Audax of Audax Artifex was our November 2012 Daring Cooks’ host. Audax has brought us into the world of brining and roasting, where we brined meat and vegetables and roasted them afterwards for a delicious meal!
Wow! I had never brined anything before! I thought it would be hard and time consuming, but it was neither of the two! It was actually really easy and yes, it does take a bit of time, but it’s mostly “resting/soaking” time, so the only thing you really have to do is plan ahead. Being the first time, I chose to make a very simple brine, but Audax gave us great tips on how to add different flavours to brines, so make sure you check them out! I kept my chicken to soak overnight and then I kept it in the fridge to “dry” for a few hours to get a nice crispy skin. When I was ready to cook it, I just rubbed it with some herbs and spices and I put it into the preheated oven. That’s it. So simple! I also added some potatoes, pumpkin and carrots to roast along with the chicken. The result was amazing and this dish was a big hit with my family (girls and veggies included ;-P)! The chicken was so flavourful, moist and succulent… even the breast, which is always a bit dry, was perfect! And the skin was crispy and sinfully delicious! I think I will start to brine more often from now on, it does make a huge difference!
Thank you so much Audax for such a great challenge!
- 1 lt – 4 cups cold water
- 70 gms – ¼ cup table salt or 70 gms – ½ cup Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt
- 2 tbsp sugar (optional) – I used it!
- Peppercorns (optional) – I used it!
- 1 Whole Brined Chicken
- 3 garlic cloves
- 2 rosemary sprigs
- 4 sage leaves
- 2 bay leaves
- ½ tbsp garlic powder
- ½ tbsp paprika
- ½ lemon, juiced
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- Ground pepper to taste
- Heat 1 cup of water to the boiling point, add the salt and sugar and stir until dissolved.
- Place the brine in a non-reactive container. Add the remaining water and stir. Keep aside until the brine has reached room temperature.
- Add your chicken to the brine. Make sure that it is completely submerged (I weighed it down with a clean plate).
- Cover the container with plastic wrap and place it in the fridge for 3 to 8 hours (or overnight) to soak.
- If desired you can air-dry your poultry (usually over night) in the fridge. This will ensure that you get crispy skin on your bird. You should also pat dry your brined chicken (inside and out) with paper towels before cooking it.
- Discard the brine and dry the skin and the inside of the chicken with paper towels.
- If you desire crispy skin then leave the bird on a rack for several hours or overnight in the fridge so the skin can dry.
- Squeeze the juice of the lemon on the skin of the chicken and rub it with ground pepper, paprika and garlic powder.
- Drizzle with the extra virgin olive oil.
- Put the squeezed half lemon, garlic cloves, bay leaves, rosemary and sage in the chicken cavity. If you want, you can tie the chicken legs together with some kitchen twine.
- Roast in a preheated oven at 220°C – 425°F for the first 15 minutes, then decrease the temperature to 180°C – 350°F and roast for a further 12-15 minutes per 450 grams – 1 pound. Your chicken will be ready when it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F – 84°C (or when the juices run clear when you pierce the chicken between the leg and thigh).
- Let it rest for approximately 30 minutes covered loosely in foil before serving it.