Herb & Lemon Brined Whole Roasted Chicken
by Russ Langstadt, Chef, Wine Country Cooking Studio, Dundee, Oregon
Brining chicken adds flavor and keeps the bird moist as it roasts. This classic flavor combination is great for any crowd.
- 1 (3- to 4-pound) whole Smart Chicken
- For The Brine:
- ½ gallon water
- ¾ pound kosher salt
- ½ pound sugar
- 1 bunch fresh tarragon, roughly chopped
- 1 bunch fresh Italian parsley, roughly chopped
- 12 cloves garlic, smashed
- 1 large onion, diced large
- 3 tablespoons peppercorns, crushed or cracked
- 2 lemons, zested and squeezed
- ¾ gallon ice
In a large stockpot, combine water, salt, sugar, tarragon, parsley, garlic, onion, peppercorns, lemon juice, and lemon zest and bring to a boil. Turn off heat and let steep for 30 minutes. Add the ice and stir to cool and dilute the mixture.
Transfer the chicken into a large plastic bag. (Double-bag the chicken or place in a dish or on a sheet pan in case the bag leaks.) Pour the brine into the bag with the chicken. Transfer to the refrigerator and let the chicken brine for at least 24 hours.
Remove the chicken from the brine, rinse it thoroughly, and pat dry.
- For The Roasted Chicken:
- ½ bunch rosemary
- ½ bunch thyme
- 1 lemon, quartered
- 1 small onion, quartered
- 4 cloves garlic, smashed
- 2 sticks butter, melted
Preheat the oven to 325ºF.
Place the rosemary, thyme, lemon, onion, and garlic inside the cavity. Brush the outside of the bird with melted butter.
Roast the bird, basting periodically with the butter, until the meaty part of the thigh registers 165ºF on an instant-read thermometer, about an hour and a half. If you prefer crispy skin, cook at 475ºF for an additional 5 to 10 minutes before removing the bird from the oven. Let rest for 10 to 15 minutes before carving.