Over the last year Mr C and I have been dabbling with a chicken brine recipe.
I was a little skeptical of the process to be honest, I am very cautious when it comes to cooking chicken – to say the least, the thought of a chicken bobbing in a solution for hours really didn’t seem to appeal to me.. the first time we tried it however my apprehensions disappeared!
Brining not only allows flavors to fully permeate the flesh of the chicken, it also creates some of the most juicy chicken I have ever consumed!
Last weekend we decided it was perfected enough to document it here.
The following is a pretty easy and fool-proof way to brine a chicken. Hope it works for you as well as it works for us!
You will need:
1-whole chicken-cleaned and rinsed out (about 4 to 5 lbs)
A large stock pot
1 tbsp red peppercorns
5 Bay Leaves
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp dried onion flakes
1 tsp crushed cloves
1/2 cup kosher salt
1/2 cup sugar
You will also need to have the chicken in the brine for at least 5 hours – preferably overnight! So, on top of all the ingredients, you also need time!
Step 1 – create the brine solution
Put about 6 cups of COLD water into your large pot. Mix together the peppercorns, bay leaves, cinnamon, dried onion flakes, crushed cloves, salt and sugar. Stir until most of the sugar and salt appear to be dissolved.
Step 2- Gently place the chicken into the pot. We always place the chicken breast-side down to allow for the brine to attack the mostly commonly “dry” areas of chicken.. no one likes dry breasts.. … …. … heh.
Step 3- add more COLD water to the pot until the chicken is fully submerged. Push the chicken into the pot when you do this.
You can probably see from the picture above that I also have the chicken pre-tied, just makes it easier when you are preparing to roast it!
Step 4 – cover and refrigerate!
After 5 hours (or over night) it is time to get that brined chicken into the oven!
Spray a roasting dish with some cooking spray, and remove the chicken from the brine.
Some brine recipes say to rinse the chicken. I do not, I just make sure that all the bay leaves, peppercorns etc are removed from the chicken. I also pat the chicken dry prior to placing it in the roaster.
I then used a “greek seasoning mix” as well as onion powder, salt and pepper and rubbed the outside of the chicken. I also took about 2 tbsp of butter and put it in between the breast meat and the breast skin. I also placed a clump of butter on the inside of the chicken.
Lastly, because I love my onions, I chopped 1/2 of an onion and tossed that into the roaster as well…
——————————————- ROASTING TIME!——————————————————–
Cover the roasting dish and place in an oven that has been preheated to 375 F. For a 4-5 lb chicken it will need approx. 1 1/2 hours to 2 hours.
After the chicken has been roasting for about an hour, remove the lid/cover to brown the chicken nicely.
Once the lid has been removed, check on it every 20 mins or so to baste. If you notice you are running low on liquid in the roasting dish (should have at least 1/4″ of liquid), add some chicken broth directly into the roaster (not on the chicken, just on the inside of the side of the roaster).
I served this sumptuous chicken with some stove made dressing, peas, gravy and my famous roasted potatoes.
For my potato recipe, click here!
Oh yes.. bellies are full, time to sit in front of the fireplace and digest – cheers!