Dr. Pepper-Bourbon Brine

chicken and brine in a bagI’m trying a new brine tonight. I’ve cut two chicken breast fillets into skewer-size pieces and put them in a Ziploc bag. They’ll be in the refrigerator for about 48 hours, due to plans for dinner out tomorrow night, but the alcohol should keep any bacteria at bay.

In a mixing bowl I combined:

1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup Dr. Pepper
1/4 cup bourbon (I used Evan Williams)
a few shakes of salt
a few shakes of black pepper
a few shakes of ground cloves

I stirred it all together with a fork, put the chicken in the bag and then poured in the brine. Looking back, it would’ve been easier if I’d used a large Pyrex measuring cup instead of a mixing bowl, or just poured all the brine ingredients into the bag, sealed it, mixed it by mashing it with my hands until blended and then added the meat. Oh, well. Next time.

The final product was tender and flavorful, but not overly juicy, so I may have just cooked them too long. First I got the grilling surface good and hot on both sides, with some hickory chips in the smoker boxes on the right. Then I turned them both down to medium and put on the skewers. They got a few minutes on one side, then the other, then back and forth one more time each. The second round is when they got basted with a good coat of the Dr. Pepper barbecue sauce. Some folks like a mustard-based sauce, some like vinegar. Others like sweet and smoky, or maybe even molasses or honey. I definitely fall in the sweet category. But still others prefer it hot and peppery. That was my impression of this sauce, and I couldn’t really tell that there was any Dr. Pepper flavor to it. So it made an okay glaze, but I definitely needed a refill on my iced tea before it was all said and done.

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