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Tea Brined Roast Chicken

Prep Time:

30 mins.

Cook Time:

120 mins.


4 servings

Marinate a whole roasting chicken in sweet tea brine to give it a crispy, golden brown skin and make it extra flavorful and tender. Baste it with sweet tea and bourbon to keep everyone coming back for more. Be sure to allow 8-12 hours for brining.



  • 2 family-size bags Luzianne® Iced Tea, unsweetened
  • 1/2 gallon water, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup kosher or coarse salt
  • 1 small bunch sage
  • 1 small bunch rosemary
  • 1 small bunch thyme
  • 3 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1 lemon, quartered
  • 1/2 gallon water, ice-cold


  • 1 roasting chicken, about 6 pounds (giblets removed)
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 onion, peeled and halved
  • 1/2 carrot, peeled and halved
  • 1/2 celery stick, halved
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  • 1 sprig fresh sage
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature


  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup bourbon
  • 2 family-size bags Luzianne®️ Iced Tea, unsweetened
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter


  1. Make brine: Bring room-temperature water to a boil and remove from heat. Add the tea bags, sugar, salt, sage, rosemary, thyme, garlic and lemon and steep for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the tea bags from the brine, squeezing out all of the liquid, and discard them. Continue to stir until the sugar and salt are completely dissolved. Stir in the ice-water.
  2. In a large container, submerge the chicken in the brine; cover and refrigerate for 8-12 hours.
  3. Preheat oven to 425℉. Set a roasting rack on a roasting pan. Remove chicken from brine and discard brine. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Season, inside and out, with salt and pepper. Stuff the cavity with the onion, carrot, celery, thyme, rosemary and sage. Using kitchen twine, tie the chicken legs together.
  4. Gently lift the skin of the chicken breast and rub the softened butter under the skin. Transfer the chicken to the roasting rack; place in the center of the oven and roast for 30 minutes.
  5. Reduce heat to 350℉. Continue roasting, basting with pan juices every 20 minutes, for 1 hour longer or until the breast temperature reaches 180℉. If the chicken begins to get too dark, remove it from the oven, tent it with aluminum foil, and return to the oven.
  6. Make glaze: While the chicken is roasting, combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring until the sugar dissolves and a syrup begins to form and thicken, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and add the bourbon, tea bags and lemon juice. Allow to steep for 5 minutes, then remove tea bags, squeezing them to remove all liquid, and discard them. Add the butter and whisk until melted.
  7. In the last 20 minutes of roasting, remove the foil tent and use a turkey baster to baste the chicken with the glaze.
  8. When done, remove chicken from oven and let stand for 15 minutes before carving.