October 11, 2011
4 Ratings
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

This recipe got everyone's enthusiastic approval. They liked that the chicken still tasted like chicken; the other ingredients did not cover the goodness of the chicken. I love the taste of sage and it grows faster than a weed in my kitchen garden. The brine requires starting a day ahead of time to let the brine cool. The next morning put the chicken in the brine and then later remove and roast for dinner. Easy Peasy! —dymnyno

Test Kitchen Notes

Dymnyno's Sage Honey Brined Chicken is the first roast chicken recipe I've tried since joining FOOD52 that is good enough to join Amanda's Spatchcocked and Braise Roasted Chicken on our dinner rotation. It's one of those marvelously subtle recipes that allows you to revel in the main attraction, in this case, a perfect roast chicken. Sage honey isn't common here in the East, but is readily available by mail order, and it was worth the effort to source it. Combined with the fresh herbs, peppercorns, and sea salt, it made a lovely brine that resulted in a roast chicken that was not only moist and flavorful but also gave the skin a fabulous mahogany "glaze." The only thing we did differently was to "quick-cool" the brine; combining the ingredients in one gallon (instead of 1 1/2 gallons) of water, and then cooling it down immediately with ice cubes so we didn't have to wait around. (The Spouse and I are not known for being patient LOL.) - wssmom —wssmom

What You'll Need
  • Brine
  • 12 to 16 fresh sage leaves
  • 1 bunch parsley(any kind)
  • 1 bunch thyme
  • 1/2 cup sage honey
  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
  • 1/2 cup fresh black peppercorns
  • 1 1/2 cups sea salt
  • 1 1/2 gallons water
  • The Chicken
  • 1 whole chicken
  • 2-6 fresh sage leaves
  • freshly ground black pepper
  1. For the brine: Put all the ingredients in a large pot and bring to a rolling boil for a couple of minutes and stir until the salt is all dissolved.
  2. Remove from the burner and cool for at least a couple of hours.
  3. Strain and discard the solids. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  4. Rinse and dry the chicken and put into the brine for about 8 hours.
  5. Dry and truss the chicken. Gently push some sage leaves under the skin of the chicken wherever you can, like the breast and the legs. Sprinkle liberally with black pepper. Bake in a 375 degree oven for about 40 minutes, depending on the size of the chicken. Check that the temperature is 160 degrees in the thickest part of the chicken.
  6. Remove from the oven and let the chicken rest for 15 minutes before carving.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • lapadia
  • Jennifer Wells
    Jennifer Wells
  • dymnyno
  • TheWimpyVegetarian
  • thirschfeld

15 Reviews

Therese P. December 27, 2015
This is currently in progress. It'll be 24 hours brined. More later!
lapadia March 2, 2015
A few years later = Must Try!
Jennifer W. December 24, 2012
Has anyone tried stuffing this chicken when roasting it? I'm thinking about dried cranberry, sage and hazelnut with wild mushrooms
Eric W. October 29, 2012
This chicken is awesome! Seriously, it shouldn't be this easy to make something this good.
dymnyno October 28, 2011
THANK YOU TO WSSMOM for the nice review of my chicken recipe!
wssmom November 3, 2011
My pleasure!! Literally!!!
TheWimpyVegetarian October 12, 2011
This looks so perfect for a Sunday dinner! I just love sage - especially this time of year.
dymnyno October 12, 2011
I usually put whatever I'm brining in a ziplock bag and that reduces the amount of brine that I use. I think there are 2 gallon ziplocks out there, but I don't know if a turkey would fit. For brining large birds sometimes I use a large stock pot or canning pot and weight the bird down so that it is submerged.
Bevi October 12, 2011
Thanks dymnyno and Tom. We put two turkeys on Webers, but I would really like to use this brine on one of them. Now for the hunt for the sage honey!
thirschfeld October 12, 2011
The amount of brine you need also depends on the size of the brining vessel. If it is much larger then the turkey then you will need a lot more brine. Find a snug vessel that you can fully submerge the turkey in and not have brine flowing over the top and you are set. Brining is a delicate balance in more then one way. LOL
dymnyno October 12, 2011
This made a lot of brine. It would depend on the size of the turkey whether you needed to make a lot more.
SKK October 12, 2011
Really looking forward to trying this!
Bevi October 12, 2011
This sounds wonderful. Do you think the brine recipe could be doubled for a turkey?
dymnyno October 11, 2011
The sage and the sage honey are sublime. The chicken is juicy and tasty. A bite of the sage under the skin of the chicken is crunchy and delicious.
hardlikearmour October 11, 2011
Yummy! I've never used honey in a wet brine before, and it's a great idea. Sage honey sounds fabulous, too!