Last night I made a scrumptious roast chicken dinner to celebrate the second night of Hanukkah with Marvin and our wonderful friend, Cheri Cohen. Since I hardly ever roast a whole chicken, the first thing I did was call my A Passionate Plate partner, Joy, for advice. She recommended brining it – which turned out to be great idea. I roasted apples and onions in a cider glaze along with the chicken and this turned out soooooo good!
The brined chicken was crispy on the outside and succulent and moist on the inside. I will definitely be making this again.
You will need to plan ahead a bit for this dinner. Start the brining process 3 hours before you plan to roast the chicken. If you want to learn more about how brining works, check out this information from Cooks Illustrated.
|Roast Chicken with Apples & Onions|
- BRINE INGREDIENTS:
- -1 gallon (16 cups) water
- -1 cup kosher salt
- -1/2 cup granulated sugar
- ROAST CHICKEN INGREDIENTS:
- Whole Organic Chicken
- 3 small organic apples
- 1 large sweet onion
- 4 cups apple cider
- 4 Tbsp. butter
- Fresh thyme sprigs
- Salt, pepper & paprika
- BRINE THE CHICKEN:
- Heat 2 cups of water in the microwave or on the stove until almost boiling.
- Add the salt and the sugar to the water, stir to dissolve, and let the water cool.
- Remove the giblets from the body cavity and rinse the bird out to remove any blood.
- In a large bowl, combine the salt water with the remaining 14 cups of water. Gently submerge the chicken into the water. Cover and refrigerate for two hours.
- Remove the chicken from the brine. Do not rinse it off.
- Set the chicken in a clean pan, uncovered, in the refrigerator for at least an hour to “dry it out”. This will help the skin become crisp during roasting.
- PREPARE THE SAUCE:
- Place 4 cups of apple cider in a medium sauce pan and simmer until the cider has reduced to 3/4 cup. Whisk in 4 Tbsp. butter and set aside.
- ROAST THE CHICKEN:
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
- Truss the chicken and place chicken on a rack in a roasting pan and sprinkle it with salt, pepper, and paprika.
- Place the roasting pan on the center rack in the oven and set a timer for 30 minutes.
- While the chicken is roasting, peel the apples, core them, and slice them into thick wedges.
- Peel the onion and slice it into thick wedges.
- Combine the apples and onion in a bowl and season them with salt, pepper, and fresh thyme leaves.
- Pour a little bit of the cider glaze over the apples and onions and toss to combine.
- After the chicken has cooked for 30 minutes, remove the roasting pan from the oven and add the apples, onion, and remaining cider glaze to the bottom of the roasting pan.
- Return the pan to the oven and continue roasting for another 20 minutes. Baste the apples and onions occasionally with the cider sauce.
- Serve the chicken on a platter, surrounded by the apples, onion, and cider sauce. Garnish with fresh sprigs of thyme.
- NOTE: An average size organic chicken cooked perfectly in 50 minutes at 450 degrees in my oven. If you aren’t comfortable judging doneness, use a meat thermometer. Insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the chicken thigh. Temperature should be 165 degrees. The bird will continue to cook a bit after it is removed from the oven.