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.


  • 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

  1. 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.
  2. 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. 
  3. Roast the poultry at 350°F according to weight and this handy dandy time table.


Mardi @eatlivetravelwrite said...

Oooh - this sounds delicious! We often roast chickens and this will be next on the list to try out.

girlichef said...

This brine sounds like it adds a gorgeous fall flavor!! I love this time of year...can't wait to brine my turkey! :D

HoustonWok said...

Beautful, just beautiful, look at New York, as my imagination begins to indulge in the art of your story telling, I begin to reminisce of the fun times in New York. Then to top it all off, a fine meal in the end and the recipe for it, life is grand isn't it.

high low said...

Great recipe! Thanks for inspiring me to use our gallon of apple cider another way - it'll be great for this chilly weekend! Love all of your photos - especially the first one. The signs look dynamic and striking!

NMOS said...

My favorite cooking methods are grilling and roasting.

That brine sounds pretty tasty. Citrus/fruit flavors always give meats a nice tang.

Sophie said...

What a marvellous & tasty recipe!! Yummie,...

Danielle said...

Ive never worked with a brine before. Chicken is probably a great way to start. So...where do I get juniper berries? I've only seen that in my bath and body works lotion LOL

Diana Bauman said...

I'm using this recipe! I can already smell it cooking :)

Fresh Local and Best said...

Thanks everyone for your kind comments!

High/low - those signs were being sold at the Union Square Farmer's market. They are quite artsy and neat!

Danielle - You're a hilarious one! I was able to pick some juniper berries from Whole Foods. I think it can be found in the spice aisle of most grocery stores. It does impart a subtle piney flavor that kind of reminds me of eating dinner near the Christmas tree. You can also use it lamb dishes, it's quite unique and delicious!

Fresh Local and Best said...

Diana - Yay! Let me know how it turns out!

Nancy said...

What a great idea to use juniper berries in the brine! I love their crisp, herbal flavor. I'm going to try this with my next roast chicken.

Fresh Local and Best said...

Nancy,let me know how it turns out! I love hearing feedback, and how you might tweak these recipes!

Bon apetito!


Velva said...

We are traveling to NYC next month. Of course, being a Floridian we will arrive totally unprepared to deal with cold weather (laugh).

This brine recipe looks really good. You know I can't say that I have ever seen juniper berries sold in the stores here in Norh Florida.

Miranda said...

This makes me so excited for Thanksgiving. I am planning to brine my turkey.

Love your site. I am glad I fell upon it from the foodie blogroll.

By the way, your NY pics are beautiful.

Stop by...I am offering a flavored oil and vinegar giveaway.

Pam said...

I just brined pork for the first time. This brine sounds perfect for the holidays.