Brining is the key to saturating meat with flavor and bursting-at-the-seams juiciness - especially when it comes to poultry. (If you haven't tried brining your Thanksgiving turkey, you've got to try it!) Brining is simply soaking the meat in a salt/water/and usually sugar mixture. Top it off with one of our favorite sauces, our Mandarin Glaze, and you've got a quick home-cooked homerun on your hands.
Find this recipe in our Traeger's Everyday Cookbook.
JUICY BRINED CHICKEN BREASTS WITH MANDARIN GLAZE
PREP TIME: 5 minutes plus brine for 2 hours
COOK TIME: 25 minutes
SERVES: 6 to 8
RECOMMENDED PELLETS: Apple, Cherry
2 quarts cold water
1/2 cup kosher salt, or 1/4 cup if using table salt
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup soy sauce
8 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, each about 6 ounces after tenders are removed (see Note below)
Traeger Mandarin Glaze, or Chinese sweet chili sauce or sweet and sour sauce
2 scallions (green onions), trimmed and very thinly sliced, for garnish (optional)
Make the brine:
Pour the water, salt, brown sugar, and soy sauce into a large mixing bowl and stir until the sugar and salt dissolve. Submerge the chicken breasts in the brine, cover, and refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours (no longer, please or it will be too salty - 2 hours is probably plenty).
Drain the chicken, rinse and pat dry on paper towels. Discard the brine.
Note: The small flap of meat on the underside of a chicken breast is called the tender. Oftentimes, the butcher has already removed it. The breast will grill more evenly and look more attractive if you remove the tender and grill it separately.
Grill the chicken:
When ready to cook, start the Traeger grill on Smoke with the lid open until the fire is established (4 to 5 minutes). Set the temperature to 350 degrees F and preheat, lid closed, for 10 to 15 minutes.
Arrange the chicken breasts on the grill grate and cook, turning once halfway through the cooking time, for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the internal temperature, when read on an instant-read meat thermometer is 170 degrees F.
Brush the chicken breasts with the Traeger Mandarin Glaze during the last few minutes of cooking.
Remove to a platter or plates and serve with steamed rice and sprinkle the chicken breasts with chopped scallions for garnish.