When I walk out to get our mail and find my monthly copy of Bon Appetit, I start reading it immediately, as I walk back into the house, and I usually don't put it down until I've dog-earred at least ten pages. The September issue is filled with great sounding recipes and the first one that caught my eye was this Malt-Vinegar Glazed Chicken. It's worth making - worth the money, the time and the calories...can't say that about most meals! If you're not into brining or don't want to take the time to do it, just skip that part as the glaze is really the star.
The mister returns home today, he's been gone for the last four days - it's one of the nicest things he's done for me lately! While he was away, I cleaned out the closet. He had clothes in there he should not wear around the house/yard, and especially in public...but he wouldn't get rid of them. So I helped him out and got rid of them for him. A while back the boy's girlfriend was over and needed to borrow a sweater, she's about the size of one of my thighs but since I have all sizes in my closet, I had her come in to try to find something...she walked in, looked around and said, "Wow, you have a lot of clothes!" And she's right. I don't know when that happened, I think they breed at night, so the mister is not the only one with closet issues...I have a hard time getting rid of clothes, too...just in case I lose weight, I might need that pair of skinny jeans! So I weeded things out, got rid of bags of stuff, including my Level One Hoarder status! And while I was sorting and cleaning, my chicken was brining in a large pot, weighted with a plate to keep it submerged, in the refrigerator.
The term "multi-tasking" comes to mind...you can brine and clean closets, brine and do laundry, brine and go to Costco, get your nails done and see the movie ParaNorman with your over-grown child...brining is easy - so don't let it scare you off! But, like I said, if you don't want to brine, skip it, just make the glaze...it's flavored with molasses, honey and spices, with just enough heat to make it interesting...you're going to like love it! Bon Appetit said it's one of the most requested items on the menu at the Chicago restaurant, Avec...and now I know why!
The chicken is glazed, wrapped in foil and roasted for an hour...when it comes out of the oven, let it rest for about ten minutes - which will seem like thirty, the smell is heavenly...and you might want to take a picture, because once this bird is put on the table it will be devoured in no time at all and you might forget just how beautiful it looks!
Malt Vinegar-Glazed Chicken - Adapted from Bon Appetit, September 2012, Chef Koren Grieveson, Avec Restaurant
1/2 cup (packed) light brown sugar
1/3 cup kosher salt plus more for seasoning
1/4 cup malt vinegar
8 sprigs of fresh thyme
1 whole chicken, rinsed and dried
freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup malt vinegar
1/4 cup mild-flavored (light) molasses
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
10 whole black peppercorns
1 1-inch piece of cinnamon stick
1/2 bay leaf
Brine the chicken: In a large pot over medium-high heat, combine sugar, 1/3 cup salt, vinegar, thyme and 1 cup water, stirring until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and add 6 cups of cold water. Add chicken, weighing down with a plate to fully submerge, if necessary. Cover; chill for 4 hours or, preferably, overnight.
Make the glaze: Combine all of the glaze ingredients in a small heavy saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer, stirring occasionally, until glaze is thickened and reduced to 1/3 cup, about 12 to 15 minutes. Strain into a small bowl. (Glaze can be made 3 days ahead.) Let cool, cover and chill.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil (to make clean-up easier). Remove chicken from brine, do not rinse, but pat dry with paper toweling. Season chicken lightly with salt and pepper. Place on foil lined baking sheet and brush glaze on all sides. Wrap foil up and over chicken, sealing it tight. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. After 45 minutes, turn heat to 425 degrees, open foil and roast chicken for an additional 15 minutes. Let rest 10 minutes before serving. Pour juices from pan over chicken and serve. Serves 4.