I live in Los Angeles, not the South, so though I have heard of sweet tea, I don’t commonly drink it. Of course I drink hot tea all day long, but cold sweet tea just isn’t in my repertoire. So when I heard of chicken being marinated in sweet tea and then fried, I was skeptical. But the more I thought about it, the better and better it sounded. By brining the chicken in a sweet and salty liquid, the bird becomes flavorful and moist, plus you have the herbaciousness of the tea. So I decided to try it and let me tell you…….it was a revelation! I have now served it for two dinner parties in a row because it has been getting rave reviews by my guests! I decided to roast my version of sweet tea chicken, mainly because it is less time consuming, and I think it turned out spectacularly. I used this recipe as a starting point, but I changed a few things- namely I didn’t bother to make my own sweet tea. I just purchased it already made from the grocery store. But if you want to make your own, I highly recommend using the original recipe.
Sweet Tea Roasted Chicken
- 2 cups Sweet Tea (I purchased mine at Trader Joes, but you can also use Snapple)
- 2 medium sweet onions sliced thin
- 2 lemons sliced thin
- 2 springs of rosemary
- 1 heaping tablespoon of salt
- 4 small breast of chicken or 2-3 huge ones (I used on the bone with skin)
- Place all ingredients in a gallon Ziploc bag and carefully shake to combine. Let marinate for 24 hours.
- When you are ready to roast the chicken, preheat oven to 400. Drain the chicken and place in a roasting tray with the skin side up. Pat dry.
- Cook for 30 minutes at 400, then test to see if the internal temperature is up to 165. If not, keep roasting it at 350 degrees until done.
- *Note: I placed the sliced onions around the chicken as it roasted to use as decoration for when I served the bird to my guests, but this isn't necessary for the recipe to work. Also this easily doubles or triples depending on how many pieces of chicken you have. But I found I couldn't get more than 3-4 chicken breasts and the rest of the marinade in a Ziploc gallon bag at a time. So the recipe is for a 1 gallon bag.
- Use the onions in my couscous with caramelized onions and cranberries as the perfect side dish to the chicken.