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Roasted Brined Chicken with Chimichurri

A couple of weeks ago, I made greek roast chicken, or Kototpoulo Fournou and blogged about it on my other blog, no reEATS. It was wildly popular at  home and all of my girls on Sybermoms made it that week and everyone really loved it.

Since I can't make that exact dish again, as per the rules of no reEATS, I am looking for ways to use the technique with different flavourings etc. I was thinking of doing it with jamaican jerk seasonings and maybe plaintains instead of potatoes but I am going to do that later. We brainstormed and I got some really great ideas that I am going to try down the road but for this week, after I saw this recipe for Grilled Brined Chicken on Epicurious, all i could think about was chimichurri. Clearly, I am not grilling anything here in Toronto in February but I thought it would adapt nicely to roasting in my big cast iron pan and I loved the idea of brining. It goes without saying that any opportunity to spatchcock a chicken is going to get me all fired up. I didn't like the chimichurri that came with the epicurious recipe but that was fine, because I already make a decent chimichurri and would sub my own in.

After spatchcocking the chicken, I cut into quarters just for fun. I roasted it with potatoes again and threw in some sweet potatoes as well. The sweet potatoes were amazing. They got really soft and caramelized and oily and I could have eaten the entire pan.

  • 1/4 cup fine sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons pickling spice
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 4 1/2-pound whole chicken (preferably organic), backbone removed and discarded, chicken quartered
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large shallot, chopped
  • 1/3 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil
  • 1/3 cup coarsely chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 large garlic clove, peeled

reserved marinade
juice of a lemon
1 1/4 cup of water

potatoes and sweet potatoes cut into large chunks

For chicken:
Bring 2 cups water, 1/4 cup salt, and pickling spice to boil in large saucepan, stirring until salt dissolves. Remove from heat; add 6 cups water and honey. Cool brine to room temperature. Add chicken to brine; let soak 1 hour at room temperature.

Remove chicken from brine and rinse with cold water; discard brine. Pat chicken dry with paper towels. Place chicken in 13 x 9 x 2-inch glass baking dish. Combine 1/2 cup olive oil, shallot, basil, parsley, rosemary, thyme, and garlic in processor. Blend until herb mixture is finely chopped. Rub herb mixture all over chicken; cover and chill at least 4 hours or overnight.

Pre heat oven to 425F

Remove chicken from the marinade and rub off most of the excess but leave a bit clinging to the chicken. Place it skin side up in your roasting pan or oven proof skillet and arrange as many potatoes around it as you can fit in. Salt and pepper the meat and potatoes. 
Mix the reserved marinade and the lemon juice and pour the potatoes. Turn the potatoes in the marinade to make sure they are coated.
Pour the water in carefully down the side, not getting any water on top of the chicken. You can start with less water and keep an eye on it to make sure the pan doesn't dry out. Some people reported that the 1 1/4 cups of water was too much and didn't evaporate for them. 
Roast it for about 40 to 50 minutes until the internal temperature reaches about 165F or the juices run clear if you poke a fork in the thigh. If the skin isn't as crispy as you would like, throw it under the broiler for a few minutes. I NEED crispy chicken skin or I can't even touch it so I understand.

serve with the potatoes and chimichurri


¼ to 1/2 cup chopped fresh italian parsley
3 tbls chopped fresh oregano or 1 tbls good quality dried
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tbls red wine vinegar

juice of half of a lemon
½ tsp kosher salt
¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
¼ tsp red chili flakes
3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

You can chop it all finely by hand and have a chunkier sauce or you can throw it in the blender or food processor and make a smooth sauce. I do both. This time I pureed it in the bullet to make it smooth.

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