I have figured out how to make a chicken taste great with minimal effort, and now I just have to share with you! I’m sure I’m not the first one to discover this method, but there’s a chance that you haven’t stumbled upon it yet. So are you ready? I’ll give you a hint. The secret to a no-fuss roasted chicken is in the brine!
1 whole chicken (4-5lbs)
1 large onion
3 garlic cloves
6 TB sea salt
ground pepper or peppercorns
6 cups of water
What to Do:
There are two approaches to this task: You can start the process either the night before you plan to cook the chicken, or the morning of. I’m going to focus on the chicken-in-a-day process, because honestly, who plans that far ahead? ;)
Oven Roasted Chicken-in-a-Day – The Quick Method
Step 1 – The Brine:
1. Bring a couple cups of water to a boil in a pan (enough to dissolve the salt), and add the salt. Turn off heat and stir until salt is dissolved.
2. Add the rest of the (cold) water to equal 6 cups (add some ice cubes first if you want to speed up the process – you want the water to be cool). Put the chicken in a large bowl or container and pour water over. Ideally the water will completely cover the chicken, so you may need to adjust the amount of salt water needed, depending on how deep your container is. Cover chicken and refrigerate 5-12 hours. Note: I’ve left it for longer than that, so if you do, just keep in mind that your chicken will be much saltier and you will probably want to rinse it before cooking.
Step 2 – The Roast:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
1. Drain the water off the chicken and place it breast side down in your baking dish.
2. Fill cavity with one whole onion and three garlic cloves (skins removed of course). Sprinkle pepper over the bird, or add a few peppercorns. (Note to Self: Make sure the peppercorns land on the chicken and not on the floor, or your 9 1/2 month old may try to eat them.) Turn the bird back over so the breast is facing up and pepper that side too.
3. Bake for one hour and check to be sure the skin isn’t getting too brown. You can turn the bird over if you choose (or need to), but I usually don’t bother. Continue roasting another 30 t0 45 min., checking to be sure the internal temp reaches 165 before removing it and allowing the meat to “rest.” Enjoy!
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