Apples and Oranges Chicken

2 Oct

For two things that are so different they apparently should not be compared, apples and oranges actually work really well together.  Especially in a  ménage à trois with some perfectly roasted poultry.  By adding them to the brine, you infuse your chicken meat with very pronounced fruit and citrus flavors. This is reinforced by using the apples and oranges as aromatics over which you roast the chicken and the fact that you baste the chicken with both it’s own juices and those of the apples and oranges.  Though I definitely have enough roast chicken recipes on here to last any normal human several life times, I couldn’t resist posting this one as well.  It’s also a really great way to use up past-the-prime apples and oranges.  Anyway, if my perfect roast chicken or any of the other plethora of roasted chicken recipes haven’t been enough for you, I suggest you try this one.

Apples and Oranges Chicken

Apples and Oranges Brine:

1 4.5 lb. broiling/roasting chicken

2-3 cups water per lb. of chicken

2 cups kosher salt

1 cup white, granulated sugar

1 cup light brown sugar

4 oranges, quartered

2 apples, quartered

Handful basil leaves

2-3 cups water per lb. of chicken

1 tbs. whole black peppercorns

Freshly cracked black pepper

To begin, in a medium or large saucepan heat water.  A little at a time, add kosher salt and sugar while whisking until dissolved.  It may be necessary to add more water to the saucepan in order to dissolve all of the salt and sugar.  Once the salt and sugar are dissolved, transfer the water to a container large enough to hold the brining solution and chicken.  This can be done in a large ziplock bag, though I prefer to use a large stock pot.

Add all other brine ingredients and allow brining solution to cool to room temperature, placing solution in refrigerator for 15-20 minutes or adding more water or ice if necessary.  Once the solution is room temperature or cool to the touch, add the chicken to the solution.  Place the chicken in the refrigerator and let soak in brining solution about one hour per pound (round up to the nearest hour).

Remove chicken from brining solution by straining through a colander.  Make sure you save all brining ingredients.

Allow the chicken to rest overnight, at least 18 hours.  This allows most of the moisture to evaporate from the skin of the chicken, which will result in a crispier skin (my favorite part!).

Apples and Oranges Chicken:

1 apple and orange brined chicken (see above)

Brining ingredients, reserved from above

2 tbs. olive oil

Freshly cracked black pepper

Preheat oven to 475°.

In a deep roasting pan, place apples and oranges.

Remove chicken from refrigerator and place top of the fruit in the roasting pan.  Rub remaining olive oil over the outside and in the cavity of the chicken and season with freshly cracked black pepper.

Place chicken in preheated oven on center rack.  Roast at 475° for 15 minutes or until skin is light golden brown.  After 15 minutes, reduce heat to 350°.  Roast chicken roughly 20 minutes per pound (rounding up to nearest pound), or until meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the chicken’s thigh reads 165º (yay, FDA, for lowering the safe internal temperature!).   Baste the chicken occasionally.

When fully cooked, remove chicken from oven and keep covered.  Rest 15-20 minutes, which will allow juices to redistribute and result in a tender, juicy bird.

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One Response to “Apples and Oranges Chicken”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Geagua Family Farms CSA – Week Seventeen « Kelseyincleveland's Blog - October 9, 2011

    […] share, I still have leftover the green pepper, some lettuce, the garlic, and the green beans.  The apples and oranges chicken made use of some CSA apples.  In order to use up the rhubarb and some sweet potatoes, I created […]

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