Brining chicken with oranges is an easy way to enhance the meat’s flavor.
With a $1 fruit and a pan of salted ice water, you can make your chicken taste like a million dollars. The ice and salt help drain foul-tasting blood from the flesh.
Refrigerate the chicken in the cold water overnight, and it’ll be ready.
This is a German tradition that I learned from a late friend. James H. Slusser promised my chicken dishes — whether Indian or Italian — would taste better. And he was right!
- 1.25 lbs. Chicken thigh, boneless and skinless*
- 1 Navel orange
- 1 Tray of ice cubes
*Chicken breast can be used instead.
Fill pan with enough water to cover chicken. Add ice cubes.
Peel orange. I cut the skin with a knife first, then peeled it off with my bare hands.
Separate orange into slices.
Add slices and skin to pan.
Sprinkle salt to taste.
Add chicken. I cut mine into chunks with scissors first.
Cover pan with aluminum foil. Refrigerate overnight or for a few hours.
Remove chicken from pan, then pat dry with paper towel. Discard orange. Cook chicken with your favorite recipes.
Ingredients cost $7.72. Here’s a breakdown of my shopping bill:
- Chicken thighs, produced by Perdue: $3.73
- Orange, Sunkist: $1
- EZ Foil roaster pan, Hefty: $2.99
Had I bought chicken breast instead, meat alone would have cost $7.49. As for the Hefty aluminum pan, I purchased it so I can have a pan specifically for brining or marinating.
- Chicken thighs taste better than chicken breasts. They’re cheaper, too.
- Brining with orange can enhance other types of meat. For Thanksgiving, my friend soaked his turkey in this citrus solution.
- I can’t remember what he said about fish. I’ll test this with salmon for a future blog post.
Who was Slusser?
He was a well-known man in my town. You can read his obituary, but an obituary rarely tells you anything about a man’s character. It barely scratches the surface of its subject’s life. In an upcoming post, I’ll write briefly about my friend and my debt to him.