“Drunk” chicken breasts – Scotch Whiskey brine


Well yeah, I’m a wee bit Scotch fan. Actually, there’s not even a single Irish or American whiskey in my bar – only Scotch single malts and couple of blends, like Ballantine’s and Johnny Walker. So for me pouring a shot or two of my favorite amber liquid into a sauce or a marinade was nothing but a matter of time. My first attempt was to add it to a brine, and what’s more natural to be brined than chicken breasts? Right!

So here we go – very simple brine, spiked with couple of shots of 12 years old Ballantine’s.

  • 2 tbsp kosher or coarse sea salt
  • 4 tbsp brown or turbinado sugar
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns, whole
  • 10-12 allspice berries, whole
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/4 cup your favorite Scotch (as I said, I used Ballantine’s)
  • 3-4 lemon slices
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed with a side of a cleaver

The brine is a standard boiled brine – combine all the spices but the garlic, lemon and Scotch in a saucepan, add 2 cups of water, bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Then – off the heat, add 2 cups of ice cold water, let cool to a room temperature, pour in the Scotch, add garlic and lemon slices. That’s it! ๐Ÿ™‚

This will be enough for 2 whole chicken breasts. I usually cut them in half and trim the thin fillet flap (I use them for a Thai satai skewers). To brine, place the chicken breast halves in a plastic bag (resealable if you have one), pour the brine in and refrigerate 5-6 hours.

Set up your grill to direct grilling on highย heat (that’s count of up to 2 seconds with your hand above the grate until you scream “Ouch!” ๐Ÿ™‚ ). Grill the chicken breasts 10-12 minutes, turning only once half way through. The meat should be completely white and feel firm to touch. If you prefer the thermometer – it’s at 165F in the thickest part.

Don’t forget to let rest for 5-10 minutes before serving :).


2 comments on ““Drunk” chicken breasts – Scotch Whiskey brine

  1. Hey this sounds fantastic! I bet your Scotch brine with quails, Cornish hens, and much poultry would work so beautifully! You have great recipes!! Terrific to see! Cheers! – Leah


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