I have been wanting to try brining a whole chicken, but I'm on a low-carb diet and I can't find any recipes that don't contain sugar. Has anyone tried brining with Splenda? Is the sugar essential? Does anyone have a recipe that works that doesn't contain sugar?
Another idea - buy a kosher chicken. For not much more money, you get a "salted", not brined chicken. I believe non-Kosher keepers would agree they have a better taste. Kosher chicken is very completely salted (to remove blood) and that does the trick for some people.
And they are soaked as well. The original brined chicken.
If using a kosher chicken, I would suggest reducing the salt in any recipe you use. I made a meatloaf on Sunday using kosher ground beef and used the prescribed 1 tsp. salt for 1 1/2 lbs. of ground meat. Ouch! Grandma did not keep kosher.
I think you can get away with leaving out the sugar. As I understand it, anything other than the water and the salt is more for flavor than chemistry.
Before you cook your brined chicken, be sure to rinse it well and dry it. I always put a cut-up lemon, some onion and a sprig of thyme or rosemary inside the bird before cooking.
Brining makes an average bird taste fabulous, and a great one even better. Good luck.