Brining overnight in a salt-and-cider mixture makes this chicken recipeincredibly flavorful and moist; basting with reduced apple cider adds a hint of sweetness to the finished roasted chicken. Use tongs to carefully remove skin from the hot chicken.
3 quarts water
1 quart apple cider
1/4 cup kosher salt
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
1 bay leaf
1 (6-pound) roasting chicken
2 cups apple cider
1 large onion, peeled and halved
4 flat-leaf parsley sprigs
4 garlic cloves, peeled
How to Make It
Combine the first 5 ingredients in a saucepan; bring to a boil, stirring until salt dissolves. Remove from heat; cool completely. Remove and discard giblets and neck from chicken. Rinse chicken with cold water; pat dry. Trim excess fat. Pour brine into a 2-gallon zip-top plastic bag. Add chicken; seal. Refrigerate 8 hours or overnight, turning the bag occasionally.
Preheat oven to 400°.
Bring 2 cups cider to a boil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook until cider has thickened and reduced to 1/4 cup (about 15 minutes). Set aside.
Remove chicken from bag; discard brine. Pat chicken dry with paper towels. Place the onion halves, parsley, and garlic into cavity. Lift wing tips up and over back; tuck under chicken. Tie legs. Place chicken on rack of a broiler pan. Bake at 400° for 1 hour and 30 minutes or until thermometer registers 175°. Remove from oven (do not turn oven off). Carefully remove and discard skin. Baste chicken with half of reduced cider; return to 400° oven for 10 minutes. Remove from oven; baste with remaining cider reduction. Transfer chicken to a platter.
Place a zip-top plastic bag inside a 2-cup glass measure. Pour drippings into bag; let stand 10 minutes (fat will rise to the top). Seal bag; carefully snip off 1 bottom corner of bag. Drain drippings into a small bowl, stopping before fat layer reaches opening; discard fat. Serve jus over chicken.
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I *think* the cider reduction amount is wrong. After 15 min I had exactly 1 1/4 cups, which seems like a very reasonable quantity for basting and flavoring the jus. 1/4 cup seems skimpy and would take much, much longer.
With that said, this wasn't bad, but it wasn't great, either. My kids really liked the cider flavor, but there is room for improvement. The brining was more trouble than it's worth and didn't result in special flavor or texture. I won't make this particular recipe again, but I'll use the cider idea for sauces in the future.
We loved this so much we included it in our blog HealthyLiving NW powered by Kaiser Permanente Pacific Northwest Health Education Services. It can be found at:
A good, easy chicken recipe. I followed the recipe except I sprinkled some salt and pepper over the chicken before cooking. I would have given it 5 stars, but my husband didn't like the taste of the cider sauce. I liked it though.
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