Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Roast Chicken

Since I'm playing hide-and-seek with my camera cord, I had to borrow Martha Stewart's roast chicken photo.

Because I can't wait to blog about this fabulous roast chicken.

It's a hybrid chicken - part Chef Judy, part Martha Stewart.

I first came across the idea of a dry brine two days before Thanksgiving. Too late to use it for my Thanksgiving turkey.

So I've been practicing on chicken. This method was originally developed for roast chicken anyway. The chicken has to dry brine for three days before you plan to cook it, so it does require some planning ahead. And it seems excessive. But it's worth it. Those who know say you CAN dry brine for less time, but the longer the brine, the better the flavor.

Dry Brined Roast Chicken

For the dry brine:

1 whole chicken (4-6 pounds)
1 TB kosher salt

1. Rinse the chicken and remove any giblets. Pat it dry with paper towels. (My chicken is usually frozen at this point...it still works. Just rub the salt over the frozen chicken and it will thaw as it dry brines over the course of three days.)

2. Rub the tablespoon of salt all over the chicken.

3. Place the chicken in a ziploc bag, squeeze the air out and seal it.

4. Let it sit in the refrigerator for 3 days. For a Sunday dinner of roast chicken, I start it dry brining Thursday morning.

5. The night before you plan to roast the chicken, remove the chicken from the bag and place it in the refrigerator, uncovered, overnight.

Now you're ready to roast!


Dry brined chicken
1-2 TB butter, softened
salt and pepper
2 onions, cut in 1/2 inch slices
1 lemon
3-4 tsp minced garlic
4 sprigs fresh thyme (or 2 tsp dried thyme)

1. Allow chicken to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before cooking.

2. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

3. Place onion slices in the bottom of a roasting pan (or glass 9x13 baking pan).

4. Pierce entire surface of the lemon with a fork. Insert garlic, thyme and lemon (it's still good, even if you don't have a lemon...I never seem to have one on hand) into the chicken cavity. Place the chicken on the onions in the roasting pan.

5. Spread the softened butter over the surface of chicken, and sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper. I read somewhere that sprinkling the chicken with paprika makes it extra pretty...but my paprika just burned and made my chicken not so pretty.

6. Place in the oven, and roast for about 1 1/2 hours, until the skin is deep golden brown and crisp. The breast temperature should read 180 degrees, the thigh 190 degrees.

7. Remove chicken from oven, and transfer to a cutting board. Let the chicken stand 10 to 15 minutes before carving.

You can go here for instructions on making a gravy.

More details about dry brining a chicken or turkey can be found here, with FAQ's here.

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