I have been making this Sweet Tea Brined Chicken recipe for several years now, and it’s one of my all time favorite chicken recipes.
I like to make more than we would eat at dinner, shred the leftovers, and use it for salads and wraps throughout the week.
Work smarter, not harder…right?! 😉
This could be used for any bone-in chicken such as thighs, legs, wings, or (my favorite) split chicken breasts.
This dish does need to brine for at least 24 hours, so make sure you plan ahead.
Bring 3 cups of water to a boil, then remove from heat.
How to Make Sweet Tea Brined Chicken
Add 6 tea bags and let that steep for about 10 minutes.
Then remove the tea bags.
Next, add the brown sugar and kosher salt, stir until those are dissolved.
Then add garlic slices, a bunch of fresh thyme, some lime wedges, and black peppercorns.
Once this mixture is cooled, pour it into a gallon size bag along with 2 pounds of chicken.
It’s very important to let it cool, or it will slightly cook the chicken.
Maybe add a few ice cubes if you’re in a hurry.
Set the bag in a bowl (just in case of leakage…yikes, that would be awful)!
Place in the fridge for at least 24 hours.
Ok, fast forward 24 hours, you’ll remove the chicken from the brine, and throw that away.
Then, pat the chicken dry because this will create a crispier skin.
To season or not to season?
You can season very lightly with some season salt and pepper.
You really don’t have to season at all because the brine has this jam packed full of flavor already.
I just like the little bit of season salt on the skin.
Which arguably, in my family, is the best part 😉
Place the chicken in a 9×13 baking dish, or on a lined baking sheet.
And into a 425 degree oven for 40-50 minutes, depending on the cut of chicken you are using.
These split chicken breasts took 50 minutes, but smaller cuts like wings and thighs may only take 40.
The flavor of this sweet tea brined chicken is crazy amazing and I really hope you love this dish as much as we do!
An easy side dish to go along with this sweet tea brined chicken recipe is
Also try Pickle Brined Chicken!
Leftover chicken? Shred it and make Avocado Chicken Salad Wraps
Sweet Tea Brined Chicken
A simple brine makes this chicken extra unique and flavorful.
- 3 cups water
- 6 tea bags
- 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
- 1/4 cup kosher salt
- 3 garlic cloves sliced
- 1/2 lime cut into wedges
- 10 whole black peppercorns
- 1 bunch fresh thyme
- 2 pounds bone in chicken (split chicken breasts, thighs, or legs)
- Optional: season salt, pepper
Put 3 cups water into a saucepan, bring to a boil and remove from stove. Add tea bags and let steep for 10 minutes. Remove tea bags.
To the saucepan with the tea, add brown sugar and kosher salt. Stir until dissolved. Add garlic cloves, lime wedges, whole black peppercorns, and fresh thyme. Let this mixture come to room temperature (add a few ice cubes if needed).
Place chicken in a shallow dish or gallon size baggie. Pour the sweet tea brine over top of the chicken. Set in the fridge for at least 24 hours.
After the chicken has brined for 24 hours, remove from the brine and discard the brine. Pat chicken dry and place in a 9×13 dish or a baking sheet.
If desired, sprinkle with a small amount of season salt and pepper, or if you prefer, no seasoning at all. Bake at 425 degrees for 40-50 minutes (split chicken breasts may take 50 minutes, thighs or legs may only take 40 minutes).
Note: brines for 24 hours before cooking