We love the idea of salt it, cure it eat it here at Preserved. Just before Christmas I shared my recipy for the perfect brined Christmas turkey and we have had great feedback from you. I especially love the feedback from those who have taken the idea and run with it coming up with your own creations for other brined roasts. For this one I raided our herb garden which is over flowing with tarragon and parsley so thats what I used, a handful of each.
1 cup kosha salt
1/2 cup rich brown sugar
big bunch of fresh herbs, chopped (sage & rosemary or parsley & tarragon are good)
3 bay leaves
3 tablespoons of gently toasted & freshly ground black pepper
4 lemons, sliced.
3 sticks of celery
1 free range chicken
You will need a container big enough to hold your chicken and 4 lt of water with out over flowing.
Pour the salt and sugar into your container. Bring a lt of water to the boil and pour over the salt and sugar. Stir to dissolve.
Add in one chopped onion, the herbs, pepper, bay leaves and three sliced lemons.
Add 3lt cold water and chill until the brine is fridge .
Place your chicken in the brine, tilt so the cavity fills with brine.
Place a plate on top to keep your chicken under the brine and return to the fridge.
Chill for 5hr.
Remove the chicken from the brine, rinse in cold water, pat dry and chill again for 3 hr. This chilling time allows for the salt from the brine to eaven distribute through the chicken giving a more evenly flavoured and tender chicken.
Remove from the fridge 1hr before roasting.
Preheat your oven to 220deg C.
Slice the remaining onion, carrots and celery and put in a roasting pan. almost cover with cold water.
You can lay your chicken direct on the chopped veg or on a rack over the top. This step is optional but the veg turns the water to stock then with the juices dripping from the chicken it creates the basis for an easy peasy gravy at the end.
Pop it in the oven and reduce to 180DegC. Roast until the internal temp reaches 75degC, and the juices run clear. (about 40 min per kilo +20 min)
Rest the chicken for 15 mins. I take it out of the tray and rest on a warmed serving plate. I can then strain the liquid in the pan. Add the strained liquid to the pan. I like to taste it now for seasoning. It may be seasoned enough from the chicken juices.
You can keep it the consistency it is but if you prefer it thicker you can add a couple of table spoons of the liquid to a cup with a tablespoon of corstarch and stir to a smooth paste. Heat the pan and add the mix back in. Whisk to distribute, scraping the bottom of the pan. Cook for 2 - 3 mins to make sure the cornstarch is cooked. Taste to check seasoning again and flavour, the more you boil it the more it will reduce down.