Hello Pickle Pals! I bought a NINE POUND chicken at the farmer's market yesterday (have I been bamboozled? Do chickens even come in nine pound or was I flim-flammed by a pterodactyl farmer?) anyhow I am going to brine Big Bird and roast him tomorrow - how long should I brine for? 24 hours? meaning - get started STAT?

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drbabs
drbabs December 5, 2010

Abbie, I looked at Cooks illustrated for you and there are 2 conflicting recipes. One says to brine for an hour. A more recent one has a recipe for dry brining with a tablespoon of kosher salt and a teaspoon of baking soda for 12-24 hours, which they claim ensures a crispy skin. I haven't tried it but here's the recipe:

INGREDIENTS
1 whole chicken (3 1/2 to 4 1/2 pounds), giblets removed and discarded (see note)
1 tablespoon kosher salt or 1 1/2 teaspoons table salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
INSTRUCTIONS
1. Place chicken breast-side down on work surface. Following photos above, use tip of sharp knife to make four 1-inch incisions along back of chicken. Using fingers or handle of wooden spoon, carefully separate skin from thighs and breast. Using metal skewer, poke 15 to 20 holes in fat deposits on top of breast halves and thighs. Tuck wing tips underneath chicken.

2. Combine salt, baking powder, and pepper in small bowl. Pat chicken dry with paper towels and sprinkle all over with salt mixture. Rub in mixture with hands, coating entire surface evenly. Set chicken, breast-side up, in V-rack set on rimmed baking sheet and refrigerate, uncovered, for 12 to 24 hours.

3. Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 450 degrees. Using paring knife, poke 20 holes about 1 1/2 inches apart in 16- by 12-inch piece of foil. Place foil loosely in large roasting pan. Flip chicken so breast side faces down, and set V-rack in roasting pan on top of foil. Roast chicken 25 minutes.

4. Remove roasting pan from oven. Using 2 large wads of paper towels, rotate chicken breast-side up. Continue to roast until instant-read thermometer inserted in thickest part of breast registers 135 degrees, 15 to 25 minutes.

5. Increase oven temperature to 500 degrees. Continue to roast until skin is golden brown, crisp, and instant-read thermometer inserted in thickest part of breast registers 160 degrees and 175 degrees in thickest part of thigh, 10 to 20 minutes.

6. Transfer chicken to cutting board and let rest, uncovered, for 20 minutes. Carve and serve immediately.

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aargersi
aargersi December 5, 2010

Thanks Dr babs! I think I will try a combo - wet brine tonight, take him out in the morning then let him rest in the fridge all day - and then I can try salt and baking powder (that's a new one on me!) on the skin ...

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mrslarkin
mrslarkin December 5, 2010

Wow! That's a honkin' chicken!! Good luck!

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thirschfeld
thirschfeld December 5, 2010

no you haven't been flim flamed. I have had them get as big as 15 lbs. Brine it for sure. One cup of salt, 1/2 cup of sugar to a gallon of water and any aromatics you may want. Since you are only flavoring it and not curing it 24 hours should be good but 36 would be better. You are going to need to cook it like a turkey though. High heat will burn the skin before browning. 325 would be good. The skin will crisp nicely without anything on it because of the longer cooking time. Never the less pull it out of the brine at least 2 hours before you want to start cooking it so the skin has time to dry.

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healthierkitchen
healthierkitchen December 5, 2010

Will you spatchcock it???

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bella s.f.
bella s.f. December 5, 2010

You got yourself a small turkey. A vote for brining and a vote for butterflying it.

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aargersi
aargersi December 6, 2010

Thanks all! I brined last night - the way thirsch says - it's in there now, then will start roasting this afternoon ... I don't have a big enough pan to spatchcock it! :-) That will be next week's chicken ...

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AntoniaJames
AntoniaJames December 6, 2010

You can roast a spatchcocked chicken or turkey on a baking sheet. That's what I did for T-Day. It's a great method because the bird gets maximum direct heat from the oven, which is very even, whereas cooking in a roasting pan results in less consistent exposure. ;o)

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aargersi
aargersi December 6, 2010

Ohhh I didn't think about a cookie sheet - so do I need to reduce the cooking time if I spatchcock him this afternoon?

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thirschfeld
thirschfeld December 6, 2010

Something with sides deep enough to hold the rendered fat otherwise you will have a smoke filled house

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AntoniaJames
AntoniaJames December 6, 2010

My 11 pound turkey took about 1 1/2 hours at 350 degrees (325 in my convection oven). Then I let it rest for about twenty. Use a probe to test internal temperature, as results vary a lot from oven to oven. I used a standard half sheet with about a one inch rim, roasting a commercial turkey that had very little fat, so I actually had to add liquid during the roasting process. Also I tented with foil after about 30 minutes to keep it from getting too dark, which is typical in my convection oven. ;o)

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