Brine & Roast Chicken

Daring Brining and Roasting

Brine & Roast Chicken

I have the most shocking thing to confess – I roasted a whole chicken… and I liked it.

OK, so most people have roasted a whole chicken at some point in their lives. Not me. I had never cooked chicken that had skin on it, or bones. Being a vegetarian for many years will do that to you. I just don’t have the usual meat-making skills that other people have. I figure it’s time to change that. Even if I don’t regularly make roasts or brine chickens, it’s worth learning these techniques just to know that I can do it.

Brine & Roast Chicken - raw
I think he’s a little cold…

The hardest part was finding a container big enough for the brining. Seriously, I couldn’t find anything that would allow me to fully submerge the chicken in liquid that also fit in my fridge. I made it work, and managed to brine the chicken, and let it air dry overnight.

The roasting was the most fun part, of course. I found a recipe with a simple rub and shoved a couple of lemons up its cavity. All in a day’s work, my friends.

Brine & Roast Chicken
Finished product – tasty and economical!

I think I did a pretty good job for my first chicken roasting. I came to realize just how economical it is to make a whole chicken. This very inexpensive bird made us a very filling meal that night (ughh… I think we ate more of the meat than we needed to) and the leftovers were plenty for a chili I made a couple of days later. I also made chicken stock with the carcass (sorry, Mess, but that’s what it’s called). So tasty and useful!

This was a great experience, and no doubt I will be doing it again soon!

Audax of Audax Artifax was our November 2012 Daring Cooks’ host. Audax has brought us into the world of brining and roasting, where we brined meat and vegetables and roasted them afterwards for a delicious meal!

Roast Chicken with Lemon, Garlic and Rosemary

Source: this recipe

1 cooked chicken

Ingredients:

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary, crumbled
  • 1 teaspoon each salt and pepper
  • 6 mini potatoes, halved
  • 3 large carrots, chopped diagonally
  • 1 large onion, peeled and cut into wedges
  • 1 whole chicken
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 cups (375 mL) chicken stock
  • brining ingredients (recipe below)

Preparation:

  1. Brine chicken for at least 6 hours, and air dry overnight.
  2. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  3. Combine garlic with 2 tablespoons of the oil, mustard, rosemary and half each of the salt and pepper.
  4. Toss vegetables (carrots, onion and potatoes) with oil, salt and pepper. Layer on the bottom of the roasting pan.
  5. Remove giblets and neck from chicken. Pat chicken dry inside and out. Place lemons in cavity. Tie legs together with string; tuck wings under back. Place, breast side up, on rack in large roasting pan. If you don’t have a rack, make sure the chicken is on top of a layer of vegetables.
  6. Brush mustard mixture all over chicken. Roast for 15 minutes.
  7. Lower the heat to 375°F and roast for a further 12-15 minutes per 450 grams/pound. The internal temperature should be 165°F, or the juices should run clear when you pierce the bird between the leg and thigh.
  8. Rest for approximately 30 minutes covered loosely in foil.

All-Purpose Brine

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups (1 litre) of cold water
  • ¼ cup (70 gm) table salt or ½ cup (70 gm) Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt
  • optional 2 tablespoons (30 ml) (30 gm/1 oz) sugar
  • optional 3-4 peppercorns, a few springs of herbs, a garlic clove or two, a knob of ginger etc.

Preparation:

  1. Bring 1 cup of water to the boil. Stir in the salt, sugar and other seasonings (if using) until salt and sugar completely dissolve.
  2. Place in a non-reactive container (glass, plastic, stainless steel, zip-lock bags etc). Add the remaining water and stir. Allow the brine to cool until it comes down to room temperature.
  3. Add your cut of meat make sure that the meat is completely submerged (that is totally covered in the salty water) if need be you can weigh down the cut of meat with a clean plate (etc). If using plastic bags make sure that the meat is totally covered in brine and make sure that is bag is locked securely.
  4. Cover the container with plastic wrap to prevent odours contaminating the flavour brine or the brine leaking.
  5. Place the container into the refrigerator for the soaking time suggested by the guidelines above.
  6. If desired you can air-dry your poultry (usually over night) in the refrigerator if you wish to have crispy skin on your bird. It is best to pat dry your brined item (inside and out) with paper towels before cooking.
  7. Cook the brined item as directed by the roasting guidelines above.

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