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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.
“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.
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
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.