Is Brining Poussin any good?

Please note: abiento.co.uk has no affiliation with Gressingham Foods or their products. This is a true and independent product review and taste trial.

Two identical sized chickens are cooked together with one being soaked in brine for 6 hours and the other cooked as standard. Which tastes the best? Read this article and find out.
Two identical small chickens called Poussin were selected for our taste trial

Hello everyone and welcome to another abiento recipe

And this time we are reviewing the effect of brine on Gressingham Poussin.

As the festive period approaches, everyone will want to cook their chicken or turkey to perfection.

We are sure like us, you have heard about putting your poultry in brine prior to cooking it.

Many chefs say this is the only way to cook your poultry if you are looking for the best way to cook chicken or turkey, so you get moist and tasty meat.

Well you will know by now that at abiento, we don`t just take people`s opinions, we like to prove it to ourselves, so we decided to see if soaking chicken or turkey in brine really does anything.

First of all, let`s make sure everyone is aware what soaking poultry in brine involves.

Brine or salty water causes Osmosis with the salty fluid and the proteins in the meat and it is absorbed into the chicken or turkey when the poultry is immersed in the salty fluid.

Organic sea salt used for making brine
Why not try organic sea salt for your brine?

The brine is created by adding sea salt to fresh cold water in a precise ratio of salt to water.

We used a ratio of 25g/1 oz of freshly ground sea salt to 1 pint or 500 ml of fresh cold water.

We are not saying that this is the ideal ratio, but it is one that was recommended as a good starting ratio for brining chicken or turkey.

Too much salt can just make the meat taste too salty.

To make sure this was a scientific test of how to brine a chicken or turkey, we bought two identical chickens so we could brine one and cook the other in the standard way.

They were actually Poussin, which are small chickens and as we like to be ethical at abiento, we chose organic, corn fed Poussin so that we knew that they had been looked after by the farmer.

One of the Poussin or small chicken is placed into a pan and 25g of sea salt is added.
Place the uncooked Poussin in a pan and cover it in the 25g of sea salt

We placed one Poussin in a pan and covered it in the 25g of sea salt then poured the 500 ml of cold water over it until the Poussin was fully covered.

Pour the fresh water over the Poussin and salt until it is fully immersed.
Add the fresh cold water to the Poussin and sea salt

We then gently stirred the liquid to help the salt dissolve in the water then placed the pan containing the Poussin into the fridge for 6 hours.

After 6 hours we removed the Poussin from the brine and dried it off with a clean towel.

We then placed both Poussins, one that had been brined and the untouched Poussin in the same oven proof baking dish.

Place the brined Poussin and the standard Poussin in an oven dish side by side
To get a true test, the brined and the standard Poussin side by side in the same oven dish

They were then placed into a preheated oven and cooked as per the cooking instructions on the suppliers packaging.

In our case it was 45 minutes at 170 Deg C.

We used a temperature probe to check the Poussins after 30 minutes to check the temperature.

The ideal temperature of cooked poultry is 74 Deg C so we pushed the probe into the thickest part of the Poussin and checked each bird`s temperature.

The Poussin steeped in brine cooked much faster than the standard Poussin
Surprisingly, the Poussin soaked in brine cooked much faster

The first surprise was after 30 minutes the Brined Poussin was at 79 Deg C but the standard Poussin was only 68 Deg C, even though they were in the same oven side by side.

The standard Poussin took another 15 minutes to reach the desired 74 Deg C or above.

We can only think that the moisture absorbed by the brining created more steam within the meat so cooked the brined Poussin faster.

Now came the moisture and taste test comparison of brined chicken and un-brined chicken.

Well, the brined Poussin definitely had meat that was moister than the un-brined Poussin so that is 1-0 to the brining method but what about taste?

Well, we have to admit that the un-brined Poussin tasted better so that is 1-1.

So would abiento recommend brining your chicken or turkey this Christmas?

To be honest we say give it a try and maybe practice a little on a Turkey crown or small chicken rather than going straight for your main Chicken or Christmas Turkey.

We feel that the meat was very succulent from the brining method.

So we feel that with a little bit more experimenting with maybe more salt or adding some aromatic herbs to the mixture to increase flavour, this method really could be an easy winner.

Why not give it a try and let us know how you go on and what recipe you end up using?

Please note: abiento.co.uk has no affiliation with Gressingham Foods or their products. This is a true and independent product review and taste trial.