Brined Chicken

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Brined Roast Chicken

Brined Roast Chicken


For the BRINE

  • 1 cup Kosher salt ; or 1/2 cup plain salt
  • 1 quart Hot water
  • 3 quarts Cold water


  • 1 2.5-lb Free-range chicken ; giblets reserved for another use (up to 3-lb)
  • 2 tablespoons Unsalted butter ; at room temperature
  • fresh ground black pepper ; to taste
  • 1 bunch Flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • 6 sprigs Marjoram
  • 1 large Lemon ; cut into wedges
  • 1 large Shallot ; peeled and sliced


  1. Brining the chicken: In a food-grade plastic container or stainless-steel bowl large enough to hold the chicken, stir and dissolve the salt in the hot water
  2. Add the cold water and stir
  3. Rinse the chicken, then submerge it in the brine
  4. The chicken must be completely submerged in the solution during the brining process
  5. Place a heavy ceramic plate or bowl on top of the bird to prevent it from floating in the brine
  6. Cover and refrigerate for 1 to 3 hours, the longer the better
  7. Pour off the brine and rinse the chicken well under cold running water, then dry it thoroughly with paper towels, inside and out
  8. For extra-crispy skin, place the brined bird on a wire rack set over a rimmed baking sheet and return to the refrigerator to air-dry, uncovered, for at least another hour, or overnight, before roasting
  9. Roasting the chicken: To assure even cooking, remove chicken from refrigerator, and let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes
  10. Place oven rack in center position and preheat the oven to 500 degrees F
  11. Rub the chicken with the butter and season inside and out with pepper
  12. Place the parsley, bay leaf, marjoram, lemon, and shallot in the chicken’s cavity
  13. Truss the chicken (use string or skewers)
  14. Place the chicken on a rack set inside a roasting pan
  15. Roast the chicken until the skin just begins to brown, about 20 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 350 degrees F
  16. Continue cooking the chicken until the thigh juices run clear and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh, away from the bone, registers 170 degrees F, about 20 to 30 minutes more
  17. Transfer the chicken to a warmed platter, cover loosely with aluminum foil and let rest for 10 to 15 minutes before carving and serving
  18. Brining does have one adverse effect on chicken in that it adds moisture to the skin as well as the flesh which can prevent the skin from browning or crisping when roasting
  19. Air-drying solves this problem by letting the brined chicken dry, uncovered, making the skin visibly more dry and taut and promotes crispness when cooked

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