Dry brine chicken simply refers to the process of salting your chicken overnight and allowing the meat to get juicier and more flavorful.
If you have never done this process I encourage you to give it a try. You might be worried that the chicken will be too salty but nothing could be farther from the truth. You will have superbly moist meat — especially the breast — with amazing flavor.
When you rub a chicken with salt, initially the salt will bring up all the moisture in your bird. As the process continues it will release it again into the meat. You will have flavor all the way to the core of your chicken. The meat will get extra juicy as well. Once you cook it you will decide never to cook a chicken differently again. The results are simply superb.
It is important that you let the chicken sit in the fridge overnight and uncovered. This will allow the fans in the fridge to dry the skin which will then crisp beautifully for you when it cooks. This is a perfect method for perfect chicken.
This is how you dry brine chicken:
1 whole chicken
1 small lemon
Measure 1 teaspoon of salt per pound of chicken. Rinse and pat dry the chicken. Make sure to dry well – especially between the thighs and wings. Place it in a dish.
Sprinkle the chicken liberally with the salt, especially in the thigh and wing area. Cover both sides.
Place the chicken in a grocery bag and tie the ends loosely – do not let it stick to the chicken.
Place the chicken in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours and up to 24 hours. Take it out of the bag and put it back in the refrigerator, uncovered, for about one hour. The fans in the refrigerator will help the skin to continue drying. All of the salt should have been absorbed into the chicken.
Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Remove the chicken from the refrigerator and check for moisture. You will probably have to pat dry the bottom of the chicken one more time. Squeeze the lemon on both sides of the chicken and insert the peel into the cavity.
Place the chicken breast side down in a roasting pan. Put it in the oven and roast it for 30 minutes. Flip it over and reduce the heat to 375 degrees. Roast it for an extra hour – or more, depending on the size – until you can see clear juices running from the thigh when you separate it from the body. If the juices are pink or bloody, the chicken needs to cook for longer. Another way to know if the chicken is fully cooked is to insert a meat thermometer into the thigh area, close to the bone. It should register 165 to 170 degrees.
Remove the chicken from the oven and loosely tent it with foil. Let it sit for about 15 minutes before carving. This will allow the internal juices to settle. Carve and enjoy the moistest chicken meat ever!
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