Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Brining, Part Deux

Having had such success with my first brined turkey, I decided to try it again - with chicken!

I've really had to try to cut our food budget over the last few months. Our gas bill has been astronomical lately! Whole chickens are a frugal protein, so I decided to see if I could do as well brining these as I did with our Thanksgiving turkey. I did some research online, and then used a similar recipe as for the turkey to brine two whole roasters. Since our turkey was a bit on the salty side (although still delicious), I only brined them for 4 1/2 hours.

I then rinsed and dried them, stuffed them with onion, lemon, and fresh thyme sprigs, and brushed them with melted butter to which I added garlic, thyme, and pepper. I roasted them breast down at 450F for 15 minutes, then turned them and roasted them at 450F for another 10 minutes. I then turned down the oven to 350F and used my remote thermometer to track it to an internal temperature of 160F. I forgot to note how long this took, but it was less than one hour. I then covered the roaster with foil and let them sit while I cooked the sides.

Looks pretty good, doesn't it? I think next time I will give it more time at 450F to get a crispier skin - the breast was crispy, but in the center only. I will also brine it for just a little longer - it could have been a little saltier. Everyone loved it - we pretty much finished off one bird, and the other was stripped for stock later this week, some chicken set aside for chicken salad, and some frozen for later use.

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