Herbed Roast Chicken With Garlic Mashed Potatoes
4-½ litres water
1 cup salt
1 cup brown sugar
6 cloves garlic
6 sprigs rosemary
1 tbsp black peppercorns
1 whole chicken (about 1.5kg), spatchcocked/butterflied
1 lemon, cut into slices
1 bulb skin-on garlic, halved
3 sprigs rosemary
3 sprigs thyme
Extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp paprika powder
2 tsp garlic powder
Salt and black pepper to taste
1 bulb garlic
Extra virgin olive oil
4 medium potatoes, peeled and halved
100ml cooking cream
6 sprigs thyme, leaves only
Salt and pepper to taste
To brine and roast chicken
Place the water in a large, deep saucepan and bring to a boil with salt and brown sugar. Add the rest of the brining ingredients, and boil for two minutes. Turn off the heat, and add the remaining water, stirring.
Allow the water to cool down completely. Submerge chicken completely in the brine. Cover and refrigerate for at least 12 hours – for best results, 24 hours is recommended.
Preheat your oven to 200°C.
Place a baking rack on a roasting tray and arrange the sliced lemons where the chicken will be placed. Place the halved garlic on top of the lemon, and the rosemary and thyme on top of the garlic.
Remove chicken from the brine, rinse and pat dry with kitchen towels. Rub with a little olive oil, and then with the paprika and garlic powders, salt and pepper.
Wrap the tips of the chicken wings with aluminium foil to prevent burning. Let the chicken come to room temperature before placing, skin side up, on the bed of lemon, garlic and herbs on the roasting rack.
Roast chicken for about 40-55 minutes, until the juices run clear. For best results, use a meat thermometer. It should read at least 77°C at the joint between the thigh and body.
Remove your chicken and rest it within tented aluminium foil for 15 minutes. Then place it on a cutting board for carving.
The juices at the bottom of the roasting pan may be drizzled onto the chicken pieces, but drizzle a little at a time, because this can be quite salty.
To make mashed potatoes
Preheat the oven to 200°C.
Slice the top off the bulb of garlic and place in a piece of foil or baking parchment. Drizzle with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper.
Wrap the garlic in the foil and roast for about 40 minutes.
Place the potatoes in a pot of water and boil until soft enough to mash. Remove potatoes to a large bowl. Add the butter, cream and thyme.
Squeeze the roasted garlic into the bowl and discard the skin. Mash all the ingredients together and season to taste.
This recipe from Saravanakkumar Shanmugam yields great results because the brining of the chicken renders its meat lovely and moist. Click the link for his story.