My 1-Ingredient Upgrade for Juicier Chicken Breasts

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During all three of my pregnancies, I had one craving: Greek salad. I've probably tried every takeout Greek salad in the tri-state area, determined to meet my high standards. Since none of the restaurant options were cutting it, I took matters into my own hands—I bought some Greek feta in brine at Costco with Kalamata olives, and my Greek salad game has never been stronger. was

As I bought more and more feta, I got curious about all the salt water I had been throwing down the drain for months. I decided to experiment—I tossed a few chicken breasts in the feta brine before grinding. The chicken was impossibly juicy and tender. I couldn't believe that chicken breast could taste so good! I am never throwing away feta brine again.

How to use feta brine as a marinade

Now I always save my feta brine to use as my go-to chicken marinade. I add a little olive oil, fresh lemon juice, and fresh oregano for maximum flavor, but the brine works wonders for lean meats like chicken breast. (I prefer it with chicken, but it works well with lamb too, adding a bit of gamey flavor.)

An overnight marinade is best, but even an hour in brine will add a ton of flavor and moisture to the meat. It doesn't get much simpler than that – the payoff is huge!

Once you've marinated your chicken, simply drain it from the brine (and discard the remaining brine), pat it dry, and cook it any way you like. My favorite method is to grill it, which takes six to seven minutes per side on the grill over medium heat.

Just recipes / Mihaela Kozaric Sebrek


Don't throw away the brine, even if you only have a little left.

My family goes through many difficulties. My oldest will eat it straight out of the brine as a snack, and I like to keep it in the fridge to throw together a quick meal like Shakshuka or pasta salad. It adds such a lovely umami note to everything it touches, and I find the flavor and soft texture particularly appealing in salads.

Whenever I eat all that cheese, I refrigerate the brine, even if it's just a little bit, until I'm ready to use it. You can keep it in your fridge until the best-by date, even if it's long after the cheese is gone. Alternatively, you can freeze the brine for longer storage and thaw it when you're ready to use it.

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