One of my favorite meals I make for the family, is a simple whole roasted chicken. I discovered several years ago, it is a much better deal to buy a whole chicken rather than chicken in parts. With a whole chicken I get several meals and when I’m left with nothing but that carcass, I can make some fantastic chicken bone broth. Look for Chicken Bone Broth recipe on my page.
A key part to this recipe is soaking the chicken in a brine for several hours. I prefer to let my chicken sit in a brine overnight, but in a pinch, even 3 to 4 hours in a brine will make a tremendous difference in the taste of your chicken. I start with a large stock pot. I add kosher salt and sugar in the raw, you can substitute honey if you prefer. I have done both and tend to go with the sugar in the raw. I add some peppercorns and a couple of bay leaves. I will also add some thyme, but this is my preference, the thyme can be left out or replaced with one of your favorite herbs. Fill the pot about a third of the way with water and transfer the pot to the stove top. Heat the mixture until all the salt and sugar have dissolved and remove from heat. Add cold water to the pot until it is about half full. When the brine has reached room temperature, add the chicken. The chicken should also be room temperature. This is key for food safety. The chicken and the brine should be the same temperature when combined. Make sure the chicken has been rinsed and parts have been removed from the chicken cavity. Wash your hands frequently and make sure work surfaces are kept clean. The chicken should be completely submerged in the brine. Keep in the refrigerator overnight. About and hour prior to cooking, take the chicken out of the refrigerator.
- 1 Tablespoon Kosher Salt
- 1 Tablespoon Sugar in the Raw
- 1 Teaspoon Whole Peppercorns
- 2 to 4 Whole Bay Leaves
- 1 Teaspoon Thyme or other dried herb of choice
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Remove chicken from the brine and pat dry. Place in roasting pan. Again, throughout this process you will want to wash and dry your hands frequently. As you drain the brine off, save the bay leaves and place inside the chicken cavity. Cut a whole onion in half and reserve half the onion for your stock later. Place the other half of onion inside the chicken. Coarsely chop two stalks of celery, leaves included and put inside the chicken. Coarsely chop two peeled carrots and place inside the chicken. By the time I’m done, my chicken is stuffed with herbs and fresh vegetables. Any veggies that wouldn’t fit inside the chicken, I will leave at the bottom of the roasting pan. Drizzle your chicken with olive oil. Sprinkle some more kosher salt over the chicken. At this point, you can add any dried herbs or fresh cracked pepper to taste. Place in the pre-heated oven uncovered and roast until internal temperature reaches 160 degrees. Remove the chicken from the oven and cover with aluminum foil. Let rest for at least 10 minutes, I tend to wait 15 minutes. Now you are ready to carve and serve.
- 1 Whole Roasting Chicken
- 2 Celery Stalks
- 2 Carrots peeled
- 1/2 Onion
- Olive Oil
- Kosher Salt
- Fresh Cracked Pepper