It has grown significantly colder in New York this week as frost and snow has arrived in neighboring regions. It's only a matter of time before the city gets dumped with snow.
The streets are quieter. Lines are more manageable. Even the wait at the Shake Shack, which is typically mobbed by tourists and locals alike, has thinned out.
As the colder weather kicks in slow cooking resumes in my kitchen. Braising, roasting, stewing, these are my favorite cooking methods, mostly because you can set it and forget about it. I'm quite the
lazy relaxed cook, allowing dishes to simmer, bubble gently roast slowly as I sit around and veg out myself.
This past week, I roasted chicken in the oven, something I haven't done since Spring. It's enough time to forget how easy this recipe is to make and how well-loved this classic dish is to us. This is a great recipe to prepare ahead of time. Allow the chicken to sit in the brine bath overnight to ensure plump, juicy and flavorful meat.
The brining mix was inspired by an apples and spices blend that we purchased from Williams Sonoma last year, which is offered exclusively around Thanksgiving.
This brine blend imparts a subtle refreshing lemony and herbal pine-flavor, which is quite comforting for the season. The recipe makes a solution sufficient to marinate a 5-pound chicken, and can be easily scaled for larger poultry such as turkey.
APPLE CIDER SPICED BRINE FOR CHICKEN / TURKEYIngredients
- 2 tablespoons sea salt
- 1 tablespoon juniper berries, crushed
- 1 teaspoon whole coriander seeds
- 1 teaspoon whole cloves
- 1 teaspoon whole allspice
- 4 pieces star anise
- 4 cardamon seeds
- 1 cinnamon stick
- zest from one lemon
- zest from one orange
- 1 1/2 cup hot water (boiling)
- 1 1/2 cups apple cider
- In a 4 cup measuring bowl, combine crushed juniper berries, coriander, cloves, star anise, cardamon, lemon and orange zest, sea salt, cinnamon and hot (boiling) water. Allow the blend to steep for 5 minutes before adding the apple cider. Cool the mixture in the refrigerator for roughly an hour.
- Place the poultry in a bowl large enough to allow the bird to be covered by liquid. Pour the cooled brine solution over the poultry, and brine overnight and up to one day for a chicken or two days for a turkey.
- Roast the poultry at 350°F according to weight and this handy dandy time table.