It's been a crazy week. Son #1 needed surgery and the past few days felt like I was on an emotional roller coaster. Fortunately, everything went well and he's home now, recuperating.
I've missed my kitchen, I've missed cooking, and I've missed blogging. And after preparing tonight's dinner, laying out the table, saying grace and eating together, I feel some semblance of normalcy already.
I brined this chicken last night and the 24-hour soak really worked wonders. The chicken was very juicy and amazingly flavorful. Even the breast meat, which can sometimes taste bland, was excellent. Of course having each bite with a bit of crisp skin helped.
Asian Brined Chicken
1 3-4 lb. chicken
4 cups water
1/2 cup oyster sauce
1/2 cup dark soy sauce
1 tbsp. sriracha hot sauce (optional)
2 tbsp. grated ginger
1 tbsp. minced garlic
3 stalks lemongrass, chopped into 1 inch pieces
3 kaffir lime leaves
1/4 cup chinese rice wine
2 tbsp. rice vinegar
2 tbsp. sugar
2 tbsp. five spice powder
1. Mix all the ingredients except the chicken until well blended.
2. Soak chicken in brining liquid for 12-24 hours. Keep chicken in fridge.
3. Butterly chicken (or not, if you so prefer) and roast at 325 for 45-50 minutes.
4. Raise oven temperature to 400 and roast chicken for 15 minutes more.
5. Alternatively, you could use a turbo broiler and roast chicken at 175, skin side down for 30 minutes. Flip chicken over and roast another 30 minutes.
6. Allow chicken to rest for about 5-10 minutes before serving.
The low roasting temperature for this dish allows the chicken to cook without overbrowning. The soy sauce, oyster sauce and sugar will burn if you roast the chicken at a high temperature. So start low and then increase the temperature toward the end of cooking to brown and crisp the skin.
Son #2 had his chicken with hoisin sauce, but I enjoyed mine with a sprinkling of Eurasian Black Sea Salt, which has an "eggy" flavor due to its higher sulfur content. It was a very nice "welcome back home" meal indeed.