Delight your taste buds with Wine-Brined Grilled Chicken!

Welcome to my wine-brined grilled chicken recipe! As a sommelier and food enthusiast, I love experimenting with different flavor combinations in my dishes. This recipe is one of my favorites because it adds a unique touch of fruity white wine to classic grilled chicken.

But why wine-brine your chicken? Well, the acidity in the wine helps to tenderize the meat and infuse flavors deep into the chicken breast. The sugar and salt in the brine also work together to create a perfectly juicy and flavorful piece of meat.

Plus, grilling adds a smoky depth to the wine-brined chicken that is simply irresistible. So give this recipe a try and impress your guests at your next summer barbecue. They won’t believe you made it yourself!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Wine-Brined Grilled Chicken
Wine-Brined Grilled Chicken

What’s better than a summer evening with the aroma of grilled chicken wafting through the air? Grilled chicken is a staple of summer menus, and for good reason. It’s easy to prepare and always delicious. But if you’re looking to up your game and take your grilled chicken to the next level, then this wine-brined grilled chicken recipe is perfect for you.

Brining your chicken in wine before grilling it not only imparts an incredible flavor but also keeps the meat juicy and tender. This recipe uses a dry white wine, preferably fruity Sauvignon Blanc, as the main ingredient in the brine. The acidity of the wine works as a natural tenderizer that makes the meat soft and succulent while adding delicious flavors.

With over 20 ingredients including fresh tarragon, shallots, bay leaves, and rosemary sprigs, this chicken recipe produces an excellent depth of flavor that will surpass any other grilled chicken dishes you’ve tried before. Plus, it requires minimal effort since most of the ingredients are pantry staples.

This dish is versatile, it can be served with a variety of sides and accompaniments such as potato salad, seasonal vegetables or buttery rice pilaf. The bold flavors of this wine-brined grilled chicken can also stand up to stronger sides like creamy mashed potatoes or hearty stews.

If that wasn’t enough to convince you to try this recipe, consider its nutritional value. One serving of wine-brined grilled chicken contains about 250 calories with balanced nutrition which makes it an excellent option for a healthful dinner.

Whether you are planning for weekend brunches, family BBQs or quick weeknight dinners, give this dish a try for something new and exciting that will elevate your summer grilling experience to another level.

Ingredient List

 The perfect juicy and flavorful grilled chicken
The perfect juicy and flavorful grilled chicken

Here are the ingredients you will need to make this delicious wine-brined grilled chicken recipe:

  • 1 bottle (750 milliliters) of dry white wine (preferably fruity), divided
  • 1 cup ice
  • 2/3 cup kosher salt
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 4 sprigs fresh tarragon
  • 2 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 to 3 pounds boneless, skin-on chicken breasts or thighs

Make sure to pat dry the chicken and trim excess fat before brining. You can also use other dry white wines like Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio for the brine. Double check the ingredient list before starting to avoid any mistakes while cooking this fabulous dish.

The Recipe How-To

 Let the magic of wine transform your chicken
Let the magic of wine transform your chicken

Step 1: Brine the Chicken

  • In a large mixing bowl, combine 1 cup kosher salt and 1 cup sugar with 3 cups cold white wine, preferably fruity.
  • Stir well to dissolve the salt and sugar.
  • Add 4 sprigs of rosemary, 2 bay leaves, and a bunch of fresh tarragon.
  • Pour in 3 cups of boiling water and stir until fully dissolved.
  • Add a cup of ice to cool the mixture.
  • Add 2-3 pounds of chicken breast to the brining liquid, making sure they’re completely immersed.
  • Cover with plastic wrap or a lid and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight if possible.

Step 2: Prepare the Chicken for Grilling

  • Remove the chicken from the brine, rinse it under cold water and pat it dry.
  • Use scissors or a knife to trim excess fat
  • Season both sides with 1 tablespoon kosher salt, 1 teaspoon black pepper, and fresh tarragon

Step 3: Grill the Chicken

  • Preheat your grill to medium-high heat ( about 400°F)
  • Grease your grill grates, then place chicken on it.
  • Cook for about 5-6 minutes per side until fully cooked depending on the thickness of the meat.

Voila! Your juicy and flavorful wine-brined grilled chicken is ready to serve.

Substitutions and Variations

 A delicious twist on classic grilled chicken
A delicious twist on classic grilled chicken

Looking to switch things up a bit? There are plenty of ways you can tailor this wine-brined grilled chicken recipe to your tastes and preferences. Here are some ideas:

– Wine: Feel free to experiment with different types of white wine. A dry Sauvignon Blanc is ideal, but you could also try Chardonnay or Pinot Grigio. For a red wine marinade, use an earthy Pinot Noir or a full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon.

