JohnJohn Juniper Pale Ale Beer Brine For Chicken Breasts

Adjusting the brine to not only the protein being featured, but the flavor profile of the beer creates a unique opportunity to showcase a beers complexity and what it adds to food as an ingredient. Makes: 1 gallon of brine Ingredients:

1 Cup kosher salt
2 tablespoon black peppercorns, ground
¼ cup honey
¼ cup sugar
3 each shallots, peeled and chopped
8 each bay leaves, preferably fresh
3 each oranges, halved
1 bunch sage leaves, chopped
1 bunch thyme, chopped
2 quart water
66 ounce Rogue Ales JohnJohn Juniper Pale Ale (3 twenty two oz bottles)
8 each chicken breasts, skin on, 8-12 ounce each or 1 large chicken


In a large pot, add the salt, peppercorns, honey, sugar, shallots, bay leaves, oranges, sage, thyme and water. Turn heat to medium, stir occasionally until the mixture comes to a boil, making sure the salt and sugar have dissolved into the mixture. Turn off heat and let sit, to infuse the flavors, and cool to room temp. Add the cold beer and mix well. Make sure the brine is below 40°, in order to keep the chicken cold. Add the brine to a container that is large enough to hold both the brine and displacement of the poultry. Add the breasts (or whole chicken), placing a plate of other heavy water proof item to weigh the breasts down so they are completely submerged in the brine and refrigerate for at least 12-24 hours. The general rule of thumb is to brine 12 hours per 1 pound of meat. If you brine longer than that, you can risk having an over salty piece of meat/poultry.

Remove the chicken from the brine ideally 12 – 24 hours before cooking; keep the breasts refrigerated and uncovered. This will help the meat dry, continue to distribute the added flavor and not over brine the meat. The dryness is important to create a extra crispy golden brown skin.

Executive Chef Sean Z. Paxton

Cook the breasts by either searing, grilling, roasting or smoking to an internal temperature of 160˚F. Remove from the heat source, letting the protein finish cooking by way of carry over heat, bringing the final temperature to 165˚F. This step will allowing the meats juices to re-distribute themselves throughout the breast and not overcook. Serve and enjoy.

Executive Chef Sean Z. Paxton