Two main methods for brining chicken exist, wet brining and dry brining. Each method relies on salt to keep the meat juicy and flavorful. Both methods typically take six hours or longer and can be varied by adding herbs and spices to the mixture for added flavor.
To make a wet brine, frequently called a traditional brine, combine 1 cup kosher salt and 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons honey with 1 gallon of water in a large pot. Optionally, flavor the brine with 1 bunch parsley, 1/2 cup garlic cloves, 2 tablespoons black peppercorns and 3 rosemary sprigs. Bring the mixture to a boil for one minute to dissolve the salt. Take it off the heat, and let it cool. Submerge the chicken in the brine, cover it, and refrigerate the brining chicken for six hours before rinsing and patting the chicken dry.
To dry brine a chicken, combine 1/2 cup kosher salt with 2 tablespoons baking powder. Sprinkle this mixture into the cavity of the chicken, and sprinkle it evenly on the exterior to coat it with the salt. Place the chicken on a rack set on a rimmed baking sheet. Refrigerate it for 12 to 48 hours. Alternatively, add herbs or seasonings, such as pepper, garlic, rosemary or thyme, to the salt mixture for extra flavor.