This was incredibly delicious- as good as a rotisserie chicken even! I think the brining made all the difference. The veggies that had cooked in the chicken fat were downright awesome. Next time I'd push the potatoes closer- they were far enough away they didn't get as much fat as hte onions and carrots sitting under the chicken.
Did lots of research- this may be helpful for you:
- My chicken was 6 lbs.
- Followed this recipe for the brine.
- Since I don't own a roasting rack or V-rack, I found this article on using aluminum foil helpful, but ultimately decided to stack the chicken on top of veggies (per a comment in that article).
- I consulted this overall recipe on brining+ roasting and Giada's recipe for cooking times. Considered the cooking times from Cooking Light which were lower (350 F) for first 45 minutes, then increased to 450 for the last 15 minutes.
Combine 1/2 C kosher salt, 1/4 C sugar and 1 C hot/boiling water. Stir to dissolve. Let it cool. Then add 3 cups cold water.
Find a bowl large enough to fit the chicken but small enough to fit in your fridge. Make space in fridge for the bowl.
Remove giblets and innards from chicken cavity. Place chicken in the bowl along with:
1 TB black pepper corns
4-6 cloves garlic
fresh thyme sprigs
Pour the liquid brine over the chicken in the bowl, cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 8 hours, turning the chicken over once at the mid-point.
Check the spacing in your oven and rearrange the racks if necessary- make sure you've got enough space for the pan + chicken in height.
Find roasting pan large enough for the chicken and deep enough (>=2" deep).
Chop up veggies in large chunks and arrange as a "rack" inside the pan for the chicken to sit on:
Preheat oven to 400 F.
Rinse the chicken of the brine and place chicken on top of the vegetable mound inside the roasting pan. I'm not sure which way the chicken should be facing- breast up look more stable but the breast meat cooks quicker...
Spray chicken with olive oil. Sprinkle cracked black pepper and coarse salt over the chicken.
Stuff lemon wedge and optional herbs (peppecorns, parsley, onion, garlic etc.) in the cavity of hte chicken.
Cook for 45 minutes at 400 F. Check the chicken- inner temperature should be 160 F. Continue cooking if needed. Use aluminum foil if any areas are burning or cooking too quickly.
Once chicken is cooked, remove from oven. Let sit for 10 minutes to allow the juices to redistribute.
UPDATES 10/24/2012: Rinse off brine, then pat dry (helps reduce saltiness). Parboiled potatoes to help them cook all the way through, then transfer cooked potatoes to the roasting pan with chicken. Next time will also parboil the carrots. Celery and onions cook through fine.
Leftover cooked chicken ideas:
- Use the bones and any leftover veggies to make chicken broth/stock for chicken soup
- Shred the meat and mix with thai curry paste, then pack into sandwiches for Banh Mi
- Thai Cabbage Chicken salad over rice noodles
- Use chunks of meat on top of salad with apple chunks, toasted walnuts
- Mix cooked chicken with enchilada sauce, wrap in tortillas, cover with cheese and bake for chicken enchiladas
- Make tamale filling using a sauce and the cooked chicken, proceed with tamale making
- Add to green rice for a one dish meal