Black Tea Brined Chicken

The other day, I was watching The Kitchen on the Food Network and Katie Lee was brining a chicken in black tea. She was talking about how tea brining is a secret hack of food artists because it makes the chicken a perfect golden brown.

Being that it is Purim today, I knew I wanted to roast a chicken for our special dinner, so this was the perfect twist I was looking for. It leverages the Asian flavors Trevor and I love to make one perfect chicken and gives the feeling of a store-bought rotisserie chicken.

Like always, Katie Lee was right – it really does make the perfect color chicken!

Black Tea Brined Chicken

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


  • 1 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup sliced fresh ginger
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
  • Juice of 2 limes, plus the rinds
  • 1 head garlic, cloves separated and smashed
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • 6 black tea bags
  • One 4-pound whole chicken
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  1. Combine soy sauce, ginger, sugar, salt, lime juice, lime rinds, garlic, onion, and 1 gallon (16 cups) water in a large stockpot. Bring to a boil, turn off heat and give it a stir.
  2. Tie tea bags together and place in the brine. Let steep for 10 minutes, then remove and discard tea bags. Let cool completely, about 2 hours.
  3. Submerge chicken in brine, breast-side down. Cover and refrigerate for 24 hours.
  4. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  5. Remove chicken from brine and pat dry with a paper towel. Sprinkle the inside and outside of chicken with salt and pepper.
  6. Place chicken on a roasting rack set in a roasting pan. Roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the fleshiest part of the breast and thigh (do not touch bone) registers 160 to 165 degrees, approximately 1 hour and 20 minutes. Let rest for 10 minutes before serving. Enjoy! 

Very slightly adapted from: Katie Lee at

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