Roast Chicken

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BubbaGourmet

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Southeast NC
Roast Chicken

Roast Chicken

The secret to great roasted poultry that is flavorful, tender and moist is very simple. So simple that I marvel that more people don’t do it. It requires a little time and effort but no more so than many other dishes and it ensures a great tasting, moist bird. This technique is brining. That is, soaking the bird in brine for 12 hours or more and allowing it to absorb juices and flavor from the brine. No, it is not the same as a marinade at all. Though there are a few similarities. Brine is a solution that contains a large amount of liquid and a disproportionate amount of salt. The salt causes the poultry to absorb moisture and retain it during the cooking process. By adding flavoring agents to this brine you also cause them to be absorbed and retained. Try this method for your next Roast Chicken. You will impress yourself as well as your guests. Oh yeah, before I forget, try this one with Turkey as well. Even the breast meat will positively ooze moisture. This dish is a family favorite that disappears so fast that leftovers don’t even come in to the picture.

1 Roasting Hen 6-7 lbs.
2 qt. Vegetable Stock
2 qt. Water
2 cups Orange Juice
2 cups White Wine
1/2 cup Salt
3/4 Cup Brown Sugar
1 tsp. Allspice
1 tsp. Red Pepper Flakes
2 Lemons, chopped
1 large onion, Chopped
10-12 sprigs Fresh Rosemary
2 Ribs Celery, chopped
12 Cloves Garlic, chopped finely
1 tsp. Black Pepper
1/8 tsp. Dried Sage
1/8 tsp. Dried Thyme

Wash the hen well and pat dry. Prepare the brine by combining the stock, water, wine, orange juice, salt, brown sugar, allspice and red pepper flakes in a large stockpot. Bring this to a boil over high heat stirring often. Remove from the heat and allow to cool completely. Once cool, immerse the chicken in the brine and place it in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours. After it has soaked for the proper amount of time, remove the chicken to a colander and allow it to drain for about 10 minutes. Insert a butter knife between the skin and the meat and loosen the skin around the breasts. Insert half the garlic and half the Rosemary sprigs under the skin. Chop the rest of the Rosemary and, in a bowl, combine with the lemons, onion, celery, the rest of the garlic, black pepper, sage and thyme. Let this mixture stand for about 10 minutes then put it into the cavity of the Chicken. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and place the chicken on a frame in a roasting pan. Salt and pepper the chicken well and place into the oven. Cook for approximately 2 hours or until a meat thermometer reads 165 degrees. Let stand for 15 minutes and carve.

Copyright 2003 The Bubba Gourmet Steve Lapan
 

jasonr

Senior Cook
Joined
Apr 8, 2004
Messages
375
You can also buy kosher chickens; they come pre-brined, and are only slightly more expensive.
 

RockAndFire

Assistant Cook
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Apr 8, 2004
Messages
25
Thank you. Now I finally have an excuse to upgrade from my 6qt. stock pot : )
 

Tracy L.

Assistant Cook
Joined
Nov 22, 2003
Messages
7
I've wanted to do a brine so this sounds fantastic. I was watching America's Test Kitchen on PBS and they used a brined chicken on the barbeque. I think your brine would work well too. Thanks!
 

MJ

Executive Chef
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May 6, 2004
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USA,Wisconsin
I always brine my chicken breast in salt-water. I did A experiment once. I baked A brined chicken breast, and one that wasn't. The brined breast was much more juicy. It really is worth the time to brine food. I do my turkeys with A recipe simular to yours Bubba. Is this brining process called "osmosis"? Thanx for the info. I'm gonna try your Roast chicken sometime soon!
 

BubbaGourmet

Senior Cook
Joined
Dec 1, 2003
Messages
474
Location
Southeast NC
Actually, osmosis occurs during the brining. The area of high density (the moisture in the chicken) moves into the area of low density (the brine) then the whole scmeer moves back into the chicken. Now...don't you wish you had paid attention in Science classes?
 

