Alton Brown's roast chicken isn't particularly sexy to look at, but sometimes food is less about looks and more about how it tastes. Brown shares his recipe for this one-pot poultry favorite on his website and openly acknowledges that his is not the pursuit of crispy, golden skin, but rather moist, succulent chicken. He writes, "When it comes to a roast or rotisserie chicken, I don't care a hoot about crisp skin. Sure, I want it flavorful, and golden brown is always nice, but what I'm after is great meat. Freak? I think not."
To achieve his delicious-tasting chicken, which he notes is not television-worthy because of the skin texture, he gives it a good long 12-hour bath in water and salt so the chicken can absorb all of that seasoning. That's before cooking it in a prewarmed Dutch oven and eventually basting it in all of those lovely chicken juices. For those who know of his anti-basting rants, Brown assures would-be chicken roasters that philosophy only applies to turkey. He even reserves those juices and serves them right alongside the chicken for dipping and drizzling.
Read more: 12 Different Ways To Cook Chicken
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Why does his technique work? A salt brine is a wonderful way to have flavor penetrate past the skin. Of course, while salt is the critical ingredient, it doesn't have to be just salt. You can add in whatever herbs, spices, and aromatics your tastebuds love. When creating your salt solution, you need anywhere from ⅓ of a cup of table salt to ½ a cup in two quarts of water. The amount of time you leave your chicken in the brine is really up to you. It could be just one hour per pound or you could take a page from Brown and allow it to go a full 8 to 12 hours.
But one of the key steps to getting this recipe just right is ensuring you dry the chicken completely once you remove it from the salt solution. If you don't pat dry your bird on both the inside and the out, you risk steaming it rather than roasting and then you are unlikely to get the same results Brown raves about when he makes this chicken.
Read the original article on Tasting Table.