The Bird is the Word – Brined Grilled Chicken

Chicken dinners have been gracing tables for centuries, usually as a luxury or to mark special occasions. I’ve heard tales of proposals of marrige being made after a hearty roast chicken meal or grisly stories of eating an old feathered friend of the yard when their glory days had past.
Today, chicken is a everyday food enjoyed by the masses and we serve it in a multitude of styles. In short, we take it for granted and often deny the attention to details that a great bird deserves.  Let’s take the time and treat chicken like royalty today.  The results might just win you hearts and admirers!


  • 1 3-4 lb whole chicken
  • ½ gallon of water
  • ½ cup kosher salt
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 tsp dried tarragon
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary
  • ½ tsp crushed peppercorns
  • ½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 head of garlic, sliced on the bottom to expose cloves
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup white wine vinegar


  1. Combine all brine ingredients in a large pot.  Bring to simmer to dissolve salt and sugar.  Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature.  (You could also use your crockpot for this step)
  2. Add chicken to brine in large pot (or removable crock), weighing down with a plate over it if necessary to keep submerged in liquid OR combine brine and chicken in a 2 gallon freezer bag and refridgerate. (A gallon bag may work depending on the size of your chicken)
  3. Brine chicken for at least 12 hours, but no longer than 48 hours.
  4. Preheat/Start the grill.
  5. Remove from brine and place chicken on a v-rack with a roasting pan under it.
  6. Add 2 cups of water and 2 cups of the brine mixture to the roasting pan.
  7. Cover pan tightly with foil, cook for roughly an hour at high heat.  Check occasionally, adding water if needed, rotating bird, or moving pan to adjust for hot spots on grill.
  8. Cook the last 15-20 minutes with foil removed in order to achieve a nice golden skin.
  9. Remove from grill and allow chicken to rest uncovered for 5 minutes.
  10. Carve and enjoy!

Other methods of cooking can be in a preheated 450° oven following the grilling instructions OR in the crockpot on high for 4-6 hours with NO liquid added, just the chicken.  Don’t let that chicken carcass go to waste either!  You can store it in a sealed bag in the freeze and use it to make Stock from Scratch!