A question about a recipe: Late Night Coffee Brined Chicken

I have a question about step 1 on the recipe "Late Night Coffee Brined Chicken " from gingerroot. It says:

"Combine salt, peppercorns, star anise, and cloves in a small pot. Lightly crush spices with the back of a large spoon. Squeeze orange halves over mixture, and then add halves. Pour hot coffee over mixture, stir and cover pot with lid. Allow brine to steep for ten minutes. "

Question - is there a difference between star anise and whole anise? If they can be substituted, how much whole anise should be used? Also, do we steep the brine over heat or off the heat? (sorry if that's a bad question)



goldenblind221 April 30, 2011
Thank you all for the great answers. I appreciate the help. Went out and bought star anise, it will be my first time cooking with it. I adore food52 and this wonderful community for exactly this reason. So many things I never would have tried, experiences I would not have had, if I had never arrived here. Thanks, y'all.
gingerroot April 30, 2011
Hi goldenblind221, I am not sure if you have tried this yet, but here are a few more links that might help in determining if star anise and whole anise are interchangeable. Anise seed is different from star anise, but it seems that often star anise is called whole anise and vice versa.

http://www.foodsubs.com/SpiceUniv.html#anise seed

dymnyno April 30, 2011
Anise and star anise are two different spices. Anise is very liquorice tasting. The seed looks sort of like a fennel seed (size and shape). Star anise is shaped like a star and is much larger and the flavor is not as strong.
gingerroot April 28, 2011
Hi goldenblind221, as far as I know, whole anise and str anise are the same: http://www.thespicehouse.com/spices/hand-selected-whole-star-anise

For the other part of your question, it is a pot off the heat, but the brine is hot because you are pouring freshly brewed hot coffee over the salt/spices/orange juice/orange halves, and then cover the pot and let steep for ten minutes. Hope that makes sense. Enjoy!
hardlikearmour April 28, 2011
Star anise is a star shaped pod (see the ingredient photo on the front page of food52.) I'm not sure what whole anise is.
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