Brined Roast Chicken and Veggies Recipe

Best with a pastured chicken; second best with a free-range organic chicken.

Yield: feeds 6

For brine:

In two cups of boiling water poured into a bowl dissolve ¼ cup kosher salt and ¼
cup granulated sugar.

Add a head of garlic, roughly chopped without removing paper
Add ¼ teaspoon cumin seed
¼ teaspoon juniper seeds
¼ teaspoon coriander seeds
one star anise
some peppercorns
a bay leaf
a piece of lemon peel
three-four tablespoons soy sauce
a little olive oil
add some cold water so you have enough liquid to just cover your chicken pieces.

Add a whole cut-up chicken (ten pieces—cut the breasts in half) to the brine and put the bowl in the fridge, covered, for at least 4 hours and as much as eight.

Remove chicken from brine, rinse quickly with water in the sink, and pat dry. Leave out for a half hour or so to dry skin. Rub or spray olive oil onto chicken pieces and put onto a cookie sheet, skin side up.

Roast in a 300 degree oven for 45 minutes to one hour or until the skin is golden brown. Use convection if you have it; you want to dry out the skin a bit. Or grill outside, with the top on over a low fire until golden brown. Chicken should cook slowly and not be turned. Esp. good with some smoke from wood.

Roasted veggies. These can be on same tray or another.

Peel and cut into bite-size wedges celery root, beets, parsnips, carrots, turnips, little potatoes—any root vegetables you like. Brussels sprouts, cut in half and roasted oiled cut-side down, are also great this way. Spray with olive oil; salt (You can also grind a little nutmeg over the root vegetables) and roast for 45 minutes or until done. (They’re done when just beginning to crisp and brown on the edges and corners.)

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Michael Pollan