Friday, February 06, 2009

Herb Brined Roasted Chicken

This is my second attempt at brining. My last brine was just a simple sugar and salt solution. This time, I opted for an herb brine since I received loads of rosemary and thyme in my CSA box that I need to get rid of. I also had a chicken in my freezer that needed to go so I could make space for some other goodies.

The brine consisted of: water, 1 cup kosher salt and 1/2 cup sugar.

And to that I added:

fresh thyme

fresh rosemary

fresh parsley

2 bay leaves

1 head garlic

1 onion

black peppercorns, crushed

2 lemons

I simmered that all together so the salt and sugar would dissolve, brought it to room temp, then chilled it in the fridge. After it was chilled, I added the chicken to the brine, and kept refridgerated for about 4 hours. Next, I rinsed and patted the bird dry then rubbed it down with butter.

I think my bird was a 4 pounder. Then I roasted it in a large roasting pan, breast down, for 15 mins @ 450, 60 minutes at 325, then flipped it breast side up for another 20 mins. I really need a meat thermometer -- luckily it came out perfect!

The skin was really crunchy, the meat was super moist and tender and I could really taste the herbs and the lemon. I cant wait to use the carcass for stock. A chef I was chatting with told me chickens don't need to be brined but I think if you have the time or you're roasting chicken for a special occasion, it's worth the effort.