Apple-Brined Chicken

With fall, comes apples! Lots and lots of fresh, crisp, delicious apples! Because of the brining process, this chicken is extra moist and flavorful. You definitely want to try this one. Recipe lightly adapted from Taste of Home.

3 cups apple cider or juice (I used a combination of both)
1 medium onion, sliced
1 medium lemon, sliced
4 fresh rosemary sprigs
1/3 cup kosher salt
1/2 cup packed brown sugar, divided
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 bay leaf
1 tsp. whole peppercorns
2 cups cold water
3-4 lb. chicken pieces (I used boneless, skinless breasts...only 1 1/2 lb. for the two of us)
1 pound fresh green beans, trimmed
3 medium tart apples, cut into wedges
1 Tbsp. minced fresh rosemary or 1 tsp. dried rosemary, crushed
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1/4 tsp. pepper

In a Dutch oven or medium pot, combine the cider/juice, onion, lemon, rosemary sprigs, salt, 1/4 cup brown sugar, garlic, bay leaf and peppercorns. Bring to a boil. Cook and stir until salt and sugar are dissolved. Remove from the heat; stir in water. Cool brine to room temperature.

Place chicken in a 2-gallon resealable plastic bag or large, shallow container. Carefully pour cooled brine into bag/container. Squeeze out as much air as possible; seal bag and turn to coat. Place in a roasting pan. Refrigerate for 2 hours, turning occasionally (I refrigerated for 6 hours).

Place beans and apples in a greased roasting pan. Drain chicken; place in prepared pan. Bake, uncovered, at 400° for 40 minutes.

Combine the minced rosemary, oil, pepper and remaining brown sugar; sprinkle over chicken. Bake 15-25 minutes longer or until a meat thermometer reads 180° and beans are tender. Yield: 5 servings.


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