Jacinda's StoryThere is only one way I roast a chicken and it's simple but requires a bit of planning.
Soaking the bird in a salt water brine for 8-24 hours beforehand is the key to a moist and flavorful bird. My biggest complaint about this method is that the meat completely falls off the bone and sometimes I don't get two intact drumsticks that my kids love.
Everyone loves my roast chicken, better than any rotisserie bird you can buy at the market.
*You can also use this same method for Cornish hens or any bird - even turkey though I brine it in a garbage bag and have to leave it in a well iced cooler.
whole chicken (organic/free range preferred)
adobo powder (homemade or store bought without msg)
1 1/2 tsp
sofrito, fresh or frozen
*adobo & sofrito can be found in the spanish or latin american section of many markets or you can make your own (see my sofrito recipe)
black peppercorns, whole
1TO MAKE HOMEMADE ADOBO:
Toast the peppercorns and cumin seeds in a pan for a few minutes until fragrant. Process in a spice mill until ground and mix well with the salt, oregano and with the onion, garlic, and chili powders. Store in a sealed jar.
2TO MAKE THE ROAST CHICKEN:
The first step is to soak the bird is a salt water brine for 8-24 hours before you plan on cooking. To do this, I take a gallon size zip top bag, add the 1/4 cup of kosher salt and fill halfway with water. Stir so salt dissolves completely. The brine should be as salty as the sea. Remove the innards from the chicken and rinse. Add the chicken to the brine and top off with water (I do this in my sink to avoid a mess). Zip the bag closed. Place the zip top bag in a bowl or container and refrigerate until ready to cook.
3When ready to cook, preheat oven to 350-375. Remove the chicken from the brine. Pat the chicken dry. Melt the butter and brush all over the chicken.
4Sprinkle the chicken with the adobo powder, being sure to coat evenly and completely. Then sprinkle with the oregano.
5Put the sofrito inside the cavity of the bird and truss the bird with butchers twine. Place bird into a roasting pan.
6Cover and cook the bird for about 1-1 1/2 hours. Be sure to baste the bird 2-3 times during cooking. Remove and save juices when basting to ensure that the sides and back of bird don't get soggy. When a meat thermometer inserted into the inner thigh reads 180 degrees the bird is done. You may remove the lid and cook another 10-15 minutes if you like the skin extra crispy.
ALWAYS USE A MEAT THERMOMETER TO ENSURE POULTRY IS THOROUGHLY COOKED AND SAFE TO EAT.
7I love making pan gravy with the drippings though the bird certainly doesn't need any. If I'm making mashed potatoes I'll use the gravy otherwise I'll save it for another night when I make mashed potatoes.