Monday, November 16, 2009

Today's Bento: I Know My [Roast] Chicken

Didn't bring Mr. Bento today - just two small plastic containers: one full of salad greens and homemade balsamic vinaigrette dressing, the other loaded with roasted chicken and vegetables (carrots, potatoes and a nice, plump clove of garlic).

Brining the meat for 24 hours (have to get the recipe from John at some point; he certainly knows both his brines and his chickens) worked wonders. The bird was tender and moist -- ever so slightly tangy but not salty (even the breast meat, some of which I packed alongside a wing for today's lunch). The herbed butter (about 2 tbsp. + 8 sage leaves + salt and pepper, chopped and mixed in a food processer) we rubbed under its skin beforehand probably helped too.

We roasted the bird - breast-down for the first 30 minutes - on a bed of potatoes, carrots, garlic and onions for somewhere between an hour and an hour and a half, basting occasionally, till the meat thermometer told us we could stop. As noted, the meat was very good; the vegetables, alas, were a bit underdone, but that was our fault for not chopping them into small enough chunks.

UPDATE: Brine recipe is here, and in the comment below.

1 comment:

  1. The brine was basically:

    2-3 tbsp kosher salt
    2-3 tbsp light brown sugar
    Several teaspoons cracked pepper, plus a scant handful of whole peppercorns
    1/2 tsp dry Coleman's mustard
    1/2 tsp red chili powder

    Take a pot and put your chicken in it, and fill with water until it is almost submerged. Remove the chicken and put it back in the fridge. The water remaining is how much brine you will be making!

    Put all the dry seasonings in the water and boil for five-ten minutes. Remove from the heat and add several cups of ice cubes to cool it down. Once it's cool, put the chicken in (should be submerged) and fridge it anywhere from 3 hrs to a whole 24 like we did.

    Makes for juicy, flavorful chicken. Enjoy!