As I said yesterday, I’m going to make three meals out of one chicken.  Meal number one, oven baked chicken.  I’m going to try to make this a little healthier than I traditionally have, so I need to change three things.  First no butter, second trim the fat off the chicken, third serve the chicken without the skin. (Yes Dave, without.)  I would have added no salt to that, but there will be salt from the brine, however I won’t being adding any more salt.

Ingredients:                                                              brining-chicken

1 whole chicken (this one in 4.71 Lbs.)

2 TBS kosher salt

Celery tops

½ onion

1 garlic clove

I start with brining the chicken, this should help keep it moist and juicy.  Most of the brining instructions I read used much more salt than I’m going to, as well as a lot of other ingredients, but I’m trying to keep it simple and lower the sodium.  So here we go, take the chicken and rinse it really well.  Then take about 2 TBS of kosher salt and put it in a one gallon zipper bag.  Place the whole chicken in the bag.  Fill the bag with cold water, then seal.  I shook my bag around so that the salt dissolved and was distributed throughout.   Then put the bag in a big bowl in the refrigerator for about 4-5 hrs. (You can do this overnight).  Before taking the chicken out of the garlic-onion-celery
refrigerator, cut the ½ onion into two chunks.  Peel and slice up one clove of garlic, then cut the tops off of some celery and rinse it.  How much onion you use depends on how much you like onion (I don’t love it) and how much celery used depends on how much you can stuff inside the bird.

When ready to start cooking, take the chicken out of the bag and rinsed it really well again.  Pat the chicken dry after the rinse and place it, breast side up, in a deep baking dish.  I give the bird a quick trim to take off some of the excess fat. Then stuff the onion chunks, garlic slices and a raw-chickenhandful of celery into the chicken’s cavity.  I used a skewer to pin the legs up, you can also tie them with string.  Then put the chicken in the oven, pre-heated, at 375 degrees.  I baked the chicken for 1-1/2 hrs. (It depends on the weight) You can open up the oven a couple of times to baste the chicken with the pan drippings.  Once the chicken hit 180 degrees I took it out of the oven and covered it with foil.  I let the chicken rest for about 15-20 minutes while I made my side dishes, asparagus, mashed potatoes, and gravy.

baked-chicken-dinner-2