Recipe | Hard Sweet Tea Brined Brick Chicken

Read this great recipe for a seasonally appropriate chicken dinner, and then read more about Darryl’s Olympic journey.

Hard Sweet Tea Brined Brick Chicken
Anybody that tastes this chicken will think the maker is a mad genius in the kitchen. Rightfully so, too because this the essence of the southern United States.

This recipe was developed out of an abundance of curiosity in combining my favorite porch drink, sweet tea, with the most popular protein source, chicken. I wanted to test the willingness of chicken to pick up the complex flavors of tea. Turns out it’s a hit and it really satisfies a desire to be creative and be wild all in the same go.




  • 4 cups Sweet Tea
  • 1 cup Bourbon
  • 1 Vanilla Bean
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 1 Tbsp Whole Black Peppercorns
  • 2 Lemons, 
  • ¼ cup Salt


  • 4-5 lb Whole Chicken
  • Creole Seasoning, to taste
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 2 Yellow Onions, peeled & quartered
  • 2 heads Garlic, cut in half
  • 1 lb small Roasting Potatoes
  • ½ bunch Fresh Rosemary
  • ½ bunch Fresh Thyme


  1. Make the Brine. Brine the Chicken. In a heavy bottom pot, bring the sweet tea, pepper, bay leaves, and lemons up to a boil and immediately drop to a simmer. Add the vanilla bean and bourbon and continue to simmer for 10 minutes. Cool completely.
  2. Place the chicken in a container that allows it to be completely submerged by the brine plus 2 cups of cold water. Refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight.
  3. Butterfly the chicken. Using sharp kitchen shears, remove the backbone of the chicken, open it up and press down forcefully in the breastbone. Rub every part of the skin with the olive oil and season with the creole seasoning
  4. Preheat the oven to 450°F. Grab two heavy garden bricks, wrap in foil and place in the oven to preheat in the oven for 30 minutes.
  5. Sear and Roast. Using a large cast iron skillet, sear the onions and garlic until a golden brown color develops; seat aside. Skin side down, sear the chicken until the skin in contact with the skillet is golden brown. Place the chicken seared veggies , herbs and potatoes in the skillet and the chicken, skin side up, on top. Place the two bricks on top of the chicken and place in the oven. Drop temperature to 350°F and roast for 45 minutes. Remove bricks and cook for an additional 20 minutes or until an internal temperature of 165°F is reached in the breast and thighs.


  • The bourbon is an astringent so the chicken may cook a bit faster. Be mindful and check the temperature at regular intervals.
  • The better quality your bourbon and sweet tea, the better your chicken will taste.