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Apr 26, 2013 07:31 AM

What's the shortest you've brined a Zuni-style chicken with good results?

I forgot to brine a Zuni-style chicken my usual 2 days which I have had great results with. I'm just wondering what's the shortest amount of time you've brined a Zuni with good results?

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  1. I actually had one that I didn't brine at all. Can't remember why. Maybe thought I was going to do something else with it. IIRC, it was still good. Can't remember, did you do the Hazan lemon one?

    1 Reply
    1. You mean th dry "brine" i.e. pre salting? One day actually works pretty well.

      1 Reply
      1. re: JudiAU

        Yea, the dry brine. I imagine you need at least a few hours.

      2. I've Zuni brined skin on, bone in breasts in a couple of hours. It still came out juicy and crispy.

        7 Replies
        1. re: beetlebug

          I've thought of doing this with either breasts or thighs or just a cut up chicken. What cooking times do you usually use?

          1. re: fldhkybnva

            I've only done it with a bone in, skin on breast. But, total time is about 30 minutes. I end up taking off 5-10 minutes for each flip depending on the size of the breast. It's worked out well but just as messy with splatter as a full bird.

            1. re: beetlebug

              I generally hold CHOW in pretty low esteem but I've made the many times with great success.


              It's funny that so many people talk about the mess. Sure it smokes when I take it out to flip but otherwise it's not a particular problem.

              1. re: c oliver

                For me, the mess is from the splatter of the grease on to the oven floor and walls. The smoke I can take, the problem with the grease is that it continues to smoke every time I use the oven. The good thing is that it's now warm and cool enough weather that I can self-clean the oven and open my windows.

                1. re: beetlebug

                  What I'm saying is that I don't have that problem.

                  1. re: beetlebug

                    Ahh yes, I don't get smoke but I definitely get splatter and when I use the oven without a self-clean afterwards it smokes until the splatter is cleared.

                  2. re: c oliver

                    Yea, we never really have any smoke issues either but I use a pretty small bird (2.5-3.25 lbs) so perhaps less fat accumulates which can smoke.

            2. I thought of this thread last evening. I'd bought a 99 cent a pound chicken to roast for sandwiches. I don't particularly like deli meat and it seems nuts to pay the prices for something that's not all that good. I thawed it uncovered in the fridge Saturday night and then just left it there all day yesterday. No seasonings, just airdrying. No reason, just never got around to salting it. Cooked it a la Zuni and it was great. Since I couldn't do side by side tasting, it's hard to say if it was AS good as but it was plenty good. Just checking in.

              4 Replies
              1. re: c oliver

                Great, thanks for the feedback. I usually leave my turkey out overnight without salting or any sort of brine and it dries out well in that time alone so makes sense that it worked for the chicken.

                1. re: fldhkybnva

                  And I've bought air-dried chickens at WF, mainly cause they're not usually AS big.

                  1. re: c oliver

                    WF air-chilled chickens are the only chickens I have ever prepared Zuni-style because they are the only ones small enough although even there I have to dig around a bit to find a good-sized chicken.

                    1. re: fldhkybnva

                      The organic ones at Costco don't seem AS huge. And this bird was between 4 and 5#! Still really good.