I have to be honest with this one, I had never brined a chicken before and hadn’t though much of the whole process. It sounded a bit messy and required some forethought all of which I wasn’t too keen on. Then the fateful day finally came when I gave it a good old college try and WOW!!! Since that day I’ve made it over and over again. Neither my husband nor I really care much for chicken though we tend to eat it more than any other animal. When he took the first bite of this bird his eyes flew wide open. It was a revelation to my non-brining self;) Those of you who are brining pros may be underwhelmed by this post, but I think the rest of you will be pretty glad you tried it! This recipe is an adaptation of a William Sonoma one.
The best part is that the leftover chicken, roasted veggies, and wine jus make for an exceptional soup the next day. Today I’ll share the recipe for the chicken and next week will follow with the delightful “leftover” roasted chicken soup recipe.
- 1/2 cup fine sea salt
- 1 quart warm water
- 1 quart cold water
- 1 chicken, about 5 1/2 lb, giblets removed and legs trussed
- 2 Tablespoon unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2 Tablespoons dried thyme
- Salt and Pepper
- a bunch thyme sprigs
- a bunch rosemary sprigs
- 1 large yellow onion, coarsely chopped
- 1 lb carrots, coarsely chopped
- 1 1/2 cups dry white wine
- 2 cups chicken stock (reserve rest of quart for roasted chicken soup recipe)
~Dissolve the salt in the warm water in a glass bowl large enough to hold the chicken. Add the cold water and stir. Rinse chicken, then submerge it breast side down in the brine. Cover and refrigerate 4 hours.
~Preheat an oven to 400°F.
~Remove the chicken from brine and pat dry with paper towels. Rub with the butter and season with thyme, salt and pepper. Place onions and carrots around the bird. Toss the thyme and rosemary sprigs in the cavity and around as well.
~Place the chicken breast side up in a covered dutch oven. Roast for 25 minutes. Flip the chicken breast side down and roast for 30 minutes more. Flip the breast side up again and roast uncovered for about 40 minutes more until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh reads 165 degrees. Pour the juices from the chicken cavity back into the dutch oven and transfer the chicken to a carving board. Cover loosely with aluminum foil and let rest for 15 minutes before carving.
~To make the wine jus, skim off any bits of skin and fat from the surface. Add the wine and boil until reduced by half. Add the stock and boil until the liquid further reduced by half.
Serve carved chicken with the hot wine jus.
***Save all leftover wine jus, chicken and veggies in the fridge to use in this chicken and wild rice soup recipe.
The bird variation below was roasted with mini apples, pearl onions, blue potatoes and various root vegetables. The combinations are endlessly delicious!