Most of the recipes that I am trying are first timers. I’m just starting my culinary adventures, so the experiments run rapid in my kitchen. I think I preface serving dinner to my husband with “If this doesn’t taste good, just tell me, and we’ll order a pizza.” on a weekly basis.
Making a turkey is on my list of things I’ve never made, but really want to. Rather than attempt to make a turkey, just to say I did, I thought I would start small. I’ll make a chicken!
This last Thanksgiving, my sister-in-law made the turkey, and she brined it the day before. It was so amazing! She used some orange along with her other blend of spices, and I can’t say enough about how that turkey turned out. (My sister-in-law helps me out/inspires me a lot, if you hadn’t noticed) After making this chicken, which was delicious, I feel confident that if I was called upon for turkey duty, I could deliver something comparable to my sister’s!
1 chicken (innards removed)
15 cups of water
3/4 cup salt
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 grapefruit (I used white)
1 1/2 tbsp dried rosemary
1 bay leaf
1 tsp black peppercorn
4 gloves garlic
Prepare the brine 8-12 hours before your ready to cook the chicken. Heat 2 cups of the water in a small pot with the sugar and salt. Once it is all dissolved, remove from the heat and allow it to cool. In the mean time, toast the peppercorns, till they are fragrant and then crush them with the dried rosemary using a mortar and pestle, or the bottom of bowl. Smash the garlic cloves. Cut the citrus in half and squeeze over the chicken in a large stock pot or clean bucket. Add the rinds in with the chicken along with the crushed spices, garlic and bay leaf. Pour the 13 cups of water in, and then the 2 mixed with the sugar and salt. If the chicken floats to the tops, weight it down using a plate. Allow to brine in the refrigerator or a cool place for up to 12 hours.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Remove the chicken from the brine and allow it to drain. Pat it dry and then give it a good rub down with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Plate it in a roasting pan fitted with a rack. Bake for about an hour, but check every half an hour or so so make sure that it’s browning evenly. If it starts to get too brown on some places, just loosely cover those areas with tin foil. Check the doneness of the chicken by inserting a kitchen thermometer into the thickest part of the bird. (Thigh or breast) When it reaches 160 degrees, take the bird out and let it rest! Allow at least 10 minutes for the juices to resettle before cutting. This is so important in making the meat tender!
*save all those drippings in the bottom of the roasting pan, and make a delicious gravy!