The Perfect Roast Chicken
For the brine
1/2 cup salt
1/2 cup sugar
2 bay leaves
6 cloves garlic crushed
10 peppercorns, crushed
1 X 5L container
For the fragrant butter:
200g butter, softened
3 cloves garlic, finely grated
3T thyme leaves, finely chopped
1 lemon, zested (lemon reserved)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 large free range chicken
Serve with mashed potatoes and gravyCombine the salt, sugar, water, bay leaves, garlic and peppercorns together in a large pot over a medium heat. Stir to dissolve the salt and sugar. Allow the mixture to cool completely before placing in the 5L container before putting in the fridge to chill slightly.
Add the chicken to container and brine overnight. The next morning remove the chicken from the brine and pat the skin dry.
Place on a serving dish and leave uncovered in the fridge for 4 hours to dry out the skin.
Prepare the butter by combining all the ingredients together. Remove the chicken from the fridge and begin stuffing the butter between the skin and flesh of the chicken, not forgetting to keep some for the inside cavity and the skin. Season with inside of chicken before adding the lemon.
Leave outside to reach room temperature, about an hour while you preheat the oven to 160C.
Place the chicken in the oven to slowly cook for 45 minutes, before removing from the oven.
Increase the heat to 220C before returning the chicken to the oven and cooking for another 15-20 minutes or until the skin of the chicken is perfectly golden and slightly crisp. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 15 minutes before carving.
Serve with the fluffiest mash potatoes and gravy.