Thursday, February 27, 2014

Food Blogger Cookbook Swap: Brined and Roasted Whole Chicken




Food Blogger Prop SwapRemember this post - A Cookbook Swap and New-to-Me Bloggers from last month?

I stumbled on the Food Blogger Cookbook Swap cohosted by Alyssa of Everyday Maven and Faith of An Edible Mosaic. By participating in this event, I sent a cookbook to a (new-to-me) food blogger - Kristina of Cucina Kristina - and received a cookbook in return. Today is reveal day.

If you are anything like I am, you probably have enough cookbooks to build the Great Wall of China. Okay, maybe not quite that many. But I used to pick up cookbooks anytime I went to a bookstore. Sadly, almost all of our local bookstores have disappeared; but there's always amazon. I have purchased cookbooks for single dinner parties. I have cookbooks that I have reviewed for publishers. I have received cookbooks as gifts. Some I use once; some I - blush, blush - have never used and probably will never use.

So, I was tickled that I got to package up a cookbook, or two, and swap it with another foodie blogger. Hope you liked my selections, Kristina.


Let me start with a thank you. Kate of Our Best Bites sent me this...



She must have read my post where I admitted that I make uncomfortable food! Okay, I'll take the challenge and cook something from Alex Guarnaschelli's Old School Comfort Food: The Way I Learned to Cook. Thanks, Kate. This will be an adventure.

I decided to try the Brined and Roasted Whole Chicken. Alex describes this as the full spa treatment for poultry. Too funny. I love the addition of the honey, molasses, and soy sauce to the brine. Here's what I did to make...


Brined and Roasted Whole Chicken
adapted from Alex Guarnaschelli's 

Ingredients
3 C salt (I used my Monterey Bay Sea Salt that's harvested right from our bay)
1 C local honey (thanks to some beekeeper friends)
1/2 C unsulphured blackstrap molasses
1/2 C gluten-free tamari
4 crushed tepin chiles
1 t crushed, dried sage
5 sprigs fresh thyme
1 head of garlic, separated and cloves smashed
2 pounds ice
1 whole chicken (I had a 4-pounder in my fridge that I had gotten at the farmers' market from Fogline Farm)
1 stick butter (2 T melted, 6 at room temperature)
zest from 1 lemon
2 lemons
1 onion

Procedure
In a large stock pot, bring 6 C of water to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in the salt until it dissolves. Add another 6 C of water and let cool. Stir in the honey, molasses, tamari, and all the spices. Whisk together to blend, then submerge the chicken - in a cooler - into the brine and cover with ice. Do not brine longer than 14 hours. I let mine brine for 12 hours. An hour before cooking, remove the chicken and rinse in cold water. Discard the brine.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Dry the bird, inside and out, and stuff it with the two lemons and onion.

Place the chicken, breast side up, in the center of a baking dish. Brush the meat with 2 T of melted butter and cover with foil. Roast for 60 minutes. Raise the temperature until 450 degrees F. Uncover and roast until the skin is golden brown and crisped.

Remove the chicken from the pan and flip it breast-side down so that the juices flow into the meat. Let it rest like that for 15 minutes before carving. While the chicken rests, mix the room temperature butter with lemon zest.

Carve the chicken and rub the lemon zest butter of the meat before serving. I served this with a barley pilaf that had celery, carrots, onions, and chard. Yum!

Thanks, Kate, for helping me make some comfort food. I will definitely be trying more of these recipes. I'm thinking: Roasted Squash Soup with Popcorn - yes, popcorn!; Mashed Potatoes 'Chantilly'; and who can resist Evil Cheese Biscuits. I love this book! Maybe I can make comfort food after all.

And here are the links to those who participated in this FUN swap! It was nice to meet everyone!



Extra shout-outs...
*Cucina Kristina was the blogger to whom I mailed. Here's what she made...I've never peeled asparagus either. Maybe I'll try it this weekend.


photo by Cucina Kristina

**Our Best Bites was the blogger who mailed to me. She baked an Artisan Baguette! Wow.


photo by Our Best Bites

13 comments:

  1. Looks delicious! I hope you enjoy the book! :)

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  2. Aaaaaannnndddd.....YUM! I have a chicken in need of a full spa treatment. This book is VERY high on my list, I'm a big fan of Alex. And yeah, I'm betting that if the swap peeps put their collection together, we probably could equal the Great Wall ;).

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  3. Yummmmmy, that's a pretty tasty brine for the fowl's spa treatment. We have an amazing virtual potluck shaping up from the book swap bloggers. :>)

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  4. I think I'd like this cookbook too! I always like watching Alex G. on TV and know she makes beautiful food.

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  5. Yum! Love the idea of a spa treatment for a chicken :) I've only roasted a whole chicken once. I definitely need to try to again.

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  6. Oh how lucky! This is one book I would love to own! Your chicken looks absolutely fabulous! So glad to have been introduced to you through this swap! : )

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  7. This recipe does sound great - I love the layers of flavor.

    You're right - it has been so much fun getting to know everyone.

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  8. Thank you so much for participating in the swap and helping to make it a success! What a great book! I love brining chicken before roasting - I bet that bird was incredible! I would not be able to resist Evil Cheese Biscuits either, lol! :)

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  9. I have brined turkeys and chicken legs for frying before, but in simple salt/sugar solutions. I love how that gets twisted in Alex's recipe.

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  10. This also looks like another great recipe and book! Brined birds are superb.

    So glad to have found you through the cookbook exchange!

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  11. Not sure if my last comment went through b/c the screen froze but you got a great book! I am a big fan of Alex G. and that chicken looks amazing. Thanks for participating!

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  12. I have certainly roasted many a whole chicken, but I don't think I have brined a whole chicken. I am now on it! Nicely done for the cookbook swap!

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