. If you need to freeze chicken to keep it longer, freeze it until you are ready to brine it knowing that afterwards you will be ready to consume it within about 3-days of the brine bath. Whenever you do cook or bake it, I suggest coating it in your favorite spice blend or rub.

If you are going to cook the chicken on a grill I suggest placing the chicken smooth side down onto a preheated grill (preheated on high heat with the lid closed for about 10 minutes) for about four minutes then flip and cook for an additional 3-4 minutes.**

You can also use the oven to bake the chicken if you prefer this method, or if you don't have a grill. Place the chicken on a non-stick baking pan, smooth side down. Bake in a preheated oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for about 20 minutes.**

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