Roasted Chicken w/ Sweet Tea Brine
Prep Time: 24 hrs
Cook Time: 2 hrs
This delicious whole chicken is infused with the flavors of tea, cilantro, and peppers. A 24 hour brine period produces moist and flavor-packed chicken that roasts to a golden perfection.
- 6 pound whole chicken, rinsed and patted dry
- 8 cups water
- 8 family size tea bags
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- ⅓ cup brown sugar
- ⅓ cup kosher salt
- 1 small onion, cut in half
- 2 lemons
- 3 large jalapenos, seeded and sliced into thin strips
- small bunch of cilantro
- olive oil
- 3 sprigs rosemary
- Optional ingredients: red potatoes, sweet potatoes, onion, turnip, carrots, fresh herbs
Bring water to a boil on the stove. Remove from the heat and add the tea bags. Allow the tea to steep for 10 minutes.
Pour the tea into a large bowl and add both sugars and salt. Stir to combine. Allow the tea to cool completely.
Slice half the onion into thin slices and cut the other half in large chunks for stuffing inside the bird. Cut the ends off one of the lemons and slice thin. Cut the other lemon in large chunks for inside the bird.
Chop the leaves off the bunch of cilantro and put the leaves in the tea. Add the thinly sliced onion, thin sliced lemon, and sliced jalapeno into the tea. Give the mixture a stir.
Place your bird inside of your brining bucket, then carefully pour the brine over top. Scoop the lemon, onion, jalapeno, and cilantro into the bucket. With a spatula, press the mixture down around the sides of the bird. This helps the flavor reach all sides of the chicken.
Place the lid on and refrigerate for 24 hours, giving the mixture a stir a few times and turning the bird over halfway through the brining process.
After 24 hours, remove the chicken from the brine and pat dry. (Discard brine)
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Grab a large roasting pan fit with a roasting rack to elevate the bird. If you want to roast vegetables while the chicken cooks, scatter cubed potatoes, carrots, turnip and onions on the bottom of the pan and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and fresh herbs.
Lightly oil the roasting rack and place the bird, breast side up, on the rack.
Drizzle the chicken with olive oil and rub in. Season with salt and pepper. Stuff the cavity of the chicken with the chunks of lemon and onion, and the sprigs of rosemary.
Place in the preheated oven and bake for approximately 2 hours. (look for an internal temp of 165) We roast uncovered for the first 30 minutes, then tent with foil for the remainder of the baking time. If you desire more color, remove the foil for the last 15-20 minutes.
Remove the chicken and tent with foil. Allow the chicken to rest for 15-20 minutes to allow the juices to redistribute through the chicken. Carve and enjoy!