Thanks to the magic of brining, this really will almost guarantee a juicy, tasty piece of chicken.

Chef John
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Ingredients

6
Original recipe yields 6 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified

Directions

  • Combine water, kosher salt, and sugar in a saucepan over low heat; cook until sugar and salt dissolve, 4 to 5 minutes. Set aside to cool to room temperature.

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  • Score the skin side of each piece of chicken 2 to 3 times, about 1/8 inch deep. Place chicken pieces in a large bowl or lidded container.

  • Puree cherry tomatoes, habanero peppers, garlic, and allspice with the salt and sugar mixture in a blender until smooth.

  • Pour tomato brine over chicken pieces, making sure all pieces are covered. Refrigerate 4 to 6 hours.

  • Remove chicken pieces and transfer to a plate or baking sheet lined with paper towels. Pat chicken pieces dry with more paper towels.

  • Preheat an outdoor grill for high heat and lightly oil the grate.

  • Combine thyme, cumin, black pepper, cayenne pepper, and oil in a small bowl.

  • Brush each chicken piece with thyme and oil mixture.

  • Cook chicken, skin side down, on the preheated grill for 1 to 2 minutes. Turn each piece and move to indirect heat. Cook until well-browned and meat is no longer pink in the center, 30 to 35 minutes. An instant-read thermometer inserted near the bone should read 165 degrees F (74 degrees C).

  • Brush each piece with Thai sweet chile sauce. Transfer to a plate and allow chicken to rest for 10 minutes before serving.

Editor's Note:

The nutrition data for this recipe includes the full amount of the brine ingredients. The actual amount of the brine consumed will vary.

Partner Tip

Reynolds® Aluminum foil can be used to keep food moist, cook it evenly, and make clean-up easier.

Nutrition Facts

490 calories; 25.3 g total fat; 129 mg cholesterol; 5252 mg sodium. 22.6 g carbohydrates; 41.5 g protein; Full Nutrition

Reviews (128)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
07/06/2012
Absolutely amazing!!! I must admit I was scared of the habanero peppers so I substituted with jalapenos...BUT next time I am making exactly as the recipe says. Definitely making this again and again and again!!!! UPDATE: Remade with the habanero peppers DELICIOUS!! Don't change a thing. Also if you have questions watch Chef John's video on this recipe...it is extremely helpful! Read More
(59)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 1 stars
01/27/2015
TOO HOT! Read More
(5)
154 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 131
  • 4 star values: 16
  • 3 star values: 4
  • 2 star values: 1
  • 1 star values: 2
Rating: 5 stars
07/06/2012
Absolutely amazing!!! I must admit I was scared of the habanero peppers so I substituted with jalapenos...BUT next time I am making exactly as the recipe says. Definitely making this again and again and again!!!! UPDATE: Remade with the habanero peppers DELICIOUS!! Don't change a thing. Also if you have questions watch Chef John's video on this recipe...it is extremely helpful! Read More
(59)
Rating: 5 stars
07/06/2012
Absolutely amazing!!! I must admit I was scared of the habanero peppers so I substituted with jalapenos...BUT next time I am making exactly as the recipe says. Definitely making this again and again and again!!!! UPDATE: Remade with the habanero peppers DELICIOUS!! Don't change a thing. Also if you have questions watch Chef John's video on this recipe...it is extremely helpful! Read More
(59)
Rating: 5 stars
07/19/2012
Delicious! I always brine my chicken. I usually just use beer and salt but this adds extra flavor. UPDATE: I have made this a couple of times now and the frist time I made as is and the second time I only used 3 1/2 TBSP of salt and marinated it over night the flavor was much better and less salty as the original recipe. Do use gloves when handling the habanero peppers and make sure to dry the chicken well before grilling that way the skin will crisp up. Read More
(41)
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Rating: 5 stars
06/26/2012
The PERFECT bbq chicken! I had never tried to grill chicken before so I was nervous. It turned out amazing and all 3 people I made dinner for told me it was the best bbq chicken they had ever had! Next time I make it (which will be soon) I am thinking about adding some fresh pineapple to the brine. Amazing! Read More
(32)
Rating: 5 stars
04/15/2012
OMG OMG OMG - made this chicken yesterday and it was amazing. Can't stop thinking about it - may have to make it again today. Chef John I love you! Read More
(23)
Rating: 5 stars
08/21/2012
The magic of brining is exactly right well done Chef John. This is so moist and flavorful the only change I made was to use a whole chicken split in half and weigh the chicken down with tinfoil covered bricks while grilling. The extra weight flattens the chicken for better grill marks and a more even cooking surface. Thanks for the Cherry BOMB Chicken BTW...if you have leftovers pull the chicken and add a little bbq sauce for an awesome bbq chicken on a bun meal completed with beans and slaw. Read More
(20)
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Rating: 5 stars
07/06/2014
Great recipe! I used 4 chicken breasts instead and wasn't up to firing up the grill so I baked them instead. 450 degree oven 35-40 min depending on the thickness of your chicken. Another tip that I always use is to place a wire rack in my roasting pan. This elevates the chicken for better circulation and produces crispier skin. I am always on the look out for great brine recipes and this one qualifies. Love the allspice flavor. Read More
(17)
Rating: 5 stars
06/17/2012
No need to repeat what's already been said. An excellent recipe for moist and delicious chicken. It was actually quite simple to make. Read More
(9)
Rating: 5 stars
07/01/2012
This recipe is the bomb literally! I marinated the chicken for about 8 hours- 4 breasts on the bone (skin on) along with 2 thighs (skin on) and followed the directions exactly. The chicken had such an amazing flavor and was so juicy. Don't be afraid to use 3 Habanero peppers in the marinade - however DO use gloves while handling to remove the seeds. Look for fresh flavorful cherry tomatoes it makes a difference. I followed the instructions in the video and used Red Pepper Jelly on top at the end. My dinner guests raved about the chicken. Will definitely make again! Amazing! Read More
(9)
Rating: 5 stars
07/26/2013
This chicken has the BEST flavor! We used chicken drumsticks with the skin on and also boneless skinless chicken breasts. They were both excellent! We also tried it with and without the sweet chili sauce and my husband and I both liked it better without it. We will make this often! Read More
(9)
Rating: 1 stars
01/27/2015
TOO HOT! Read More
(5)