I have been brining our Thanksgiving turkey for the last few years, but this was my first time brining a chicken. I wasn’t sure if it was worth the effort. Wow! This was so succulent and juicy, and pretty much foolproof. If you love roasted chicken, give brining a try. The brine acts as a super tenderizer and really amps up the flavor.
- 6-8 C. water
- 2 C. white wine
- 1/4 C. Kosher salt
- 1/2 C. sugar
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 lemon, half of it sliced into rounds, the other half quartered
- 1 white onion, cut into eighths
- 1 whole roasting chicken
- salt, pepper, olive oil
In a stockpot, heat 6 cups of the water, the wine, salt, sugar, and thyme over medium heat. Stir to dissolve the salt and sugar. When the sugar and salt are dissolved, remove from heat and allow to cool a bit. Toss in half of the onion and the lemon rounds. Rinse the chicken in cold water and place it into the brine, breast side down. If the chicken is not submerged, add a little more water to cover it. You can also weight it a bit with a plate. Place the whole thing in the fridge for at least 4 hours, or up to 8 hours. Remove the chicken from the brine, rinse it and pat it dry with paper towels. Season the chicken with salt and pepper inside the cavity. Place the rest of the lemons and onions into the cavity and in the pan around the chicken. Rub the outside of the chicken with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Use a skewer to close the cavity and keep the legs together, or use twine to tie it. Roast at 350 degrees for 1 1/2 hours. Tent with foil and rest for at least 15 minutes before cutting and serving.