Kitchen Q&A

Don’t confuse brining with water-chilling chickens


The Charlotte Observer

Q: Someone told me that all poultry is brined before packaging. Is that correct? If it is, should I still brine the poultry before cooking?

A: Your source may have confused brining with water-chilling. In the poultry industry, chickens are chilled during processing. The cheapest and most efficient way to do that is with a cold-water bath. However, it also results in watery chicken that has less flavor.

There are other chickens on the market that are air-chilled instead, including most free-range chicken. They aren’t as watery, but they are more expensive.

Brining involves soaking meat in a saltwater solution. That does two things: It removes blood and impurities and it adds moisture and flavor.

Recipes that call for brining do it to make the chicken taste better. However, kosher chickens, such as Empire, have been brined to cleanse them, so if you buy a kosher chicken, you shouldn’t brine it or it may be too salty.

Read more Food stories from the Miami Herald

Try it: The flavors of olive tapenade pop in a surprising way when you make it at home.


    Got olives? Try tapenade at home

    Olive tapenade, an earthy, salty paste of olives, capers, anchovies, garlic and other flavorings, is easy to find jarred in specialty shops. But when you whip up a batch yourself at home, the flavors pop in a surprising way that makes you never want to buy it in a jar again.

 <span class="cutline_leadin">Cold corn:</span> Vichyssoise is just one option of a refreshing soup during a hot summer.


    Dive in to a big bowl of cold soup this summer

    The sun is blazing. The sweat is dripping. The air feels as if it is sticking to your skin.

 <span class="cutline_leadin">Popular spot:</span> Yambo Nicaraguan Restaurant is located at 1643 SW First St. in Miami’s Little Havana neighborhood.

    Miami Flavors

    Miami Flavors: Spotlight on Nicaraguan food, ingredients

    The varied cuisine of Nicaragua, from chicken-filled nacatamales to cheesy quesillos, is well represented in Miami.

Miami Herald

Join the

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category