For the last several years I’ve been brining the Thanksgiving turkey and I think I’ve brined a couple of roaster chickens here and there. Then last month I decided to add a little extra zip to a bunch of chicken parts and was amazed at how much difference it made. The chicken came out amazingly juicy and tender and full of flavor. Now I’m hooked! Combined with my usual batch of roasted vegetables, this classic was a hit. It’s also quite simple and easy.
Use whatever herbs or flavors strike your fancy. I have sage and rosemary in the garden so I used a bunch, picked fresh. Dried herbs are just fine.
Get the chicken in the brine a day before you plan to cook it, or at the very least give it 12 hours. Mine sat in the fridge for about 24 hours.
- Chicken Parts (or whole chickens)
- Kosher Salt,1/2 cup
- Brown Sugar, 1/2 cup
- Coarse Ground Black Pepper or Peppercorns, 2 tablespoons
- Sage and Rosemary, a few sprigs of each
- Garlic, 4 or 5 cloves
- Water, 2 quarts
Rinse the chicken and remove any excess fat. Put it into a giant zip bag along with the herbs and peeled garlic cloves. Add the brine mixture. Carefully squeeze out the excess air and seal the bag. Lay it flat in the fridge and let it sit for a day.
- Small Red Potatoes, 3 pounds
- Carrots, 6 to 8
- Sweet Yellow Onions, 2 or 3
- Rosemary, a tablespoon or so when snipped
- Sage. a tablespoon or so when snipped
- Olive Oil, a couple tablespoons
Mix all the herbs and vegetables together in a big roasting pan. Sprinkle with pepper and drizzle with a little olive oil. Stir it all together again so the vegetables are lightly coated with the oil.
Take the chicken out of the brine and arrange it over and around the vegetables. Pour about a cup of the brine into the pan. It’ll keep the vegetables from sticking to the pan and keep everything nice and moist.