I just want to say up front that, yes, I cooked a whole roast chicken by myself. And I brined it, as well. I'll now give you all the chance to sarcastically say "oh wow, Kyle cooked dinner all by his self!"
OK, let's move on then, shall we? Brining a chicken, for those who aren't familiar with the process, is essentially the same as marinating. You concoct a very salty broth and the salt removes the existing juices in the chicken and allows the broth to soak into the bird. The brine that I made came from a recipe on the internet. It involved salt, sugar, thyme, rosemary, lemon, garlic, onion and beer. I chose an Autumn Maple ale from The Bruery, based out of Orange County, CA. I had to make some changes to the recipe because the recipe called for 64oz of beer and I only had 25. I would have gotten more but it was $15 per bottle so one would have to do.
After cooking up the brine I had to let the chicken sit in it for 24 hours. I probably could have left it in for more but we were hungry and wanted to eat.
You have to understand that I do cook more than Kyle will have you believe. It's just that I feel more comfortable cooking on a grill. I'm not entirely sure why, probably it's the primal thing but I think it has more to do with the fact that when I'm cooking on a grill I'm present through out the process. I can turn the chicken/steak/burger/hot dog/vegetables whenever I please and I have more control over it. Baking means I have to just rely on the oven. I can throw something in there and go watch Mad Men. Which is what I did. After about 40 minutes I pulled the chicken out of the oven and it smelled amazing.
It also tasted great, though a little salty for my liking. A result of the brining, I'm guessing. The best flavor came from the wings and drumsticks. I think it's because there was less meat so it was able to soak up more of the flavors. It was pretty juicy, which ordinarily I'm against but in this case I was pleased with it. A common complaint is that oven roasted chicken is dry. At least that's what I'm told. So overall I think my first attempt at brining and cooking a whole chicken in the oven was a success. There's still some left if anyone's interested, though they may have to wrestle Kyle for it.
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