Monday, October 10, 2011

Finger Licking Good!!

I know that's a slogan for a fast food chicken restaurant, but I think I've got something that really is finger licking good, and good for you!!! Are you bored with boring chicken? Do you wish the chicken you made tasted as good or better than the rotisserie chickens at the store? Have you ever wondered how they got those chickens to taste that good? I don't know for sure, but I think it starts with a huge needle and you're left with an engorged bird high on chemicals, flavorings, and salt. Why settle for all that when you can make one that is amazingly tasty and costs a lot less than the precooked variety?

A few years ago for Thanksgiving I was researching turkey breast recipes and stumbled across one from Guy Fieri. It seemed easy enough, so gave it a shot. The turkey breast turned out fantastic! Now fast forward a year or two to my dinner table where we are eating a store bought rotisserie chicken. The whole time I'm wondering how in the world they got the flavor throughout the entire bird. It actually took me another month or so for it to dawn on me, "if I brine the whole chicken, it should have a similar effect as the one from the store!"

You want to try this me! I've adapted it just slightly, mostly so that it will fit my stock pot, which apparently is tiny in comparison to the pots Guy must have.

Amazing Roasted Chicken (adapted from Guy Fieri's Foolproof Turkey Breast)
Start with the brine:
6 cups of water
1/2 cup salt
1/4 cup very loosely packed brown sugar
1/4 cup molasses
1 tablespoon sage
1/2 teaspoon peppercorns
Heat until salt dissolves. Remove from heat and add additional 6 cups water and 4 cups ice. Stir until ice is melted. Rinse a whole chicken and remove all the stuff they stuff inside, you won't need that! Place the chicken into the brine and refrigerate for at least 12 hours.
The molasses will actually give the raw chicken a golden brown color after it has sat in the brine.

Dry Rub is next:
1 tablespoon sage
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon thyme
Zest from 1 lemon (don't throw the lemon away, you'll need it in a second)
1 tablespoon olive oil
Mix all of the ingredients together and set aside.

Rinse the chicken under cool water for at least 5 minutes. Drain it and pat it dry with paper towels. Rub the chicken with a little olive oil then smear the rub all over it. Slice the lemon and squeeze it as you place it in the chicken cavity. Cover the chicken and place in the refrigerator for 4 hours. I've actually done this step before work, around 6:30 in the morning, and my husband will do the last step around 4:15 PM.
The dry rub isn't completely dry since you've mixed it with a tablespoon of  oil, but this will allow the herbs to stay atop the bird through the cooking cycle.

Remove the chicken from the fridge and let it rest for about 15 minutes while your oven is heating up to 375. Bake for 1 to 1-1/2 hours or until the temperature reads 170, we leave ours covered with a glass lid while baking. Let it rest in the pan for 10 minutes before cutting.
This is exactly what you want to see, the chicken is so tender it's falling apart without even being touched!

I've served this with homemade potato salad, or as tonight, a homemade vinegar based cole slaw.
I hope you try and enjoy this Amazing Roasted Chicken, it's a perfect meal as the weather starts to cool off.