Cranberry Brined & Glazed Chicken


Jay Critchfield

TVWBB Member
Cranberry Brined & Glazed Chicken


3 quarts cranberry juice
1/2 cup kosher salt
1/3 cup turbanado sugar
1 meduim onion chopped
6 bay leaves
1 Tbs. ground cinnamon
1 Tbs. Thyme
2 Tbs. Parsley
2 Tbs. ground pepper
1 tsp. Mustard

Dissolve salt and sugar in cranberry juice. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well. Brine 5-6 lb.chicken for 10-12 hours. After brining rinse chicken and pat dry. Rub with oil and fresh ground pepper.

Prepare grill with 3/4 chimney of lit charcoal banked to one side, drip pan on the other. Cook chicken indirect, breast up at 300*F to an internal temp at the breast of 170*F. Brush glaze on chicken the last 30-45 minutes. Let chicken rest 10-15 minutes before serving. I used a medium handful of hickory chips for smoke at the beginning of the cook.


1/2 can cranberry sauce (jelly)
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup water
1 Tbs. Lemon juice
1 tsp. Ground cinnamon

In a small saucepan heat all ingredients over medium heat until dissolved and blended.


It's a keeper! This was the first flavored brine I've done that noticeably affected the texture and flavor of the chicken. Though subtle the cranberry, spices and onion were all detectable in the meat. The "chicken" flavor was very mild and the light smoke was perfect. The cinnamon adds an interesting bite to the flavor. The best part is the dark cranberry color of the chicken when it comes out of the brine. Very cool!

Cranberry taste could be a little stronger so next time I'm going to use concentrated cranberry juice mixed with 50-75% water. The glaze needs a little work to make it smoother.

I think this would also be great on a turkey breast or pork roast.

Cranberry juice is quite high in acid content; that might have been what affected the texture. This flavor sounds absolutely wonderful! I was going to do a few chickens this weekend, so I'll think I'll try this on one of them. Thank you!

Keri C
Smokin on Tulsa Time
Hi Jay ... I'm new here. Great site!

Your recipe is the first I checked out here. Looks delicious.

I am thinking of slightly changing it for my turkey this year. Have you ever heard of actually cooking in the brine itself?

Thanks ~ Looking forward to your reply!
Here's one I found on the old Poultry thread (pg. 12) that sounds real good. Going in the make soon folder. Thanks Jay, shame you haven't been around in over 10 years, but thank you.