This makes for a great dinner or I often will make two chickens on Sunday and use them as part of my meal prep for the week.
– Roasting pan
– 1 or 2 whole chickens
– Gallon jug apple juice
– 1 cup chicken stock
– 1 cup brown sugar
– 1/2 cup salt (I prefer pink salt)
– 1 rosemary sprig
– 1 tbsp fresh basil
– 1/2 tbsp cinnamon
– 1 tbsp pepper
– 1 tbsp Italian seasoning
– (Half to whole tbsp of any other desired seasoning)
– (1 bottle hard cider/Redd’s Apple Ale optional. Increases tenderness)
-Start with a medium saucepan and pour in chicken stock and 1 cup of apple juice. Turn burner on to medium/high. Mix in brown sugar, salt and rest of the ingredients and bring to boil, stirring regularly until sugar and salt are dissolved. Take off heat and let rest.
-Take out chicken and remove insides and rinse under cold water. To help increase tenderness and flavor of chicken I will peel back some of the skin and with a small knife poke holes/small slices in the meat itself.
-In brine bags or pot big enough to hold each chicken, pour in remaining apple juice and add a couple dozen ice cures to cool mixture faster. Pour in seasoning mixture and stir until brine reaches room temperature, add ice if needed.
-Submerged chicken(s) completely brine. Make sure the entire chicken is in the brine with none of it out the top. Refrigerate for about 12-24 hours.
-Remove from refrigerator about 2 hours before cooking and place in roasting pan an hour or so before putting in oven to bring the bird closer to room temperature. Preheat oven to 450 twenty minutes before cooking.
-Once in the roasting pan use brush and cover entire bird in a light coating of olive oil. Then season the bird to your preference. I will use basil, rosemary, pepper, salt, and Mrs. Dash original or garlic flavor.
-Place chicken(s) in oven uncovered. Turn temperature down to 325 about 5 minutes after you put the bird in the over. This will act as almost a sear and crisp up the skin quickly to hold flavor in the meat. Continue to cook for 1.5-2 hours or until internal temperature of chicken reaches 180 degrees. Check on chicken(s) and baste every 30 minutes. Cover with foil for the last hour and remove for last 15 minutes to firm up the skin.
-Remove chicken(s) from oven and let rest for 15-20 minutes before carving bird. Serve for dinner or weigh and separate for meal prepping.