– Herbs: If you’re not a fan of tarragon, swap it out for rosemary, thyme or oregano. Keep in mind that some herbs are more potent than others, so taste as you go to ensure the marinade isn’t too overpowering.

– Sweetener: Instead of plain white sugar, try using brown sugar or honey for a deeper flavor profile.

– Salt: While kosher salt is the preferred type of salt for brining, you could also use sea salt or even Himalayan pink salt if you want to get fancy.

– Chicken: You don’t have to stick with chicken breasts for this recipe – feel free to use boneless thighs or even whole chicken legs. You could also opt for skin-on chicken for extra flavor and texture.

– Cooking method: If grilling isn’t an option, you could roast the chicken in the oven at 375°F until it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F. Or, smoke the chicken over low heat for a few hours for some extra smoky flavor.

– Sauce: Serve the grilled chicken with a mushroom sauce, white wine vinegar reduction or any other sauce that tickles your fancy.

Remember that experimentation is key when it comes to cooking – don’t be afraid to try new things and make this recipe your own!

Serving and Pairing

 Brine your chicken in wine for the ultimate flavor boost
Brine your chicken in wine for the ultimate flavor boost

This wine-brined grilled chicken recipe is perfect for summer barbecues or an outdoor dinner party with friends. The chicken is juicy, flavorful, and pairs well with a variety of side dishes. Let’s talk about some ideas that will take your meal to the next level!

When it comes to pairing this dish with wine, I recommend serving it with a sauvignon blanc. A good quality sauvignon blanc is light, crisp and refreshing; its citrusy notes will complement the flavors of the chicken and tarragon perfectly. Aim for a wine that is preferably fruity and doesn’t have too much oak, as this can overpower the delicate flavors of the dish.

If you’re serving this dish at a barbecue, consider pairing it with grilled vegetables such as zucchini and bell peppers or a simple Caprese salad. A side of rice or roasted potatoes will also work well with this dish if you’re looking for something heartier.

For a more formal setting, try presenting the chicken alongside a mushroom sauce or marinated chicken thighs accompanied by white wine vinegar. Another option would be cooking boneless chicken fillets in the oven with herbs such as rosemary or thyme.

If you’re looking to switch things up, consider serving the brined grilled chicken with a red wine instead; Pinot Noir would make an excellent choice. This will add some complexity to your meal, providing another flavor layer for your palate to explore.

Overall, this recipe can be served in many different ways, making it versatile enough for any occasion. Whether you’re hosting a big gathering or just cooking for yourself, this dish won’t disappoint!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Wine not add some flavor to your grilled chicken?
Wine not add some flavor to your grilled chicken?

One of the perks of this wine-brined grilled chicken recipe is that it can be made ahead of time and stored until you’re ready to cook it. You can prepare and marinate the chicken up to 24 hours before grilling it, allowing the flavors to fully infuse the meat.

To store the uncooked chicken, cover the bowl or container with plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator. Make sure to turn the chicken occasionally to ensure even marination. When you’re ready to grill, remove the chicken from the brine, rinse it under cold water and pat dry.

If you have leftovers, storing them is easy. Simply transfer the chicken to an airtight container or a resealable plastic bag and refrigerate for up to 3 days. To reheat, you can warm it up in the microwave or oven until heated through.

Another option is to use leftover grilled chicken in other dishes like smoked chicken, roasted chicken sandwich or mushroom sauce. You can also chop it up and use it for salads or sandwiches.

By knowing how to properly store and reheat the wine-brined grilled chicken, you’ll be able to enjoy its delicious flavor even after it has been cooked. Plus, this recipe is versatile enough that you can easily incorporate leftovers into other meals!

Tips for Perfect Results

 A chicken dish fit for a sommelier
A chicken dish fit for a sommelier

Now that you’ve got your wine-brined grilled chicken recipe ready, it’s important to pay attention to every single detail for the best outcome. Here are some tips that can ensure that you get perfectly cooked, flavorful and tender chicken:

1. Brine for the right amount of time: It’s recommended to brine your chicken for at least 2-3 hours, and not more than 24 hours. Overbrining can make your chicken mushy and salty.

2. Rinse and pat dry: Rinse your chicken after brining to remove any excess salt before patting it dry with kitchen paper. This helps the skin become crispy while grilling.

3. Trim excess fat: Too much fat will make the skin flare up during grilling and this doesn’t cook the meat evenly. So it is advisable that you trim the excess fat before roasting or grilling.

4. Fire up the grill on high heat first: Before putting your chicken on the grill, let it heat up on high heat for about 15 minutes before turning it down to medium-low heat.

5. Use a meat thermometer: To ensure perfect cooking temperature of your chicken breast, insert a meat thermometer in its thickest part during grilling . The temperature should read about 165°F or 75°C.

6. Don’t overcrowd the grill: Overcrowding the grill limits airflow which prevents even cooking; hence arranging the chicken pieces with enough space between them is recommended.

