Hi there, and congrats on a great smoke. Birds look amazing. Good job. I don't know what recipe you used for your brine, but you may not want to give up trying it again just yet. I'm with Fireitup, cut back on the salt. The thing about poultry is that it takes a brine better than any other cut of meat. Therefore, if you have a mixture of ingredients included in the brine, they will leech into the meat with the help of the brine. In case you did not see the recipe that Jeff has about brine and poultry, I am including his on a Turkey, which works just fire for chicken too.Brining Meat Ingredients and Process
The water to salt ratio is 1:16 or 1 cup of Kosher salt per gallon of non-chlorinated water. I usually require around 2 gallons of water to cover a 12 pound turkey and therefore I use 2 cups of kosher salt. Any seasonings you choose to add after the base solution should contain little or no salt else the brining meat you are using can become too salty. I use a brick inside a large zip-loc bag to keep the turkey submerged.
Here is a recipe I use occasionally:
2 Gal Water
2 Cups Kosher Salt
3 Cups Sugar
1/4 Cup Zatarains Liquid Crab Boil
4 TBS Black Pepper
1 TBS Dried Rosemary
1 TBS Thyme
1/4 Cup Molasses
1/4 Cup White Wine (not Cooking Wine)
1/4 Cup Worcestershire
I have used this recipe a few times and it is very good. I have however, cut the salt in half, I only use one cup and it still turns out great. If your just going to do one bird, say a 5# chicken, cut the recipe in half, otherwise, the about amounts would be good for 2 birds at a time. And dont limit yourself to just the ingrediants above. If you know a certain flavor you like, incorporate it into the mix, and if you know you dont like a certain spice, take it out. I have also done a basic black pepper, onion rosemary and garlic recipe and was fanstastic.