In addition to exploring the wonders of tea as a drink, afternoon tea parties, and foods to serve with tea, I wanted to pair the tea with our everyday cooking. Coffee is used in many recipes as a rub and seasoning, so what could tea bring to meals other than as a drink. I researched several websites and found many recipes using tea as part of a recipe. The recipe down below caught my attention. My orginal plan was to smoke a chicken with tea as a marinade and apart of the wood chips; however, as most of us understand, life got a little busy. And I found myself with very little time and an overwhelmed feeling that many steps can produce. So I decided to use this recipe. The recipe came together rather easily without many ingredients that were not already in my pantry. The boiling and steeping does take an extra 10 minutes, but I was able to do the dishes while the tea steeped. The result: very juicy chicken. The flavor was wonderful. I could taste the complex citrus throughout the meat; the whole “taste committee” (my husband) enjoyed the meat. While this recipe cannot be made when you get home from work, it can be made the morning of and be ready within 45 minutes of your arrival home. In addition to a enjoyable meal, the taste is different from the normal chicken dinner. I hope you enjoy. If you are every visiting during Thanksgiving, this will probably be what I use to brine my turkey. I have to have tea in all parts of my life! 😉
Lemon-Tea Brined Chicken
Adapted from Epicurious.com
- 2 cup of boiled water
- 3 bags of Earl Grey tea
- 1 lemon, yellow part peeled and juiced
- 2/3 cup brown sugar
- 2-4 chicken thighs (or any other kind of chicken meat)
Steep the tea in the water for 5 minutes. Add the lemon peel and brown sugar. Stir until the sugar is dissolved. Add the lemon juice. Place the chicken thighs in a big plastic bag and pour the brine over it. Place the plastic bag in a container, and place in the refrigerator. Let it sit in the brine for 6-24 hours.
Drain the brine. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Place the chicken thighs in a baking dish, spray with cooking spray, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for 30-45 minutes until the internal temperature is 175 degrees and the juices run clear. Serve with lemon wedges.
This recipe is very versatile. One can brine an entire chicken or any type of chicken meat. If one were do brine an entire chicken, double the brine recipe. One could also grill the chicken after it has sat in the brine.