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)