Brining is an easy way to enhance the flavor and moisture content of poultry or fish, and is one of the best kept secrets of professional chefs. Brines draw water into the tissue of uncooked meat, and salt locks it in place through the cooking process. Simple brines are easy to make at home, using just a few basic ingredients.
Pour 1 cup of water and 10 ounces of kosher or table salt into a medium saucepan. It is important to measure the salt by weight, rather than by volume, given that different types of salt possess widely differering weight-to-volume ratios. Because brining is essentially a chemical process, it's very important to have the right ratio of salt to water.
Place the saucepan on the stove, over medium-high heat, until the water boils and all the salt has dissolved.
Remove the saucepan from the heat, and allow it to cool to room temperature.
Add the salt and water mixture to a gallon of cold water, and mix thoroughly. Refrigerate the completed brine until you're ready to use it.
In addition to salt and water, other flavorings may be added to the brine. Ingredients such as honey, sugar, maple syrup, chicken or beef stock, vinegar or apple cider can enhance the flavor of the brine.