DampCharcoal

Executive Chef
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Apr 10, 2004
Messages
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Location
Johnstown, Ohio
I just bought four roasting chickens a few days ago, very timely advice, BubbaGourmet! Thanks much! I wasn't aware of the brining technique! :D
 

DampCharcoal

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Messages
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Location
Johnstown, Ohio
Follow-up question, BubbaGourmet. I'm a huge grilled chicken breast freak. Will the brining technique help when cooking over charcoal? I've noticed that marinade does a fine job of keeping the chicken moist and was wondering if brining would just be a waste of time?
 

scott123

Senior Cook
Joined
Feb 22, 2004
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403
Location
USA,NewJersey
BubbaGourmet said:
Actually, osmosis occurs during the brining. The area of high density (the moisture in the chicken) moves into the area of low density (the brine) then the whole scmeer moves back into the chicken. Now...don't you wish you had paid attention in Science classes?

High density and low density? I've always read that the chemistry behind brining involves solutions of differing salinity seeking equilibrium when in contact. Osmosis, yes, but I don't see where density plays a role.
 

BubbaGourmet

Senior Cook
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Dec 1, 2003
Messages
474
Location
Southeast NC
Perhaps density is the wrong term (I didn't pay attentionm in science class either...too busy ogling girls!) but it is similar to density (Molarity perhaps?) insomuch as the highest concentration starts in the meat being brine. Whatever you call it...osmosis works!
 

Alix

Everymom
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Edmonton, Alberta
I realize this is late...but better late than never. I read about brining sometime ago and now I never do a turkey without brining. We use 1/4 cup each of salt and brown sugar to one quart of water and brine overnight. So just adjust your amounts accordingly. I never thought about flavouring the brine with anything though. I must try the recipe posted by BubbaGourmet at the beginning of this thread, it looks yummy. If anyone tries my version, I would love to hear what you think of it.
 

kitchenelf

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Joined
Feb 21, 2002
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North Carolina
I love brining too - the last time I did chicken breasts I just used buttermilk. Boy, were they good. I kept them in the buttermilk for 3 days before I grilled them. Talk about P-L-U-M-P!!!!


Alix - you will love flavoring the brine - I love lots and lots of rosemary in my brine - and garlic - and brown sugar - and, well.........just follow Bubba's recipe!!! LOL I really overdue the flavors in order to get my turkey to actually taste like all those things.
 

Alix

Everymom
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Kitchenelf, we do our chicken breasts in buttermilk too...try adding a few dried chilies for extra zip. Yum!

I will try the recipe next time we do a roast chicken but unfortunately the chickens aren't due to be slaughtered until September.. :cry: so I am saving my last one for a super special occasion as September seems a long way off. I will make sure I let you all know how it went. Thanks for the tips.
 

DampCharcoal

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I'll probably get smacked for this but what is the science behind buttermilk and chicken? I have no doubt it works great and will definitely be trying it soon, I'm just curious!
 

kitchenelf

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North Carolina
LOL sushi!!!! And no DampCharcoal - you won't get smacked - I'm not that brave and I can't run that fast :P

- it's the lactic acid in the buttermilk that helps tenderize the chicken along with just the absorption, which plumps it up. That's why pineapple juice is a good tougher meat marinade, or orange juice, or balsamic vinegar even. Any acid with tenderize meat.

If you want a real treat marinate some steak in equal parts of teriyaki, pineapple juice, and white wine for about 24 hours. Or chicken wings are great like this. Also add some fresh chopped garlic and ginger (but garlic powder and powdered ginger are fine too).

If chicken wings, marinate either pineaple rings or chunks in a different bowl with this same mixture. When grilling or broiliing the wings do the same with the pineapple - All I can say is YUM! :) With the addition of sherry to this mixture it will be similar to Steak and Ale's Hawaiian Chicken - or close to it anyway.
 

Alix

Everymom
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Messages
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Dang...just ate supper and now I am sitting here planning my next meal! How pathetic I am. Thanks for the update on how the buttermilk works kitchenelf...I have always wanted to know how that worked.
 

Dina

Executive Chef
Joined
May 25, 2004
Messages
2,685
Location
Mission, Texas
I love the idea of brinning now that I know it tenderizes the poultry. I usually roast the turkey with butter and seasoning only. The brinning method sounds like something I'll try next time on my chicken and turkey. Thanks for the great tips you guys.

:D
 

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