Best Brined Roast Chicken

Photo: Iain Bagwell; Styling: Kevin Crafts

This one roasts at a lower temperature to keep the brine seasonings from scorching.


This recipe goes with Pan-Roasted Sesame Vegetables

Yield: Serves 4 to 6
Recipe from Sunset

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Recipe Time

Cook Time:
Brine: 8 Hours

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calories: 425
  • Calories from fat: 52%
  • Protein: 43g
  • Fat: 25g
  • Saturated fat: 6.8g
  • Carbohydrate: 5.4g
  • Fiber: 0.8g
  • Sodium: 0.0mg
  • Cholesterol: 134mg



  1. 1. Prepare brine. Put chicken breast-down in brine, weight with a small plate, cover, and chill at least 8 and up to 12 hours.
  2. 2. Drain chicken (discard brine) and pat completely dry inside and out. Rub chicken all over with oil, then set breast-up on a V-shaped rack in a 12- by 17-in. roasting pan; tuck wing tips under if you like. Let chicken stand at room temperature 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400°.
  3. 3. Roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted horizontally through thickest part of breast reaches 160°, 45 to 55 minutes for a smaller bird or 1 to 1 1/4 hours for a larger one; after 30 minutes, if any areas start to get dark, tent them with foil. Transfer chicken to a warm platter and let stand in a warm place about 10 minutes.
  4. 4. Serve chicken with accompaniments.
  5. *To find small (uncooked) chickens, try markets that roast rotisserie birds (which are small) on-site.
  6. Make ahead: Up to 1 day, brine chicken as directed, then drain and chill.
  7. Nutritional analysis per serving for Mexican Chicken: 411 Cal., 55% (224 cal.) from fat; 43g Protein; 25g Fat (6.8 g sat.); 1.9g Carbo (0.5g Fiber); Sodium n/a; 134mg Chol
  8. Note: Nutritional analysis is per serving for Chinese Chicken.
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