Grilled Sweet Tea Brined North Carolina Chicken with Lavender Butter

SweetTeaWeb TimHussey
Photo by Tim Hussey

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    Brined Chicken
  • 1 Poulet rouge heritage breed chicken or 4 pound whole chicken
  • 1 gallon tea
  • 4 cups sugar
  • 4 lemons, quartered
  • 1 ¼ cup Kosher salt
  • Lavender Butter
  • 1 pound butter, softened
  • 1 tablespoon lavender flowers

Brined Chicken

  1. In a pot bring tea, sugar and salt just to a simmer, stirring occasionally.
  2. Remove from heat and stir well to make sure all sugar and salt are dissolved.
  3. Squeeze all lemons into then drop lemon remainders in hot brine. Refrigerate until mixture is cold.
  4. Remove plastic from chicken and discard liver/neck bone package from cavity. Wash chicken well and place in large container, big enough to hold chicken and tea brine.
  5. Cover chicken with brine, placing something heavy on top of it, so it stays submerged. Refrigerate for 18-24 hours.
  6. The following day, remove chicken from brine and wash off lightly under running water. Tie legs together with butcher twine. Place on broiler rack and cook at 425 degrees to an internal temperature of 140 degree, approximately 1 hour.
  7. Remove and let cool completely. Cut chicken off the rib cage. When ready, grill slowly and baste with lavender butter until you reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees.

Lavender Butter

Whip ingredients together until incorporated.

  • from Jimmy Reale, Executive Chef, Carolina Crossroads Restaurant, Carolina Inn, Chapel Hill, North Carolina

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