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Saturday, March 1, 2014

Dry Brined Herb and Lemon Chicken

When I dry brined our Thanksgiving turkey, dry brining shot into my top ten with a bullet. For chicken, it is now my #1. This is the kind of good where people take a bite, their eyes get a little wider, and they say, "What did you do?!" I'm about to tell you. Oh yes. I will tell you.

You will need:
1 Whole chicken, cut up
2 tbsp. salt
1 tbsp. freshly ground black pepper
4 cloves garlic peeled
1 bunch Italian parsley
1/4 cup fresh sage leaves
1 tbsp. fresh rosemary leaves
1 tbsp. fresh thyme leaves
lemon zest and lemon juice from 1 large or 2 small (I used one large Meyer lemon this time)
1/4 good olive oil

Whenever I want to make chicken for a weeknight dinner, I prep it the night before. You can buy a chicken that has already been cut up, or even just your favorite pieces. My biggest suggestion here is that you keep it on the bone and leave the skin on. You will get a much juicier and more flavorful bird.

Wash and dry the chicken. Zest the lemon and whirl everything but the olive oil and lemon in a food processor and rub the mixture into all sides of the chicken. Juice the lemon and save in the fridge. Cut the remaining rind into chunks and place them pulp-side down on the chicken pieces.

The next day, while you preheat the oven to 400 degrees, rinse the brine off and pat the chicken dry again. Place on a greased or paper-lined baking sheet. Drizzle the chicken with olive oil and reserved lemon juice and sprinkle on a few grinds of black pepper.

Roast for 40 to 50 minutes or until juices run clear. I use a digital thermometer to make sure the thickest pieces come up to a safe temperature - 165 degrees. I like to roast potatoes at the same time. Steam up some green veg and you have a fantastic meal. This flavorful chicken is also very good cold, cut up on a salad or sliced for a sandwich. Enjoy!

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