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Roasted Chicken with Standard Brine

Nathan Congleton / TODAY
Cook Time:
2 hrs
Prep Time:
15 mins

Chef notes

I love this recipe because it is a straightforward, classic, simple dish that is just so delicious. You just can't beat a beautifully roasted chicken. It's comforting, easy to prepare and perfect for entertaining or feeding the family.

Technique tip: I like using large and extra-large zip-top bags for brining. Simply place the item you wish to brine into the bag, pour the brine into the bag, seal and place the bag in the refrigerator.


Standard Brine
  • 1 quart cold water
  • 1/4 cup kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • garlic cloves, shallots, peppercorns, fresh thyme, fresh parsley, crushed red pepper flakes, fresh rosemary, fresh ginger, fruit juice or vinegar (optional)
  • 1 (6- to 8-pound) roasting chicken
  • 1/2 stick butter, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 3 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1 shallot, cut in half
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 lemon, zested in large strips
  • 4 whole carrots, peeled
  • 4 ribs celery
  • 1 yellow onion, diced


For the standard brine:


Combine water, salt and sugar in a non-reactive mixing bowl and whisk until the solution becomes clear.


Once the liquid is clear, add in as many or as few of the optional additions to your standard brine to enhance the flavor profile you want, then pour the brine over the chicken, enough to completely submerge, and brine in the refrigerator for 1 hour per pound to overnight.


After the appropriate amount of brine time, remove from the brine and discard the brine liquid.

For the chicken:


Preheat your oven to 425 F.


Pat the chicken dry. Smear and rub the room temperature butter all over the chicken. Season the butter rubbed chicken with salt and pepper. Stuff the inside cavity with fresh thyme, smashed garlic cloves, shallots, bay leaves and lemon peel.


Place the chicken on top of a roasting rack in a roasting pan with the whole carrots, celery ribs and large diced onions around it (if you don't have a roasting rack, find a large enough baking dish and place the whole peeled carrots, celery ribs, diced onions on the bottom of the baking dish to act as a rack for the chicken to sit on).


Roast the chicken for 90 minutes to 2 hours or until the juices run clear and the internal temperature at the leg and thigh is 175 F. Remove the chicken from the oven, allow it to rest for 20 minutes and serve.