Sweet Tea Brined Grilled Chicken ~ Everyone’s favorite white meat brined in sweet tea and grilled to succulent perfection during a causal weeknight night cookout.
This post is sponsored by Tyson Foods, Inc., but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.
Days are longer.
The grass is green again.
Temperatures are warming.
The heater has been turned off.
Winter coats are hung back up.
Flies and mosquitos are flying about.
These are all token signs of spring and summer. All things I love, well expect those pesky flies and mosquitos, nobody loves them.
I have, what we’ve dubbed ourselves, a tribe. I have three other women who are my best friends friends. We are there for each other in any and every way we’re needed. Dinners when ill, childcare, grocery runs, vent sessions, clothing advice, and so on.
By extension, husbands and children have all become closer as well. We get together as women and we get together as families. We eat together at least once a week, however twice a week is more common. Sometimes it’s planned, other times it’s spur of the moment.
When the opportunity arose for me to work with Tyson®, Lipton®, and Ball Park®, my first thought was what a perfect ‘tribe dinner.’ Our kids LOVE hot dogs, we all love chicken, and a glass of iced tea will always hit the spot.
A plan was made. A recipe was created. An evening was selected…and what a glorious evening it was too, probably one of the warmest we’ve had yet. It truly was the perfect day to kick off a season of casual weeknight backyard cookouts with Sweet Tea Brined Grilled Chicken.
Sweet Tea Brine?
On a trip I took eons ago to Seattle, I ate (at a diner whose name I’ve since forgotten), some amazing sweet tea brined fried chicken. I completely forgot about this experience until just a few weeks ago when I was chatting with a friend about how much I love the food scene in Seattle.
I wasn’t going to make fried chicken, but why not brine some Tyson® Frozen Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts in some sweet tea using Lipton® Iced Tea Bags? So, I did, I was going to make Sweet Tea Brined Grilled Chicken Breasts.
I ran up to Walmart, grabbed some Tyson® Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts, Ball Park® Hot Dogs and Ball Park® Hot Dog Buns, and Lipton® Tea Bags and away I went.
How to Brine Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts?
Every time I have brined poultry, it’s been bone-in and skin-on. Working with boneless and skinless breasts was going to be different; what ratio of salt? Every cookbook and internet recipe I consulted had one thing in common…
Bone-in and skin-on meat.
Because there was no skin and there are no bones, that salt would hit the flesh and do its job; just do it too well. Time to do this in true recipe development fashion…do it more than one way.
The best way to know the proper ratio of salt to use in the brine was to make two different batches.
Brine A used 1/2 cup of salt.
Brine B used 1/4 cup of salt.
Both worked. It literally came down to a personal taste preference. Neither was too salty. If you’re salt sensitive, use 1/4 of a cup. If you are person who tends to salt your food AFTER it is on your plate, use 1/2 of a cup.
To make sure that tea flavor comes through, you must brew some strong tea.
How to Grill Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts?
There are those who adamantly declare you cannot grill boneless skinless chicken breast unless you are trying to make hockey pucks.
There are 3 very simple steps to follow to achieve succulent and juicy boneless skinless breasts on the grill.
Step 1: Pound the breasts to an even thickness.
Step 2: Brine them for at least 8 hours, up to overnight.
Step 3: Control your flame/heat and grill over medium-high (375°F to 450°F) for just a few minutes on each side, reaching an internal temp of 150°F (don’t worry, after a cooking class on how to properly take meat temps, I learned you stop cooking meat BEFORE the goal of 165°F because it still cooks for a few minutes once removed from heat. If you wait until the thermometer says 165°F, the meat-heat will creep upwards, thus becoming overcooked. Chicken on-heat/flame achieving 150°F and removed, will rise to 165°F after being removed from heat before it begins to cool back down.)
My version of Sweet Tea Brined Grilled Chicken (and hot dogs too) were the perfect weekday cookout with my friends. I love recipes that require minimal prep and clean-up, allowing me to spend more time enjoying the company of my friends and our families.
Sweet Tea Brined Grilled Chicken
Everyone's favorite white meat brined in sweet tea and grilled to succulent perfection during a causal weeknight night cookout.
Sweet Tea Brine
- 8 cups water; divided
- 8 Lipton tea bags
- 1/4-1/2 cup kosher salt
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 large lemons; sliced
- 6 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 1/2 tbsp whole peppercorns
- 3 lbs Tyson chicken breasts; boneless/skinless
Grilling the Chicken
- high heat oil like canola
- Black pepper; optional
Sweet Tea Brine
Bring 4 cups of water to boil.
Remove from heat, add the tea bags, salt and sugar; take care to completely dissolve the salt/sugar.
Allow to steep for at least 10 minutes.
Discard the tea bags and allow to cool for another 10 minutes.
To a large bowl, bucket, or other suitable container, add the chicken, lemons, and rosemary; try to arrange the lemon and rosemary between the pieces of chicken.
Add the remaining 4 cups of COLD water to the sweet tea brine and stir.
Pour the brine over/into the chicken, lemon, and herbs.
Cover and refrigerate.
Allow the chicken to brine for at least 8 hours to overnight.
Grilled Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast
Drain the chicken from the brine, patting each dry and discarding any sticking peppercorns and rosemary leaves.
Clean the grill grates by heating it on high to burn off residue, scrape clean.
Reduce heat to medium-high; 375 to 450°F
Oil the grates generously or the chicken will stick.
Once the grill stops smoking, place the chicken evenly spaced on the grill.
Don't move the chicken, allow to cook for 3-4 minutes with the lid closed.
Flip the chicken, cook for an additional 3-4 minutes or until the chicken reaches 150°F.
Remove from grill and allow to rest for at least 5 minutes.
Serve and enjoy.
I love these Sweet Tea Brined Grilled Chicken. How might you use Tyson®, Lipton®, and Ball Park® in your next cookout? Tell me in the comments below.