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Martini Poultry Brine

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 
I think this might be the right place to post this since it is poultry-specific. biggrin.gif If it should have been posted in a different folder, please let me know.

So here’s the story. I decided to try my hand at smoking a chicken, and from reading SMF, knew that I wanted to brine it first. So last Friday I did a few keyword searches, and read a bunch of brine recipes. A number of them looked good to me, but I was having trouble deciding on the “right” one. Some included wine, one used Jack Daniels, and another called for whole juniper berries.

A Friday night tradition at our house is to celebrate the weekend’s arrival with a couple of ice-cold Martinis. Maybe that was in the back of my mind, because I found myself thinking about gin and dry vermouth. Juniper berries are one of the botanicals that are used to flavor gin, and I have used dry vermouth to deglaze the pan when sautéing chicken to make a quick sauce. So the Martini Brine was born. It’s based on one of the brine recipes I found and liked with martini ingredients added until it seemed right.

The smoked chicken turned out great. I couldn’t believe how moist the breast meat was. I plan to use my Martini Brine on a bone-in turkey breast next. So in case anyone else would like to give it a try, here’s the recipe. If anyone tries it and thinks of a way to improve on it, I’d love to hear about it. Everyone on SMF has been so helpful that it’s a pleasure to contribute something back to the group.


Paul’s Martini Poultry Brine

1 gallon water, divided
¾ cup sea salt
¾ cup brown sugar
2 tbsp black pepper
4 garlic cloves, crushed
3 sprigs fresh rosemary
1 tbsp thyme
1 tbsp onion powder
¼ cup real maple syrup
¼ cup soy sauce
¾ cup gin
¾ cup dry vermouth
A healthy dollop of brine from a bottle of green olives

Add the salt and sugar to 1 qt of water and bring to a boil stirring until dissolved. Turn off heat and add the pepper, garlic, rosemary, thyme, onion powder and maple syrup. Cover and allow to steep while it cools to room temp. Pour into a larger container and add the remaining water, soy sauce, gin, vermouth and green olive brine. Stir to mix. Refrigerate until cold. Gently separate the skin from the breast meat and submerge poultry in brine overnight keeping it cooled to 40 degrees or less.
post #2 of 2

Thank you for this recipe. The idea of martini flavors with chicken is genius to me. I  am trying it on a couple of chickens tomorrow. That brine makes a lot of liquid. I was able to use one batch of brine for two birds. Have you toyed with juniper berries in the brine? They are the main herb in gin. Here’s a pic of the birds in the brine before heading off the the ice chest.



Quick note: I got a MES 30 for Christmas, and broke it in last weekend with some pulled pork. This weekend is my boy’s birthday and I plan to smoke some chickens and brisket for his parties. I have many questions heading into this weekend, and will try to post each question is it’s proper place. After which I will try to cross link the posts in case anyone is interested.





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