Two Christmases ago was the first time I made Christmas dinner mostly on my own (my mom provided the red rice), and the first thing I did was research how to cook a turkey. To brine, or not to brine: that was the question. Well, I decided to brine. And I fell in love with it, the idea of it, the flavor of the turkey… everything! From that point on, I knew that I was going to have to continue brining my turkey or it just wouldn’t turn out right. This past Christmas, I even got a little fancy and decided to make an apple cider brined turkey.
Having fallen in love with how juicy and tender my turkeys had turned out, and seeing all these different ways to add flavor to your turkey (or chicken) with a brine, I decided I wanted to try the same with a chicken since that is a staple in our house. Usually I catch the $4.99 VIC Customer special on rotisserie chicken at Harris Teeter on Sundays, but decided to spend a about a dollar more and get a fresh chicken to add a little flavor to.
A little rosemary, fresh orange juice, butter, white win… Husband approved, and you know when he approves a recipe I must have hit my mark!
- 1 - 5lb. chicken
- 6 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 1 1/2 navel oranges
- 8 C water, divided
- 4 Tbsp. salt
- 2 Tbsp. granulated sugar
- 2 Tbsp. light brown sugar
- 1 stick unsalted butter
- Garlic powder
- Onion powder
- Cracked black pepper
- 1/2 C white wine (I used Pinot Grigio)
- For the brine: combine 2 cups water, salt, and both sugars and bring to a rolling boil. Allow to boil for 5 minutes then remove from heat. Add 6 cups cold water to bring to room temperature. Add in the sprigs of rosemary and 1 orange, quartered. Place in the refrigerator and allow to marinate for no less than one hour per pound of meat (5lbs. = 5 hours).
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Remove the chicken from the brine and pat dry. Reserve the rosemary sprigs and orange quarters. Stuff the chicken, if you desire and tie the legs together with string.Rub the entire outside of the chicken with the olive oil and sprinkle generously with pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder. Place in a baking pan or roaster and put the rosemary and orange quarters in the pan around the chicken. Squeeze the juice from the half orange over the chicken. Cut the butter into quarters and place around the chicken and pour in the wine. Place the pan in the oven and allow the butter to melt; at least 30 minutes. Spoon liquid mixture over the chicken every 20 - 30 minutes until done (approximately 20 minutes per pound of meat or until juices run clear when cut into).