Recipe courtesy of Jill Novatt for Food Network Kitchen

Sweet Tea Brined Chicken with Peaches, Mint and Arugula

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 1 hr 30 min
  • Active: 25 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
Brining is a great way to add flavors and make sure your chicken stays super moist. The sweet tea brine used here goes further by adding a beautiful color to the finished chicken and screams summer. It also leaves behind a subtle sweetness that make this chicken irresistible. Grilling over indirect heat means you don’t have to worry about flareups or burning your chicken. A quick finish on the direct heat crisps up the skin and makes it as delicious as the meat. A grilled peach and arugula salad completes this meal for the perfect summer dinner.



  1. Combine 4 cups water with the sugar, ginger, and 1/4 cup salt in a large pot. Halve the lemon, squeeze the juice from half and add the juiced half. Reserve the remaining lemon half. Bring the water to a simmer over medium-high heat and stir until the salt and sugar are dissolved. Remove from the heat, add the tea bags and let steep for 5 minutes. Remove the tea bags and add 3 cups of ice to cool the mixture to room temperature, 5 to 8 minutes. Add the chicken pieces and make sure they are submerged. Cover and refrigerate for at least 8 hours and up to 16 hours.
  2. Remove the chicken from the fridge and remove from the brine. Pat dry.
  3. Prepare a grill for medium indirect heat: For gas grills (with 3 or more burners), turn all the burners to medium-high heat; after about 15 minutes turn off one of the middle burners (2 if you have a grill with 4 or more burners) and turn the remaining burners down to medium. For charcoal grills, bank one chimney starter-full of lit and ashed-over charcoal briquettes to one side of the grill. Set up a drip pan on the other side to avoid flare-ups. The grill should be around 350 degrees F so adjust the burners or air-flow vents as necessary to maintain that temperature. (Be sure to consult the grill manufacturer’s guide for the best results.)
  4. Lightly oil the grates of the grill and lay the chicken pieces, bone-side down, on the indirect heat side of the grill. Cover and cook until the skin is golden and the chicken is cooked about three-quarters of the way (130 to 135 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer), 20 to 25 minutes. Flip the chicken pieces so they are skin-side down and continue indirect grilling until the chicken is cooked through and reads 165 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer, about 15 minutes more.
  5. Meanwhile, lightly oil the flesh of the peaches and the remaining lemon half and place flesh-side down on the direct side of the grill. Grill until marked but not too soft, about 2 minutes. Turn the peaches (leave the lemon flesh-side down) and grill just until marked on the other side, about 1 minute more. Remove the peaches and lemon from the grill. Slice the peaches into wedges. Squeeze the lemon into a small bowl and whisk in the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Toss the arugula with the mint, peaches and the grilled-lemon vinaigrette. Serve with the chicken.