I have been dreaming of roasted chicken for weeks... so on this slow Winter Sunday afternoon, I will prepare one for tonight's dinner and practice for an upcoming family gathering next weekend. Many cooks pride themselves on having their own version of Roasted Chicken to make as often as demanded by their loved ones.
If that describes you, or not, I would encourage you to step outside of the usual and just go for it. You'll be glad you did. Because this recipe requires that the chicken be brined prior to roasting, begin preparations at least 7 hours prior to your designated dinner hour.
1/2 c table salt
1/2 c brown sugar (lightly packed)
4 lemons divided (I used Meyer Lemons from our own trees)
1 medium onion
8 cloves crushed garlic divided
2 T peppercorns (cracked)
24 sprigs fresh thyme divided
4 cups water
10 cups water
1 5 to 6 lb chicken
4 sprigs fresh rosemary divided
Begin by combining salt, brown sugar, juice of 2 lemons and peel, half of onion roughly chopped, 4 cloves of garlic, peppercorns, 4 sprigs of thyme and 4 cups of water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, turn off and let cool.
Remove the chicken giblets and wash chicken throughly inside and out.
In a container large enough to hold the chicken and brining solution, place the chicken, cooled brine solution and 10 cups of cold water. Cover securely and refrigerate for 4 hours.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Drain the brining solution, pat chicken dry and place in a roasting pan. Squeeze juice from the 2 remaining lemons on the outside of the chicken, place lemon peels inside the chicken cavity along with the remaining half onion, whole sprigs of thyme and rosemary.
Roast the chicken for approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes to 2 hours or until the juices run clear when you cut between a leg and thigh. (If it begins to brown too much during roasting time, tent with foil.) Remove from oven.
Place on a serving platter, tent with foil and allow to rest about 20 minutes. Reduce pan juices and pour over chicken or serve on the side.
Ring the dinnerbell and enjoy!