Recipe – Brown Sugar, Tarragon and Garlic Chicken Brine

This brine goes well with chicken or other white meat on the barbecue . Its gives a subtle flavour to the meat with extra brown sugar helping balance our the cider vinegar. The tarragon and gives some subtle flavour. I use this brine with a whole chicken, cooked on the rotisserie with a small amount of applewood smoke.

The Recipe

This is a very simple brine. Like most brines it takes less than 5 minutes to prepare. It uses a simple process, if you’d like more detail and some hints and tips see my short guide to brining here.


  • Salt – 180g (or 1 cup)

  • Dark Brown Sugar – 180g (or 1 cup)

  • Cider Vinegar – 230 ml (or 1 cup)

  • Cracked Black Pepper – 1 tbsp

  • Chopped Garlic – 1 tbsp

  • Tarragon – 1 tbsp


  • Rinse the chicken inside and out. Remove the giblets from the cavity if they’re included.
  • Make the brine by adding a small amount of boiling water (250ml – 500ml or 1 – 2 cups) to a suitably size container along with the salt and sugar. Make sure they’re dissolved, adding a little more boiling water if needed.
  • Add cold water to the container up to the 5 litre point.
  • Add the cider vinegar, garlic, and black pepper.
  • Add the whole chicken and refrigerate in the brine for up to 24 hours.


You’ll need a large container suitable to hold a whole chicken for this recipe. I use a 1/2 Gastronorm container made of polycarbonate that holds 10.8 litres. These containers fit well in the fridge between shelves with a large gap. They also work really well as a sous vide container with a suitable lid.

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