Chicken: Super-Juicy Roast Chicken with Garlic and Thyme

posted by Mimi Hiller 09-05-100 3:07 PM

March 25, 1998 San Francisco Chronicle
Janet Fletcher, Chronicle Staff Writer

Super-Juicy Roast Chicken with Garlic and Thyme

Even the breast meat is moist in this simple roast chicken, which spends half a day in brine. If desired, brine it overnight, then remove it from the brine in the morning but keep refrigerated until dinner time.

1 chicken, 3 1/2 to 4 pounds
1 lemon, halved Brine
1 gallon boiling water
1 cup kosher salt
1/2 bunch fresh thyme
4 garlic cloves, peeled and halved
1 tablespoon coarsely cracked peppercorns

To make the brine: Combine all brine ingredients in a bowl, small crock or heavy-duty plastic container just large enough to hold the chicken. Stir to dissolve the salt. Cool, then refrigerate until completely cold. Place the chicken breast-side down in the brine. Weight with a plate if necessary to keep the chicken completely submerged. Refrigerate for 12 hours.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Remove chicken from brine and allow to air-dry at room temperature.

Squeeze 1 of the lemon halves in the cavity, squeeze the other over the skin, then put both halves in the cavity. Truss the bird with string.

Place breast-side down on a rack in a roasting pan; roast for 30 minutes. Turn breast-side up and continue roasting until the juices run clear, about 30 minutes longer. Transfer the chicken breast-side down to a platter and let cool for 30 minutes. Remove the string and discard the lemons. Carve the chicken into serving pieces and spoon any collected juices over them.
Serves 3 or 4.

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