Sep 14, 2017

The First Step Before Roasting Chicken

I love roast chicken, but I have learned that you need to brine your chicken first. If you do, the bird will be juicy and flavorful, not dry. A brine is a solution that basically consists of water, salt, and sugar. 

Salt in the brine not only seasons the meat, but also promotes a change in its protein structure, reducing its overall toughness and creating gaps that fill up with water and keep the meat juicy and flavorful. It's worth the time to go through this easy step before cooking the bird.

1 whole rotisserie chicken, about 4 pounds (see "Note" below)

Ingredients for the brining solution:
4 cups cold water or more if needed to cover the chicken
1/4 cup regular table salt
2/3 cup light brown sugar

Mix brine together.

Chicken brining in a Ziploc bag
Click on photo to view larger
I like to use a heavy duty, gallon size Ziploc bag to brine each chicken, but if you don’t have one, you can use any bowl or pot big enough to hold the chicken and brine. Place a plate on top of the chicken so it is submerged in the solution for 2 hours or up to overnight. Cover and store in the refrigerator. 

When ready, remove the chicken from the brine and rinse chicken well. You are now ready to roast the chicken.

To roast a whole chicken, preheat oven to 400˚F. 

Dry chicken with paper towels. Rub it with canola oil and season with salt and pepper. Place the chicken in a roasting pan with a rack. Roast chicken until the internal temperature reaches 170˚F which will take about 1 1/2 hours. You need to check on the chicken after about an hour of cooking to make sure that the skin is not turning too dark. If it is, place a sheet of foil loosely over the chicken. Check again every 15 minutes until its internal temperature reaches 170˚F. Let rest for 15 minutes, covered with foil, before carving. 

Makes 6 servings.

Note: Please read the story I wrote in 2014 about "Slimy Chickens" which explains why we need to buy free-range chickens processed without chemicals.

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