Monday, February 16, 2009

Swimming in chickens, and chickens swimming

The grocery store had roasting chickens for 79 cents per pound this week.  I can’t resist a sale like that, and neither can Dave.  I sent him off to the store and he brought back three five-pound birds.  We are planning to roast all of them in our rotisserie oven (yes, it is from Ron Popiel and we like it just fine).  They are so big that I will have to roast them one at a time.  But before roasting the chickens have to go swimming.  In brine, of course.  The usual base recipe is ¼ cup each salt and sugar to a quart of water.  I wanted more flavor in the brine so I took about a gallon of water and simmered it for 30 minutes with 2T dried rosemary, 2T dried thyme, 1T coriander seed, 2T mixed peppercorns, and two bay leaves.  I also added in the salt and sugar for that gallon of water. 

Now all the chickens are about to complete their little bath; they get a full 24 hours. They have been in a 20-gal capacity plastic tub with a lid, the same one that I use for making corned beef and pastrami.  The tub is out of the deck with a lot of ice in it to keep the temperature under 40 degrees.  That isn’t hard with all the salt in the water, and the outside temp is only 45 (it was near freezing overnight). I take an hourly temperature with my laser gun – with that “toy” I can absolutely say that I have an “arsenal of cooking tools.”.

I’ll get a picture of one of our roasted chickens later – for now I just have to figure out where I am going to put all the cooked chicken!

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