Lemon-Ginger Tea Brined Fried Chicken

Piquant lemon ginger tea lends this brine special flavor—resulting in tender, moist and very flavorful fried chicken.

Servings: 4-6

Ingredients

  • 3 1/2 cups water
  • 15 lemon-ginger tea bags
  • 2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup kosher salt
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 1 lemon, sliced
  • 8 slices fresh ginger
  • 6 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 4 1/2-5 pound whole chicken, cut into 12 pieces, (breasts hlaved crosswise, wings separated)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Canola oil for frying

Directions

  1. Bring the water to a boil in a small saucepan over high heat. Remove from the heat add the tea bags and let steep 10 minutes. Lightly squeeze tea bags and discard. Add the sugar and salt and stir until dissolved. Add the onion, lemon, ginger and garlic, cover and let cool 1 hour. Transfer to a large bowl or resealable plastic bag. Add 12 ice cubes and the chicken. Refrigerate 24 hours.
  2. Remove the chicken from the marinade and drain. Let chicken stand at room temperature for 20 minutes.
  3. Preheat the oven to 200°F. Cover a large rimmed baking sheet with paper towels.
  4. Combine the flour, garlic powder, ginger, baking soda, salt and cayenne pepper in a large bowl. Add the chicken pieces 1 at a time, turning to coat with flour mixture. Shake off the excess flour and set on a separate baking sheet. Let the chicken stand for 20 minutes. Dredge chicken again in the remaining flour mixture and shake off the excess.
  5. Heat 3/4-inch oil in a 12-inch deep skillet over medium-high heat until the oil is hot. Add enough chicken, about half, to fill the skillet but being careful to not over crowd it. Cook chicken, turning occasionally, until crisp, golden brown, and thermometer inserted into the thickest portion registers 165°F, about 18-20 minutes for thighs, 12-14 for drumsticks, 14-16 for breasts, and 10-12 for the wings. Transfer chicken to prepared baking sheet and keep warm in the oven. Repeat with remaining chicken, adding more oil to the skillet if necessary.