January 13, 2015

Tea-Brined Chicken Breasts On Asparagus Salad

Recipe: Eric Vellend

Lightly pounding the chicken breast turns it into a chicken steak of sorts that will cook more quickly and evenly. Since breast meat is so lean, brining helps keep it juicy.


Brine and chicken

  • 4 English breakfast tea bags
  • ¼ cup Diamond Crystal kosher salt
  • 3 tbsp honey
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 2 cups cold water
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1/2 lb. each)
  • 1 small lemon, thinly sliced
  • 1 large shallot, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced


  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp grainy mustard
  • 2 tbsp sherry vinegar
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 5-oz. container washed mixed greens
  • 1 large bunch asparagus, trimmed, blanched, sliced
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Chopped chives, for garnish



Yield: Serves 4

  1. To brine chicken, combine tea bags, salt and honey in heatproof mixing bowl. Pour boiled water over. Let stand 5 minutes. Discard tea bags. Whisk to dissolve salt. Stir in cold water. Cool to room temperature.
  2. Working one at a time, place chicken breast in a freezer bag. Lightly pound with meat mallet or rolling pin until evenly thick. Combine chicken, lemon, shallot and garlic in dish or container that will fit them snugly. Pour cooled brine over them to cover. Cover. Refrigerate 2 hours. Remove chicken from brine. Pat dry with paper towel. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  3. Preheat grill to medium. Clean and oil grate. Grill chicken until cooked through, 4 minutes per side. Rest 10 minutes.
  4. To make salad dressing, shake mustards, vinegar and oil in mason jar. Place greens and asparagus in mixing bowl. Add some dressing and season with salt and pepper. Toss and transfer to serving platter. Slice chicken and place over salad. Drizzle chicken with more dressing. Sprinkle with chives.

Yvonne Duivenvoorden


House & Home June 2014