In a previous post, you met Lucille, a golden delicious brined and baked chicken that we cooked in the Always Delicious Cooking Class. Now you get the directions. I usually don’t cook by recipe. So preparing recipes to post, is very new for me. But I will share tips to help you cook with or without one.
The ingredients used in the brine are some of my favorites. They can be changed, added to, or measurements altered. If you do not like rosemary, scratch it from the list. Partial to thyme, add more than a tablespoon. If you really, really love red pepper flakes, add it to the brine. This is not an exact science. Sometimes you may add more, sometimes less. It is your chicken, you can cook it like you want.
Brining is a process in which meat is soaked in a salt/sugar solution to marinate. Let me explain without getting too technical. The salt moves from the higher concentration of salt in the solution to the lower concentration of salt in the meat. This is an attempt to equalize the salt content both outside and inside. In cellular biology, this is called osmosis. Who knew that I would use my biology degree in the kitchen? As the salt diffuses into the meat, it infuses with it the other ingredients. Brining results in a moister and seasoned to the bone meat.
The Brine Recipe:
¼ cup salt (I use sea salt.)
¼ cup sugar (I use organic sugar.)
1 tablespoon peppercorns (I use organic herbs and spices.)
1 tablespoon rosemary
1 tablespoon thyme
1 tablespoon marjoram
1 tablespoon tarragon
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon celery seed
3 garlic cloves halved
Water (I use filtered water.)
Whole Chicken (I use organic or no hormones/antibiotics used.)
Mix all the ingredients, except the water, in a quart jar.
Heat and pour water to fill the jar.
Stir until salt and sugar are dissolved and let cool.
Put the chicken in a resealable bag larger than the chicken.
Pour the cooled brine over the chicken and add extra water to entirely cover.
Squeeze out the air and seal the bag.
Place the sealed bag in a bowl to keep it upright and to catch brine leaks.
Refrigerate the chicken overnight or at least 6 hours.
When the brining is complete, discard the brine, rinse and pat dry the chicken in preparation for baking.
The Chicken Recipe:
Whole Brined Chicken
Melted butter (I use grass fed butter.)
Heat the oven to 350 degrees.
Put the brined chicken that has been rinsed and patted dry in a roasting pan or pot with a rack. This keeps the chicken from sitting in the juices as it cooks.
Cover the surface of the chicken with the melted butter.
Put the chicken in the oven uncovered.
Cook until golden, the juices run clear when pierced with a fork, and the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees with a meat thermometer in the thickest part of the thigh.
In the spirit of the old saying “waste not, want not” none of Lucille should be wasted. Lucille can be served with sides, the pan drippings made into gravy, chicken salad made with the leftovers and the carcass/bones can be used to make chicken stock. Go Lucille.
Because knowledge is power, I encourage you to research the benefits of the different herbs, spices, ingredients and techniques shared. You may be surprised at the wealth of health and healing to the body they provide.
Harriet Noel Jones