Until a week and a half ago, I had never brined. I know. I just thought that my roast chicken didn't need it, or something like that. I never said I knew what I was talking about.
Anyway, a week and a half ago my nephew was born, and three days after that my brother gave me the all-clear to bring dinner to him and his wife. Thanks, brother.
I consulted my America's Test Kitchen Family cookbook, which is the best, and decided to brine my 4.5 pound chicken. I put 8 cups of water, 1/2 cup of sugar, and 1/2 cup of salt in a stockpot. I let the sugar and salt dissolve. I unwrapped the chicken and stuck it in the pot. I left it there for one hour.
I took the chicken out of the pot, dumped out the brine, and rinsed off the chicken. I patted it dry with paper towels and set it on a plate. While the chicken was brining, I had put 3 tablespoons of butter in a bowl. I microwaved it for about 15 seconds, just to soften it a bit. I chopped up a TON of sage leaves, seriously about 15 of them, and put those in the butter with a little salt and pepper. I mixed it all up.
I loosened up the skin on the chicken breast and stuck the butter under there. I put most of the butter under the chicken skin and rubbed the remainder on the outside of the chicken. I roasted it for about 90 minutes.
|Raw chicken, covered in sage and butter.|