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A whole chicken in a pot of brine

Quick Chicken Brine

An easy, quick chicken brine that creates the most flavorful and tender chicken and poultry.

Course Technique
Cuisine American
Keyword chicken brine, easy, quick, turkey
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Brining time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 20 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Calories 178 kcal
Author Cheryl Malik


  • 15 ounces water 1/2 liter
  • 3 ounces salt 100 grams
  • couple of sprigs fresh herbs like rosemary, thyme, or parsley
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 15 ounces ice 500 grams ice, or 15 ounces of ice water
  • 1 3-4 pound chicken or chicken pieces

Wine Pairings (NOT for Whole30!) — See Notes


  1. Combine water, salt, and aromatics (garlic, herbs, etc.) in a medium saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil. Cover and remove from heat. Let stand for 10 minutes.

    Combine your water, salt, garlic, and herbs in a saucepan and dissolve the salt completely. Bring to a boil.
  2. Place ice (or ice water) in a large bowl (or very large measuring cup) and pour brine over ice. Stir until ice is melted.

    Pour hot brine over ice and stir to dissolve ice completely.
  3. Place chicken in a large plastic bag and pour brine over chicken. Seal and let sit at room temperature for 2 to 3 hours, or refrigerate for 4 to 6 hours. Drain chicken and pat dry. Use in any recipe, but make sure to only lightly salt the chicken surface once you've brined it.

    A whole chicken in a pot of brine

Recipe Notes

Adapted from Michael Ruhlman.

Mark's original brine also includes:
1 small onion sliced
1 lemon halved
2 bay leaves
2 teaspoons black peppercorns, cracked beneath a saute pan

Try these extras or include your own. I keep mine simple.

Wine Pairings
NO wine on Whole30 — no exceptions. I recommend buying wine from Scout and Cellar, especially for lower carb or sugar and the health conscious. There's no added sugar to these wines, and they're all much lower in carbs, calories, and sugar. For me, there's no headache or fogginess the next day!

This brine recipe adds a great flavor to your chicken (or turkey!), so you can get away with a variety of poultry-friendly wine pairings. I recommend:

Nutrition Facts
Quick Chicken Brine
Amount Per Serving
Calories 178 Calories from Fat 108
% Daily Value*
Fat 12g18%
Saturated Fat 4g25%
Cholesterol 61mg20%
Sodium 749mg33%
Potassium 160mg5%
Carbohydrates 1g0%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 15g30%
Vitamin A 114IU2%
Vitamin C 2mg2%
Calcium 15mg2%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.