Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Feta Brined Roast Chicken with Potatoes

I love Feta Cheese, and when we saw this recipe for Chicken Brined in Feta in The New York Times, we had to try it. We will definitely make it again. The Feta gives an added tanginess to the chicken. Cathy figured she could place Sliced Potatoes under the chicken while it bakes. They were extremely crispy from the high heat and extra flavorful from the drippings. In addition, we sprinkled Feta on the Potatoes when we served the dish. Try this dish, it is excellent.

Feta-Brined Roast Chicken
New York Times

Brining a chicken before roasting can make for a particularly juicy, tender bird. Using feta in the brine adds a complex and earthy flavor to the mix. Don’t skip the step of taking the chicken out of the brine an hour before cooking. This allows the bird to come to room temperature and dries it out a bit, which helps crisp the skin. This recipe calls for a lot of black pepper, and if you like a spicy bite, don’t afraid to go for the full 2 tablespoons. Or bring the amount down for something milder. In either case, do grind it yourself; the pre-ground stuff is missing all the essential oils that give freshly ground black pepper its woodsy, floral notes. Roasted potatoes make an excellent side dish.


4       ounces feta cheese, crumbled
3-½   teaspoons kosher salt
1       3-½ to 4-pound whole chicken
1 to 2 tablespoons cracked black pepper, to taste
2       tablespoons dried Greek oregano
2       large lemons
¼      cup olive oil, more as needed
1       large bunch arugula or other sturdy salad greens, for serving


1.   The day before serving, combine 2 ounces feta, 2 teaspoons salt and 4 cups water in a blender and blend until smooth. Put chicken in an extra-large resealable plastic bag or a container large enough to submerge chicken, and cover with the feta brine. Refrigerate at least 8 hours or overnight.
2.   Before cooking, remove chicken from brine and transfer to a towel-lined tray. (Discard brine.) Pat chicken dry with paper towels and allow to come to room temperature for 1 hour.
3.   In a small mixing bowl, combine remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, the pepper, the oregano and the zest of the lemons (about 1 tablespoon). Liberally cover chicken in herb mix and gently massage entire bird. Halve lemons and place 3 halves in cavity (save remaining half for serving). Using kitchen twine, tie legs together.
4.   Heat oven to 450 degrees. Place a large ovenproof skillet over high heat. Add oil and heat until it just smokes. Place chicken, breast-side up, in pan. Transfer entire pan to oven. Cook, basting once or twice, until juices run clear when chicken is pierced with a knife, 50 to 60 minutes.
5.   Remove pan from oven, then stir remaining crumbled feta into juices in pan and stir well. Let chicken rest for 10 minutes in the pan before slicing and serving on a bed of greens, with feta-laced pan juices on top, drizzled with a little lemon juice from the reserved lemon half.

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