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! 🙂
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 high heat (that’s count of up to 2 seconds with your hand above the grate until you scream “Ouch!” 🙂 ). 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 :).