I respect you, chicken

while I am now past (or mostly anyway) the terrible chicken incident from last week, I will say, it did make me more aware as chef. maybe, just maybe, it was an uncanny error the chef didn’t notice, or even know about. (this still doesn’t make it ok btw) I’m just trying to have perspective, crazy things happen in kitchens everyday. It also really made me want a good, roasted chicken…the kind that if you’re using a paper napkin it will stick to your fingers. Those fatty, salty, oh so savory pan juices of your delectable bird are ones you won’t soon forget.  They will give you a benchmark of what chicken should taste like with very minimal effort. I mean, come on? How hard is this recipe below? No biggie. If I were you, I’d double up this brine and keep the second batch in the fridge for some mid-week meat love Throw some pork chops or a pork tenderloin in there….or that prime rib you plan on putting in the oven Christmas morning….



1-gallon water

1-cup sea salt

1 cup granulated sugar, brown sugar or maple syrup

1 tsp. black peppercorns

1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

2 bay leaves (fresh if possible)

1 lemon, washed, juiced, squeezed and thrown in

5 cloves garlic, smashed

2 Tbsp. avocado oil

any other aromatics you’re feelin’

1 whole chicken, 4#’s wings or cut chicken pieces


method of prep:

  1. pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
  2. in a medium sized sauce pot over medium high heat add the oil, garlic cloves and whole peppercorns and stir to coat
  3. immediately reduce heat to low and add crushed red pepper and bay leaves, stirring to combine
  4. add salt, sugar, lemon juice and whole lemon, increase heat to medium high and add water
  5. continue stirring occasionally until sugar and salt have dissolved
  6. remove from heat and cool
  7. wash your chicken well with salt and cold water and place in a large plastic container
  8. pour cooled brine over chicken to totally submerge and refrigerate 24 hours
  9. remove chicken from brine, pat dry with paper towel and, ideally, allow to air dry, unwrapped on a cookie sheet with a wire rack for another 8 hours (this step is clutch for giving you that crispy, crunchy skin you’re dying for) don’t have me over, because I will steal all your skin when you’re not looking
  10. bake uncovered at 375 degrees until the thickest part of the breast reaches 160 degrees, 45 minutes to 1-½ hours depending on the size of your bird.  Check at the 35 minute mark so you have a gage of where you are in the process
  11. if any areas of the skin get dark quickly, cover with foil for the remaining time
  12. allow your birdie to rest for 10 minutes before you indulge

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