Thursday, June 24, 2010

Brined Roasted Chicken with Mashed Potatoes


Brined Roast Chicken with Mashed Potatoes, Gravy and Asparagus



One Whole Chicken
1/2 C. salt
Onion
Carrots peeled
5-6 Medium Yukon Potatoes peeled and cut into 1-2 inch cubes
Milk
Butter
Asparagus with bottoms snapped off
Salt and Pepper to taste

Brining a Chicken
In order to brine a whole chicken dissolve 1/2 cup salt in 2 quarts cold water in large container. Submerge chicken in brine, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate 1 hour. You can leave the chicken in the brine for up to 6 hours. Reduce the salt if you are going to brine for longer periods of time. Note: a few chicken breasts can be easily brined in a ziploc bag.

Roasting the Chicken

Roughly chop the onions and carrots. Fill the chicken cavity and place remaining veggies in the bottom of the roasting pan. Add one cup of water to the botton of the roasting pan. There is no need to season the chicken with salt, but you may want to season with pepper, garlic powder or your favorite herb like oregano, thyme, marjoram etc.  I bake the chickens upside down, meaning breast side down. Bake at 350F for 90 minutes or until temperature at center of breast is 160-165F. The temperature will continue to rise somewhat after taking the chicken from the oven.  In a convection oven your baking time will be shorter--around 60 minutes even with two chickens side by side.  I do not cover my chickens with foil.

Making the Mashed Potatoes

Boil or steam the potatoes for about 10 minutes depending on how many you are cooking. A fork will slip into the potato easily when it is done. Mash with potato masher or ricer. Add about 3/4 C. your milk and 3 T. butter, salt and pepper to taste. I usually "eyeball" the milk. A swig of cream is yummy if you have it in your frig.

Boiling the Asparagus

Bring 8 C. of salted water to a boil. Plunge asparagus (or green beans) in to boiling water. Cook for about 9 minutes. Rinse in cool water to stop cooking process. Add a dollup of butter and salt and pepper to taste. Cut the butter and the veggies are still great.

Gravy

Add 2 C. of water to the chicken drippings after you have defatted the drippings. I use a defatting cup. Add 1 T. of corn starch for every cup of liquid you have collected and bring to a boil. Add chicken paste if the gravy tastes weak.

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