Food - Drink
The Smoky Chinese Tea You Should Be Adding To Poultry Brines
By LAUREN ROTHMAN
If you love tea, you should know that many varieties have way more culinary uses beyond drinking them straight out of a mug. While many teas are delicious in ice cream and other desserts, lapsang souchong, a smoky black tea from China, can bring extra intensity to many savory dishes, including cooked poultry.
Lapsang souchong can bring smoky flavor to chicken, turkey, and more, without actually having to smoke the meat. Chef and cookbook author Erin French likes to use the tea in her brine for a whole turkey; as demonstrated on Today, French adds the tea to a brine with sugar and salt, then soaks the bird for up to 36 hours before cooking.
Brining any kind of poultry helps to keep it moist and juicy during roasting, and adding flavorings like tea kicks up a basic brine into something special. Lapsang souchong also works magic on cured fish, and Tasting Table has its own recipe for tea-cured, center-cut salmon that's perfect on top of a bagel with schmear.