Sunday is Mother’s Day. Happy Mother’s Day to all mothers and stepmothers who are doing their best and have kids who know it. We are the lucky ones.
If you celebrate with your family and are lucky enough to celebrate with your own mothers, then this chicken should be on your menu. It is THE bbq chicken of your life. I am not even joking. This shit is amazing and it is all because of the brine.
Brining chicken is something I do every time I make chicken – especially on the bone. And while it is a no brainer for now, it wasn’t before…I had to be dragged into the brine club kicking and screaming. I don’t why, other than that I used to think I already knew everything and no one was going to tell me otherwise…but as the story of my life in pretty much all areas goes – I was wrong. Brining is awesome and makes a huge difference.
The typical brine ratio is four tablespoons salt to four cups of water, and then you build from there by adding herbs, citrus, garlic or sugar. This is what I use for pork all the time, and I can’t imagine eating pork chops without brining first.
For this ultimate bbq chicken, and for my fried chicken (which will be for another post), I brine in buttermilk and pickle juice or pickled jalapeno juice. Don’t laugh and don’t gag because it is f’ing awesome and will change your life and your dinners. While I could write an entire post on my love of buttermilk and the multitude of uses it has, but I will just say…chicken and buttermilk are besties and they should always go together.
The pickle/jalapeno juice is something I discovered like three months ago by accident. And now I could pretty much write an entire post on my love of it. It adds so much flavor that is ever so subtle. The kids notice that it tastes like “something delicious” but they can’t tell me what that something is…and I sure as hell am not going to tell them – they would gag for sure. This jar of sweet and spicy jalapenos from Trader Joe’s has become a necessity in my kitchen. So much so, that I buy like four jars every time I shop there. I use the jalapeno and the liquid in cole slaw, salad dressing, hard-boiled eggs, tuna salad, chicken salad and now, brining. It is a touch of heat and balances the sour of the buttermilk and the salt in the brine. And the chicken just drinks that shit up. Just an hour or so in the brine is all you need – you can throw it all in a big bowl while prepping the rest of your meal and just throw right on the grill. Brush with your favorite bbq sauce (sometimes I make my own and sometimes I don’t) and your golden. The chicken ends up moist (I seriously hate that word but I am at a loss for another word), crisp and gone from my table.
I have brunch with all five of mine on Sunday before two go with their mother and three go with their father to visit their grandmother, but if we were having family dinner, this would be it. We had this not too long ago and everyone loved it – and I don’t know if it is just me or what, but when all seven of us are together eating the shit out of something we love, dinner just seems to be more awesome…there is more chatting, more jokes and more laughing. And Mother’s Day should be like that for every one 🙂
THE bbq chicken
- Quart of buttermilk
- Four teaspoons of salt
- ¼ cup of pickle juice or the sweet and soicy jalapeno juice
- pinch of white pepper (or black if you don’t have to trick your kids into eating pepper like I do
- Five bone-in chicken breast or boneless if you prefer, rinsed
- Two chicken thighs rinsed
- Eight chicken legs all of this is chicken is what I made for seven people, so adjust accordingly, rinsed
- Bbq sauce of your choosing
In a large bowl or catering pan combine the first four ingredients and mix together. Place all the chicken in the bowl and toss to get it all covered in the brine. I leave sit on the counter for an hour or so, but you could cover and put in fridge overnight, but not longer than overnight.
Preheat your grill and drain the buttermilk but don’t rinse the chicken here. Grill until cooked completely (rare chicken is disgusting). When nearly finished brush the chicken with sauce to carmelize and stick to it. Serve extra sauce at the table for those who like it drowned in sauce, but I am telling you that you won’t need it…this will be juicy and delicious without any extra 🙂