With these tips, you are well-equipped to prepare an amazing wine-brined grilled chicken dinner that will impress everyone at your next barbecue party.


Before wrapping up the wine-brined grilled chicken recipe, let me address some of the frequently asked questions about the dish. It’s good to have answers to commonly raised queries that could arise during prepping, brining or grilling so that you get perfect results every time. Therefore, I’m going to touch on things like how long to marinate the chicken, what are the best wine options for the brine and who can have this dish. So keep reading to find answers and tips that will make your wine-brined grilled chicken come out like a chef’s masterpiece.

What wine goes best with brined chicken?

As a sommelier, I love to share my knowledge about different types of wines and their unique characteristics. Some of my personal favorites include Chardonnay, Grüner Veltliner, Riesling, Blanc de blancs Champagne, English sparkling wine, Pinot Noir, and Spanish Garnacha. Each of these wines has its own distinct flavor profile that makes it stand out from the others. From crisp and refreshing whites to bold and full-bodied reds, there is something for every palate to enjoy. So, let me take you on a journey through the world of wine and share some interesting stories and pairing suggestions along the way.

Is it good to brine chicken before grilling?

One of the best ways to enhance the taste and texture of your grilled chicken is to brine it first. Brining involves soaking the chicken in a solution of salt and sugar dissolved in water. The ideal ratio is 2/3 cup each of salt and sugar for every gallon of water. However, it’s important to keep in mind that brining boneless chicken for more than an hour may cause it to become overly salty. So, be sure to keep an eye on the time.

How long should I brine my chicken before grilling?

For the best brined chicken, skin on with bone in, it is recommended to soak it in the brine for 2 to 3 hours. If you are brining a whole chicken, then it should be soaked for about 3 to 4 hours. It is important to not exceed the suggested time, as the chicken may become overly salty. Take advantage of the time available to enhance the flavor.

Can you grill chicken after brining?

After soaking the chicken in brine, it should be taken out and dried with a gentle pat. Then, a pinch of salt and pepper should be added for flavor. Place the chicken on the hotter part of the grill with the skin side down until a light brown color is achieved, which should take around 3 to 5 minutes. Switch the chicken over to the cooler side of the grill and cover it, moving it around halfway through. It should be cooked for 50 to 60 minutes, flipping it only once along the way.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, this wine-brined grilled chicken recipe is the perfect way to elevate your grilling game. With its blend of sweet and salty flavors from the sugar, kosher salt, and wine marinade, every bite is sure to leave you craving for more. By following the simple steps outlined in this recipe, you can create a mouth-watering dish that will impress your friends and family.

Whether you’re a seasoned griller or a novice in the kitchen, this chicken recipe is easy to prepare and cook. The substitutions and variations section also offers endless possibilities for tweaking the recipe to suit your personal taste preferences.

And when it comes to serving and pairing, there are a plethora of options to choose from. The wine-brined grilled chicken pairs well with everything from savory sides like roasted vegetables or potatoes to lighter side dishes like a simple salad. It is truly an all-purpose dish that can fit into any meal time.

Lastly, don’t forget that this chicken recipe can be made ahead of time, stored in the fridge or freezer, and reheated to enjoy at any time. So next time you’re looking for a tasty yet unique dish to serve up at your next gathering, try this delicious wine-brined grilled chicken recipe. You won’t regret it!

Wine-Brined Grilled Chicken

Wine-Brined Grilled Chicken Recipe

Crisp, juicy grilled chicken....plan ahead, needs to brine for 24 hours.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Calories 638.9 kcal


  • 2 chicken, cut into quarters
  • 1 (750 ml) bottle sauvignon blanc wine or (750 ml) bottle other dry white wine
  • 2 cups minced shallots (I use my food processor)
  • 1 cup chopped fresh tarragon
  • 1/4 cup kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar


  • Rinse chicken and pat dry, trim off excess fat.
  • In an 11x16-inch roasting pan, stir wine, shallots, tarragon, salt and sugar until salt and sugar are dissolved; add chicken quarters and turn to coat, cover and chill for 24 hours, turning occasionally.
  • Lift chicken from brine; discard brine; rinse quarters and pat dry.
  • Lay chicken quarters on a barbecue grill over medium-hot coals or medium heat on a gas grill; close lid on gas grill.
  • Cook, turning frequently, until browned on both sides and no longer pink at the bone, about 35 minutes.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 266gCalories: 638.9kcalCarbohydrates: 16.6gProtein: 46gFat: 35.4gSaturated Fat: 10.1gCholesterol: 172.5mgSodium: 3708.4mgFiber: 0.7gSugar: 3.1g
Keyword < 60 Mins, Camping, Chicken, Lunch, Meat, Onions, Poultry, Refrigerator, Savory, Spring, Summer, Vegetable
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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