Brining is one of the oldest kitchen techniques in the world; it’s a very common way to preserve food with salt. It’s also an amazingly simple way to make the juiciest chicken you’ve ever had!
Yield: 4-6 Servings
2 quarts water
1/2 cup salt
1/2 cup sugar
1 fresh chicken
1 chopped onion
a few chopped parsnips
a few chopped carrots
a few stalks of chopped celery
a splash olive oil
Whisk the salt and sugar into the water until they’re completely dissolved. Place the chicken in a large bowl or pot and cover with the water. Refrigerate it in the brine for an hour or two then remove it and dry well with a clean towel.
Preheat your oven to 350F. Toss the vegetables with the oil and a bit of salt and pepper then pour them into a casserole dish or shallow roasting pan. Sit the chicken on top and roast it until an instant read thermometer registers 160F in the thickest part of the breast and 165F in the thigh. Cooking time depends on the size of your chicken.
As soon as the chicken is cool enough to handle – and without taking it out of the pan – cut off the legs and slice off the breasts. Cut as much of the meat as possible off the bones and stir into the vegetables. Serve together.
Thrills and chills will abound when you present this chicken to your little ghouls, ghosts and goblins. You'll feel like Dr. Frankenstein putting together your very own monstrous creation, and you'll feel good fuelling your family for an evening of trick-or-treating fun with this simple roasted spider, I mean chicken.
To turn this into a full meal deal, you can roast the chicken over a bed of root vegetables. Cubes of potatoes or carrots, thick slices of onions or whole cloves of garlic are all fair game. They'll soak up the tasty juices that drip off the chicken and give you a complete meal in one pan.
Usually when you’re cooking a whole chicken, the focus is on the crispy skin, but what if the goal is deeply flavoured moist chicken meat instead? Baking in a tightly covered pot is the answer. It also happens to be one of the simplest ways to cook a chicken, and the tastiest because this covered cooking method makes lots of true, concentrated chicken flavor.