Best Brined Roast Chicken

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This best brined roast chicken is the best method for brining chicken we’ve ever experienced as featured in The Washington Post. Created by David Leite, it brilliantly blends aromatic vegetables and herbs before adding them to the brining solution solution. We think of it as a refined brine.

This best brined roast chicken recipe makes brining worth the effort. It results in some of the most flavorful roasted chicken we’ve ever made. The volume of kosher salt varies greatly from brand to brand due to the size of the crystals. The two brands mentioned in the recipe, which are the two most widely available, will give you perfect results. Don’t even think of using sea salt or table salt.–David Leite

The ingredients for a better brine. Look the same as just aobut every other brine, don’t they? But it’s the technique that makes all the difference!
Quick Glance 20 M 1 H, 30 M Serves 6IngredientsUSMetricDirectionsMake the brine1. Add 3 cups of the cold water to a large Dutch oven or pasta pot. Pour in the salt, sugar, and peppercorns. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring until the salt and sugar dissolve, and then turn off the heat.

2. Meanwhile, add 2 cups of the water to a high-powered blender or food processor. Working in batches as needed, add the onions, leeks, carrots, celery, bay leaves, thyme, and rosemary. Purée until liquefied.

3. Add the ice to the pot along with the remaining 6 cups of cold water. Stir until the ice cubes melt and the water is cold. Add the puréed ingredients. Submerge the chicken, cover the pot, and refrigerate for 24 hours.

Roast the brined chicken4. Preheat the oven to 425°F (218°C). Place a rack in a roasting pan. 5. Rinse the chicken and pat dry with paper towel. Discard the brine. 6. Place the bird on the rack in the pan and tie the legs together with kitchen twine, if desired. Brush with the melted butter and season generously with pepper. Roast (middle rack) for about 1 hour and 10 minutes, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thigh meat (away from the bone) registers 165°F (74°C). The skin should be brown and crisp. If it starts to overbrown, loosely cover with a large sheet of aluminum foil. 7. Let the chicken sit, loosely tented with aluminum foil, for 15 minutes before carving. *What You Need To Know About Cleaning Leeks NoteClean the cut leeks by letting them sit in a bowl of ice water for 15 minutes so the grit can settle. Lift the leeks out, letting the grit remain in the water. Recipe Testers Reviews
Recipe © David Leite. Photos © David Leite. All rights reserved. All materials used with permission.