It is with great pride that I present you with Your Pantry or Mine No.1, Part 2; highlighting the contents of the Computer Diva’s pantry. We’re back for round two of our scheduled three rounder with this wonderful Chai Spice Chicken recipe, a radically good dish made from stuff around someone else’s kitchen.
Unfortunately, there won’t be a round three this time around. Budget and time constraints simply wouldn’t allow three dishes, but I’m hoping that this gem will be enough to make up for that.
When Jess sent in her list of ingredients and I asked for the updated list of teas and coffees, I think she thought I was insane, but I was hoping I’d see one of a few items for something just like this, and to my delight, chai spice tea was on the list.
Why make a chai spice chicken recipe? First, because I’d seen a tea brined chicken recipe not long before this, and because I’ve never seen it done. Not before I did this or in the several years since this post was originally written. And because it’s amazing!
This is probably one of the simplest recipes I’ve ever posted, but don’t let that stop you from giving this a whirl. The flavors and aromas of this dish are something just this side of heaven, with hints of Indian spice tugging at all of the senses at the same time.
Set aside a bit of time though. While the method is as simple as it gets, you will have to remember to get the chicken brining in the morning if you’d like everything to be ready after work, and a full 8 hour brine time will impart the maximum amount of flavor to the meat, which is definitely what you’re looking for here. As a lovely side effect, the brine will keep even chicken breasts moist, tender and delicious when cooked.
- 1qart water
- 2 chai spice tea bags
- 1/4 cup salt
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1qart Chai Spice Brine
- 4 boneless-skinless chicken breasts (or boneless-skinless thighs, or bone-in, skin on, whatever you like)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Bring water to a boil and remove from heat. Add teabags and let steep for 3-5 minutes. Remove teabags, add salt and brown sugar, stir to combine. Allow to cool completely.
- *note: the brine can be made ahead and kept in the fridge until ready for use, or quick chilled by using 3/4 of the water and adding ice after ingredients are combined.
- Place chicken and brine in a large zipper-seal plastic bag or in a covered bowl. Place in refrigerator and allow to brine for at least 4 hours.
- Remove chicken from brine and drain in colander, discard brine. Season chicken pieces with salt and pepper, place in shallow baking dish and cook in 350°F for 20-25 minutes or until juices run clear. Allow to rest 10 minutes before serving.
- Follow steps outlined above, but instead of baking chicken, sauté chicken in 2 tbsp sesame oil approx 5 minutes per side or until juices run clear (will have a more intense flavor)
What I would have done differently had I thought of it at the time:
I served this chai spice chicken recipe with a bit of plain rice and some Massaman curry on the side for dipping. The combination was incredible, but I think it would go equally as well as a salad topper on any kind of greens you can imagine, and with a bit of fruit. Apples would be especially good with it as well.
I’ll be revisiting this concept again in the future. The flavors are so subtle and alluring that I’ve just got to try this again, perhaps with a bit of cayenne for some subtle heat, or with a touch more clove… I don’t really know. The possibilities are endless!
More like Chai Spice Chicken Recipe from around the web:
OK, they aren’t chai spiced chicken recipes, but they are chai recipes
- The 5 Spices You Need for Homemade Chai (Well, OK. Maybe There Are 8.), from The Kitchn
- Sweet Chai Iced Tea Latte, from the gorgeous Stephanie at The Culinary Life