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he best, juiciest Roast Chicken ever

Brining for the Best & Juiciest Roast Chicken Ever

Brining for the best & juiciest roast chicken Ever? You betcha! It’s a big claim and I’m not one to call things best very often, but this ticks all the boxes.

It takes a fresh chicken to the next level, but you can click to read more about the recipe and the credits for inspiration below the recipe.

Brining for the Best & Juiciest Roast Chicken Ever

Brining for the Best & Juiciest Roast Chicken Ever

Brining chicken on the bone is the best way of adding flavour and it gives the juiciest, yummiest roast chicken you’ll ever eat.

Recipe by Marti
0 from 0 votes
Course: DinnerCuisine: Modern Australian, BritishDifficulty: Intermediate
Serves

4

People (with leftovers)
Prep time

30

minutes
Roasting time

1

hour 

30

minutes
Brining time

12-24

Hours

You will need

  • 2 Litres cold tap water

  • 1/2 cup non-iodised cooking salt (kosher salt)

  • 2 lemons , quartered

  • 6 sprigs fresh flat leaf parsley

  • 6 sprigs fresh thyme

  • 6 fresh, or three dried bay leaves

  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar or mild flavoured honey

  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled and lightly crushed

  • 1 tbsp black peppercorns

Here’s what to do

  • Pour 500 ml of the water into a saucepan. Add remaining brine ingredients.
  • Bring to the boil and let simmer for 1-2 minutes, until the salt is dissolved.
  • Remove from heat and place into a sink with iced water to come about 2/3 up the pot. Add ice to the brine to speed up the cooling process and make sure it’s completely cold before using.
  • Once cold, pour into a large container or bowl and top up with remaining cold water – or enough to completely cover the chicken when it’s submerged.
  • Flip the chicken upside down (so legs and breast are on underside and place in the brine. Cover and refrigerate for 12 – 24 hours.
  • Don’t worry if underside of chicken doesn’t stay under water – the the breast side is, that is what matters.
  • Time to Roast
  • When ready to cook, preheat your oven to 180C (fan forced).
  • Remove chicken from the brine and rinse to remove excess salt, then pat completely dry with paper towel. You don’t have to rinse it, but it tends towards saltier if you don’t.
  • Stuff the chicken cavity with some more lemon chunks, roughly chopped onion, parsley and thyme or tarragon – or other fresh herbs of your choice. Seal the end with a metal skewer or sate stick. then place it in the roasting tray and lightly rub with olive oil.
  • Alternatively, you could make a bread stuffing (recipe coming soon). Yummy.
  • Place the chicken in the oven and after about 15-20 minutes, add some potatoes, pumpkin and other vegetables of your choice to the pan to roast.
  • Check again every 30 minutes until the chicken is cooked through. I use a meat thermometer to check the temperature of the meat. Insert into the thickest part and it’s cooked if the temperature reaches 73C / 165F.
  • Remove from the oven and place onto a warmed plate. Cover with baking parchment and foil and let rest for about 20 minutes while you prepare the rest of the vegetables and make gravy, if you’re making.

Tips and tricks

  • IMPORTANT: ensure the brine is 100% cold before submerging the chicken as warm brine may result in bacteria forming and food poisoning occurring.
  • You can use other herbs in the brine, such as rosemary or sage.
  • For Asian inspired flavours, halve the amount of salt in the brine and add 1/4 cup soy sauce. Replace the herbs with coriander stems, whole coriander seeds, 1-2 dried red chillies and star anise for an Asian inspired flavour.
  • A great guide to times for roasting chicken can be found on The Spruce Eats.

More about brining for the best & juiciest roast chicken ever

Last year was the first time I’d brined a chicken to roast. It blew me away – how juicy and flavourful it was! The skin was the deepest golden brown and the meat was tender, without the slightest hint of dryness. Coupled with that, it had flavour – slightly lemony and herby – from the brine ingredients.

The inspiration was thanks to Toni Burnett-Rands, better known here in Tasmania as Honey Child, of Honey Child’s Creole. We met at her house after our first Tasmanian Covid lockdown in 2020. Her warm spirit, graciousness, passion and love for food was infectious. During our easy conversation, Toni talked of brining all her meat that’s on the bone before cooking.

It took me a while to actually do, but my research led me to Recipe Tin Eats – Nagi’s fabulous ingredients and instructions ticked all the right boxes. Although I’ve tweaked the original a little, the lemon and herbs are the perfect flavour profile for my style of roast.

Ingredients for chicken brine

Making the brine is easy. All you need to do is add the ingredients to a pot, bring to the boil and simmer for a minute or so, until the salt dissolves.

Be careful though, because you need to COOL THE BRINE COMPLETELY before adding chicken!

If you don’t, you may be creating a recipe for food poisoning, as bacteria could grow in the chicken if it’s added to warm brine.

Fresh chicken in brine for juiciest roast chicken ever

Place the chicken upside down in the brine and make sure it’s completely submerged.

Cover and put in the fridge for a minimum of 12 hours, but a full 24 is best.

So making the brine the evening before you’re cooking is a good idea.

If you make this recipe, make sure you comment, share and tag me on socials.
It’s good to share the love.

Happy cooking!

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