Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Brined Rotisserie Chicken

Last week while at Costco, our eyes were bigger than what we could actually accomplish in a week's time; consequently, we ended up buying WAY too much meat: one five-pound boneless pork loin, a package of two pork tenderloins, package of three whole chickens, package of two large chuck roasts. Pheww, I don't think I've fogotten anything. Later this week, I'll type out the recipes for what I did with one of the chickens, the pork loin and one of the chuck steaks. The tenderloins are vac-packed, so I don't feel under the gun to get them cooked right away.

But the remaining two chickens were staring at me every time I opened up the large fridge out in the garage, and time was awasting. I've brined lots of whole chickens before, and this is the brine I like best. A single recipe would be 1/4 of all the ingredients, which is the way it was originally was written, but even doulbing the ingredients is not enough to cover the birds, so I quadrupled it and that was perfect. Here's the brine and the amounts I used. One-fourth would be fine for cut up parts, and brine time should be reduced to about an hour or so.


1 quart apple juice
3 quarts water
1 cup kosher salt
8 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1 vanilla bean, split, seeds scraped (save bean for your sugar jar)

Brined for 3 hours, then rotisseried.

There were some fresh herbs sitting around, so I made a mixture of parsley, thyme and rosemary from the yard and added lots of coarsely ground black pepper. To bind it, I added EVOO and spread it all over the birds, inside and out. After trussing the legs, I set up both chickens on one rotisserie rod; I just happen to have an extra sets of forks, so doing two is no problem. I set the Weber on M-O-M (medium-off-medium) and let it come up to temperature. I felt this was a bit too hot, about 370 degrees, so I lowered it to medium low on the front and back burner and left the middle one off. The birds reached a perfect 160 degrees after about an hour and fifteen minutes. After letting them rest a while, they were perfect and fantastically juicy.

Nothing better, and we have dinner for two nights. The carcasses I'll save and use to make a rich dark chicken stock for soup or risotto. How frugal is that?

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