Dry brine is a simple technique that results in a very juicy chicken and much more flavor than the more popular wet brine method.
- A whole chicken with skin. The skin must be intact. Avoid any bird with any tears in the skin. This is very important. So preferably buy this chicken in a supermarket where you have the ability to choose the chicken.
- Aromatic herb like sage, coriander or mint.
- Pepper powder.
The preparation starts at-least a day in advance. Clean the stomach cavity of the bird. Take one leveled teaspoon of salt in a bowl. Keep chicken in a big plate. Sprinkle the salt all over the chicken. Now a slightly tricky part. Before you do this make sure that the nails on your fingers are well trimmed and clean. Slowly insert your fingers between the skin and the meat. Part them as you go deeper. Try and get salt in between this gap. Be gentle. You do not under any circumstance want to break the skin.
Once its salted all over, keep the chicken in a box and leave it in the fridge for at least 18 hours.
Remove the chicken at least 2 hours before you will start roasting it. This will allow it to come to room temperature and ensure even cooking.
Take a tablespoon of butter. Soften it. If in a rush, simply put it in a microwave for about 10 seconds. Add the herbs and pepper. Mash them well.
Take a little of this butter. Make it into a small ball. Place it between the skin and meat. Squeeze it till it goes in deeper. Do this all over the chicken. So you will end up with this layer of butter between the meat and the skin on the entire bird.
Slice the bottom part of the garlic so it exposes the pods inside. Keep along with the chicken in the pan.
Make large wedges of a large onion. Put this in the stomach cavity.
Into a preheated oven at 190C for a total of 45 minutes. At a little over the half way point flip the bird around. Its highly recommended that you use a digital thermometer to check if the chicken is perfectly cooked. Under cooked chicken is dangerous. Overcooked its no better that an old leather shoe.
Let the chicken rest for about 5-10 minutes before you carve it.
Enjoy and wish you a very happy Thanksgiving.