If you’ve ever roasted a whole chicken or turkey, you know that the secret is in the brine. Brining a chicken not only adds flavor and produces a delicious juicy bird, but also tenderizes free-range pastured birds as they can often be tough. There are number of different ingredients and spices you can use in your brine, but I usually keep mine simple – salt, sugar, and cider vinegar.
How to brine a chicken:
In a large stock pot or bucket (I use my 5 Quart Le Creuset Stockpot), add 1/2 cup salt to 1/2 quart hot water until dissolved. Fill your pot with an additional 1 1/2 quarts cold water. Add 1 Tablespoon of sugar and 1 Tablespoon of cider vinegar. Rinse your chicken inside and out, removing any innards or dangling bits of fat (typically whole chickens purchased at a supermarket will already have completed this step for you). Submerge the chicken into the pot neck first to allow the cavity to fill with water so it will sick to the base of the pot. Top the pot off with an additional 1 1/2 quarts of cold water and cover. Refrigerate overnight or longer. I like to brine my chickens at least 24 hours if not longer. When ready to cook, remove chicken from brine and pat dry.
Roasted Whole Chicken with Chili Maple Glaze
gluten-free, grain-free, soy-free, dairy-free, peanut-free, tree nut-free, seed-free, shellfish-oil, fish-free, bean & legume-free
- One 3-lb whole frying chicken (I like using pasture raised organic)
- 3 Tbsp chili powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 Tbsp water
- 2-3 Tbsp maple syrup
- Preheat oven to 425*F. Combine the chili powder and the salt and rub all side and interior of chicken until covered.Let chicken sit at room temperature for 15-20 minutes.
- Place bird breast side up in a shallow roasting pan. Twist the wing tips so that they are secured on top of the breast – this may require some muscle power. This is sometimes called the “sunbathing” position as the chicken appears to be laying on it’s back, breast in the air, with arms on top and legs underneath. Tie the legs loosely together with kitchen twine.
- Pour the water into the pan and put the chicken in the oven feet first.
- Roast for 1 hour or until the bird’s internal temperature is 160-165*F. Yes, it’s important to own a meat thermometer!
- Remove the chicken from the oven. Skin should be golden and crisp. Brush with maple syrup. Roast for another 5 minutes.
- Spoon the remaining drippings over the chicken.
- Let chicken cool for 15 minutes before carving and serving.
With local organic whole chickens on sale last week for $0.99/lb I bought 2 and froze one for another day. After seeing how delicious this was I wish I would have picked up a few more!
Don’t forget to save your chicken bones to make homemade broth! Tutorial on this later.