Brined roast chicken

Once you’ve had roast chicken like this, you may never want to have it any other way. Everything else will be dry, tough and flavorless by comparison. Also try brining chicken that you broil, fry or bake.

Ingredients:
1 roasting chicken about 4 lbs (important note)
3 Tbs melted butter
about 2 quarts water
1/4 cup salt
2 cloves garlic, crushed (see this video for easy peeling)
1 Tbs dried tarragon
1 tsp dried rosemary or 1 sprig fresh bruised

Making brine:
1. Combine 1 quart of water with salt, garlic, tarragon and rosemary in a saucepan.
2. Bring to a boil then reduce to a slow simmer for 20 minutes.
3. Combine with remaining quart of water and refrigerate to chill.

Brining chicken:
1. Clean chicken and remove excess fat.
2. Place in cold brine, adding water if necessary to completely cover meat.
3. Refrigerate for 24-48 hours.

Roasting chicken:
1. Preheat oven and roasting pan to 375 degree F.
2. Remove chicken from brine, rinse well and pat dry with paper towels.
3. Coat chicken with melted butter.
4. Place wing side up on preheated roasting pan and roast for 20-30 minutes until browned.
5. Rotate so other wing side is up and roast another 20-30 minutes until browned.
6. Rotate chicken to breast side up and roast until dark meat in thigh reaches 170 degrees F and the breast at least 160 degrees F, about 15 minutes.
7. Remove from oven and let rest 20 minutes before carving.

Notes:
I use a jelly roll pan with a cooling rack for a chicken roaster. It’s important to hold the chicken out of the fat that will render out of the bird while roasting.

I found this container at my local restaurant supply store and it’s perfect for brining:

A digital thermometer with a probe is very handy. When chicken is turned to breast up, insert probe into thigh and set alarm to 170 degrees. Be sure to check breast temperature too when alarm goes off.

The resting time before carving is important. It allows the meat to retain as much moisture as possible. If you carve meat without a resting period a lot of the moisture ends up on the cutting board.

Experiment with brining time and amount of salt to suit your taste and schedule. You could use more salt and soak shorter for instance.

Other flavors to try: lavender, cilantro, bay leaf, oregano, fresh ginger root, kaffir lime leaf, lemon peel, sage, thyme…

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