Brining can greatly enhance some meats and seafood, making them extra juicy, and can even help with caramelization — especially on poultry skin.
The basic brine ratio is ¼ cup of salt per 1 quart of water. If more caramelization is a goal, add ¼ cup of sugar. Aromatics and seasonings can also be added. You will want to make enough to cover (plus a little) whatever you are brining.
Here is a brine you can use to make your Cornish hens extra juicy and enhance caramelization of the skin.
Whisk salt and sugar with just enough hot tap water to dissolve.
Add birds to container with solution and fill with remaining cold tap water until fully submerged. Add a little ice to chill faster. Cover and refrigerate several hours or overnight. Drain and discard brine.
Prepare hens according to your favorite recipe! Try our Sesame Cornish Hens with Honey and Rosemary recipe.