Brined roast chicken

Brined roast chicken

We have mentioned before the old maxim that while cooking is an art, baking is science. We are sorry to have perpetuated a myth. We’re usually better than that.

The fact is, cooking is as much science as baking, and baking is as much an art as cooking. Very few artistic disciplines are rooted in as many scientific disciplines as cooking is. This is what really fascinates me about this whole thing. It’s like playing with a giant chemistry set every day.

Some days I even sport the “mad scientist” hair.

Cooking is a combination of chemistry, physics, thermodynamics, psychology, botany, zoology, anatomy and probably other sciences I am forgetting now. But cooking is not just the sterile practice of scientists, or the daring pursuit of chefs. Cooking at its worst, and best, happens every day in kitchens everywhere.

Brined roast chicken

Home cooks and professionals alike have often fallen for old wives tales that bear no resemblance to scientific reality. I’m a skeptic at heart, so I love it when I see proof that something works (or not).

Enter brining, the practice of bathing meat in brine to supposedly make it tenderer and juicier. Brining is not a part of the Dominican cook’s repertoire, and it’s not like we have missed it terribly; after all braising is the preferred method of cooking meats in our home kitchens. And when it comes to roasting we have our own version of brining: we rub and stuff the meat with seasonings that contain both salt and water.

While I have done some brining in the past, I admit that I was a bit skeptical of the reasons why brining supposedly works. So, does brining work?

Yes, it does.

Brined roast chicken

So I decided to do some more cooking, in the name of science, you understand…

Using Holland House lovely red wine vinegar, salt from my hometown of Montecristi and a few other ingredients and herbs of choice, I ended up with the juiciest chicken roast I have made so far. It was plump, tender and bursting with flavor, you will be sure to incorporate this technique in your cooking after you try it.

Aunt Clara
Brined roast chicken
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
The juiciest, most flavorful chicken you would have ever cooked, try this brined roast chicken and it will become your family's favorite.
Serves: 6 servings
Ingredients
  • 2 4-lb whole chicken
  • 2 teaspoons of pepper
  • 1 cup of oil
For brining
  • 2 cups of sea salt
  • 1 cup of Holland House Red Wine Vinegar
  • 1 onion, cut into quarters
  • 6 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • A bunch of parsley
Instructions
  1. Mix two gallons of water with the ingredients for brining.
  2. Butterfly the chicken (cut open through the breast plate and flatten).
  3. Place the chicken in a deep pot and cover completely with the brine mix.
  4. Place the chicken in the fridge and let it rest for 4 hours.
  5. Pre-heat the oven to 350°F (175°C).
  6. Take the chicken out of the brine and discard the brine.
  7. Rinse the chicken to eliminate excess salt. Pat dry and brush all over with oil. Sprinkle with pepper.
  8. Place the chicken skin side up on a a roast tray with rack.
If you have a meat thermometer
  1. Roast until the thermometer reaches 71 °C (160 °F), start measuring at 1 hour.
If you don't have a meat thermometer
  1. Roast for an hour, remove from the oven and turn around, the chicken will be ready when the juices run clear, return to the oven until there is no sign of blood.
Notes
Why not add some potatoes to the pan and make your dinner in just one step.

Holland House Wine Vinegars

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{ 11 comments… add one }

  • Mary September 12, 2014, 6:11 PM

    I made this brine chicken which was good but my family didn’t like it as well as my brine I made up. I used lemon juice instead of wine vinegar about 2 Tablespoons honey several cloves of garlic a whole onion tsp dried thyme tsp rosemary. Oil and water are same as above.

  • Edna January 11, 2014, 3:01 PM

    Hi. is the recipe for 2 chickens or just one?

  • Michelle October 23, 2013, 8:13 AM

    Hi Clara. I made this yesterday and me and my family loved it. I will definitely make this again. Thanks for this simple recipe.

  • Kankana December 7, 2012, 1:17 AM

    I never tried brining and I do agree with you on the chemistry part! Baking is more tricky than cooking. These looks perfect and love the styling!

    • Aunt Clara December 25, 2012, 12:27 PM

      That depends on what you cook. Mean is pretty trick, trickier than any baking I’ve done.

  • Mayra December 6, 2012, 4:03 PM

    I’ve always heard people raving about brining turkeys, I have never tried it, but now I have too. I want to dig into that chicken.

  • Julia | JuliasAlbum.com December 5, 2012, 7:28 PM

    I’ve heard that brining makes the best chicken. I am yet to try it. Your photos are so beautiful!

    • Aunt Clara December 25, 2012, 12:28 PM

      Thanks, Julia. It does make it a lot juicier. Instead of the chicken losing its own juices, it loses the water it gains.

      • Paul-David Cooper July 14, 2013, 11:00 AM

        I brined a turkey for two days outside in a plastic liner filled with things like sea salt, cinnamin sticks, Raspberry wine vinegar, basil, oregano crushed garlic and onion wedges. Of course it was very cold outside and perfect for brining large birds. The turkey was magnificent. I had never had anything so moistand juicy. I recommend brining to anyone that wants something exquisite and tasty.

  • Carol Lovett December 3, 2012, 9:33 PM

    I’ve never brined my chicken but I would love to try one of these days.