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Blackened Beer-Brined Chicken Breasts

Blackened Beer-Brined Chicken Breasts

This is our first grilling recipe, but it won’t be our last. Grilling and beer just GO together. For this recipe, you’ll need some time to marinate the chicken (4-8hrs), so you may want to start it early. And this recipe swaps out oil for beer, making it way lower in calories. Can you say “no freakin’ way”? We knew you could! Give this a try and tell us what you think.

Serves 4 to 6


  • 2 cups apple cider
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup kosher salt
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon whole peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon whole cloves
  • 4 medium bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts (about 3 pounds)
  • 2 (12-ounce) bottles dark or amber beer
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne (optional)


  • Combine the cider, sugar, salt, cinnamon, bay leaf, peppercorns, and cloves in a sauce pan over medium heat. Stir just until sugar and salt are dissolved. Remove from heat and let to cool to room temperature.
  • Lay the chicken breasts, skin-side down, in a shallow glass or ceramic (not metal) baking dish. Stir the beer into the cider mixture, then pour over the chicken. Cover and refrigerate the chicken for 4 to 8 hours.
  • When ready to grill, heat a gas or charcoal grill to to high heat (about 450-degrees). Meanwhile, transfer the chicken from the brine to a clean plate and let it rest, covered, for 15 to 20 minutes to take the chill off. Melt butter and stir in chili powder and cayenne.
  • Brush half the chili butter over the skin on each chicken breast and lay the breasts skin-side down on the grill. Cover and let cook undisturbed for 15 minutes. Flip the chicken breasts, taking care not to tear the skin, and brush with the remaining chili butter.
  • Cover and cook for another 10 minutes. Check the chicken for doneness, and if necessary, continue cooking in 5 minute increments until it has finished cooking. The chicken is done when the interior reaches 165°F, its juices run clear, and the inside is no longer pink.
  • Tent the chicken breasts with aluminum foil and let them rest 10 minutes before carving. The bones should pull away cleanly from the underside of the breasts with a little pressure. Slice the breasts into thin pieces and serve.

Thanks to TheKitchn for this recipe.


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