Sunday, November 3, 2013

Dry-Brined Chicken with Cider Pan Drippings

Dry-Brined Chicken drum and wing served with Green Beans with Caramelized Onions and Bacon, Apple-Sweet Potato Casserole, and corn pudding. That pudding recipe's coming up next.

This is the second of three turkey recipes available in the latest copy of the only magazine I get. Like the last turkey recipe, a chicken was substituted for the turkey and everything else was cut in half.

Dry-Brined Chicken with Cider Pan Drippings
adapted from Cooking Club, Fall 2013
click to print

1 (5-6-lb) chicken
1 tsp coarse sea salt
1/2 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
1 1/2 tsp olive oil
2 c apple cider
1 tsp poultry seasoning

Rub outside of chicken with salt and pepper. Tuck wing tips behind chicken; place on large rimmed baking sheet. Refrigerate, uncovered, 24 hours.

I chose to tie the legs together too. And then I left it on the plate and put it in the fridge.

The skin got tighter after 24 hours, sort of like the one dry-rubbed chicken I did before. And notice that the chicken is sitting in a pool of liquid.

Heat oven to 375°F.

Place roasting rack on large shallow roasting pan; coat rack and pan with cooking spray. Place chicken breast-side up on rack; brush with oil.

After placing the chicken on a rack and brushing it with oil, I inserted a temperature probe into the breast; the starting temperature is 38.8°F.

Bake 30 minutes; reduce temperature to 325°F.

After 30 minutes, the temperature was at 90.3°F.

Add cider and poultry seasoning to roasting pan.

I don't know where I got the poultry seasoning recipe from, but it looks like it has sage, black pepper, paprika(?), celery seeds, oregano(?), rosemary.

Bake an additional 30-60 minutes or until internal temperature of thickest part of thigh reaches 170°F.

I prefer to aim for 160°F in the breast when I pull it out of the oven. Every time I've tried temping the thigh, it never comes out right. I think I always get it too close to the bone.

Remove chicken, cover loosely with foil; let stand 20 minutes before carving.

Behind with my side dish, I ended up letting the chicken stand for 60 minutes before I cut off a drum and wing.

Meanwhile, remove and discard fat from pan juices; place roasting pan over stovetop. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring to scrape up any browned bits on bottom of pan. Boil 10-15 minutes or until slightly thickened. Serve chicken with pan juices.

I went through with defatting the pan juices (via fat separator) and then reducing it on the stove-top. And then I didn't even use it. The chicken was so juicy, I didn't think wetting the skin and meat was necessary. That said, the cider flavor was non-existing in my bird, so if you're going for the pan dripping flavor you don't want to omit the juices.

Even though the bird stood an hour after it came out of the oven, it was still warm and the skin, even on the hardly-browned drum, was still crisp! Dry-brining is definitely a winning technique. The back side of the chicken didn't get crisp like the top (breast) side of the bird and I attribute that to the fact that the back-side of the bird sat in liquid even after 24 hours of drying in the refrigerator. Next time, I'll put the bird on a rack or maybe, just maybe, putting it on a larger platter, like a rimmed baking sheet the recipe suggested, will be sufficient to move liquid away from the bird and evaporate.

  • chicken: $12.03
  • olive oil: $0.33
  • apple cider: $0.62
Total: $12.98 or about $3.25 for each of four servings.