A Hard Cider Brine for Feathered Fowl

A Hard Cider Brine for Feathered Fowl

Here’s a wonderful brine that celebrates the crisp and fruity notes of hard apple cider, and is sure to yield flavorful juicy meat:

Brined upland bird breast after poaching. Plump and juicy, not dry and chewy.

Apple Hard Cider Brine:

(Enough for approximately  ¾ – 1 pound of breast meat)

1½ Cups hard cider; approx. 12 fluid ounces

½ Cup water

1 Orange (outer peel and juice)

1 Half head of garlic

1 Tablespoon juniper berries

½ Tablespoon black peppercorns

2 Tablespoons Brown sugar

1 Cinnamon stick

3 Small bay leaves, or 1 large-crushed

1 Small bunch thyme

1 Small bunch fresh flat leaf parsley

1½ Teaspoon salt

1 Teaspoon sugar

1½ Cups ice (reserved)

Ingredients needed for hard cider brine.


Into a saucepan (below) add the sugars, salt, juniper berries, peppercorns and crushed bay leaves. Tear the fresh herbs to release the natural oils and aromatics, then add to the saucepan.

Add orange peel, halve the oranges and squeeze in the juice. (Discard the orange after juicing.)

Next, cut the head of garlic in half and toss in the pan. The cinnamon stick can go in, too. Finally, add the hard cider (below) and the water.

Heat to a simmer and then simmer for 10 minutes to steep the flavors.

Remove from stovetop and add reserved ice to hasten the cooling process.

Once the brine reaches room temperature, place breasts in a plastic bag or plastic container, then pour in the hard cider brine including all the aromatics. Chill for 4-12 hours.

Remove and prepare in a Wild Gamebird Meat Pie (below). Be sure to check out OutdoorHub.com next week for this amazing recipe!

Brined bird breast being incorporated in an old world Wild Gamebird Meat Pie.