There is a local company that has just begun to really take off, Purdy Organics, and they have some really wonderful products. I have a Pickled Beet Salad with Walnuts and Feta that uses their pickled beets (YUM) and I have been really wanting to try some more of their yummy treats. Sis, the owner, gave me some spicy red oinions, spicy asparagus, dill onions, dill carrots, spicy garlic cloves, and apple cider vinegar with rosemary and garlic.
Of course at first I had so many ideas running through my head I think a bit of steam came out of my ears! But I decided to focus in on the vinegar. I loved the idea of the rosemary and garlic infused into it. Now don't ask me why, because I have never brined anything, I decided to brine a chicken, and once I made the decision I actually got really reallllllllly excited about it (hey it doesn't take much with me I know). I got online and began researching brine recipes. Can I tell you that I found recipes that had some pretty wacky stuff in them, in my humble opinion, but I settled in to do a basic brine with my twist.
The first night I made the chicken my oven decided to go a little wacky (gotta love electric ovens....NOT) so the bird was too dark on top and then lighter on the bottom, definitely not a picture worthy bird. However, Kevin and I both ate the chicken like we had been stranded on a dessert island with no food for a month! Then my son stopped by and I fed him. He had one plate and asked if he could have more. So the chicken ended up gone. 3 people demolished it. Oh we had Garlicky Green Beans with it and those went bye bye too!
Even though I was upset the chicken wasn't pretty enough for a picture, I was secretly excited because I knew that meant I was going to make it again real soon. So less than a week later there was another bird brining away in my fridge. I was a happy girl.
This brine is so easy and makes for one amazingly moist and flavorful chicken. In the past I had read so many conflicting opinions about brining that I just decided not to even give it a try. I had roasted many a successful chicken and turkey with no brine so I figured why rock the boat. If it ain't broke don't fix it right? WRONG!! Now I will be hard pressed to ever make a bird without brine again!
Apple Cider, Rosemary, and Garlic Brined Chicken
1 whole chicken, rinsed
1 cup Apple Cider with Rosemary and Garlic
1 gallon water
1 cup salt
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup pepper
1/2 jar of Spicy Garlic Cloves, plus a couple tablespoons of the liquid
16 stems of fresh rosemary
Cheese cloth cut to size (enough to completely cover the chicken)
1 quart chicken stock
In a medium pot, heat 1 quart of the water with the salt and sugar just to the point that they dissolve. Pour it into a large stock pot or dutch oven (make sure all of the liquid will fit plus the chicken I had to switch pots) you want the bird covered with the liquid. add the garlic cloves and liquid, pepper, and 8 stems of rosemary. Once the water is cool add your chicken. Cover and place in the refrigerator for 8 to 24 hours. Remove chicken and discard the brine reserving the garlic cloves. Pat the chicken dry and place it in a roasting pan on a rack (If you don't have a roasting rack you can use carrots and celery cut the width of your pan to hold the chicken up off of the bottom). Heat the oven to 425 degree F.
Salt and pepper the outside of the bird. Place the reserved garlic cloves inside the cavity along with the remaining rosemary. Tuck the wings behind the bird and tie the legs with kitchen twine. Place the cheese cloth over the chicken tucking it into the pan around it.
Place chicken in oven and roast for 1 hour or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F. Baste with the chicken stock every 15 minutes.
Remove from the oven and baste again to dampen the cheese cloth carefully peeling it off as you go. If it seems to be sticking just baste again until it releases.
Disclosure: I received a selection of products to sample but was not compensated for this post. All opinions are my own.