Everyone knows that us southerners love our sweet tea. That’s just a fact. I’d venture to say that we love it more than fried bologna sandwiches. More than grits. Even more than NASCAR.

So when I stumbled upon this recipe, I knew I had to make it. I mean, it’s chicken that you soak in sweet tea! There was no way I could skip this one. The brine itself also includes lemon slices and rosemary which are two of my favorite things to use on chicken!

It was absolutely perfect. If you didn’t know that the brine included tea you probably wouldn’t be able to guess – the flavor is very subtle but still different enough to make you wonder what it is. You could very easily use the leftover meat in a casserole or something similar without worrying that everything would taste like tea.

The brine did it’s job and kept the chicken super moist. My kids just gobbled it up!

One year ago:  Rather Sweet Sangria
Two years ago:  Vanilla Ice Cream with Fudge and Peanut Butter Filled Pretzels
Three years ago: Blueberry Buttermilk Cake
Four years ago: Yogurt Pops

Sweet Tea-Brined Chicken
from Southern Living
  • 2 family-size tea bags
  • ½ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • ¼ cup kosher salt
  • 1 small sweet onion thinly sliced
  • 1 lemon thinly sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves halved
  • 2 fresh rosemary sprigs
  • 1 tablespoon freshly cracked pepper
  • 2 cups ice cubes
  • 1 about 4 pound cut-up chicken
  1. Bring 4 cups water to a boil in a heavy saucepan; add tea bags. Remove from heat; cover and steep 10 minutes.
  2. Discard tea bags. Stir in brown sugar, salt, onion, lemon, garlic, rosemary, and pepper; stir until sugar is dissolved. Cool completely (about 45 minutes); stir in ice. You want the mixture to be cold when you add the chicken.
  3. Place tea mixture and chicken in a large zip-top plastic freezer bag; seal. Place bag in a shallow baking dish and chill 24 hours. Remove chicken from marinade, discarding marinade; use paper towels to pat chicken dry.
  4. Light one side of grill, heating to 300F to 350F (medium) heat; leave other side unlit. Place chicken, skin side down, over unlit side, and grill, covered with grill lid, 20 minutes. Turn chicken, and grill, covered with grill lid, 40 to 50 minutes or until done. Transfer chicken, skin side down, to lit side of grill, and grill 2 to 3 minutes or until skin is crispy. Let stand 5 minutes before serving. Serve with grilled lemon slices and rosemary.