Apple-Brined Chicken With Fall Vegetables
by Benjamin Maides, Chef, Au Courant Regional Kitchen, Omaha, Nebraska
- Apple Brine
- 1½ tablespoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly cracked pepper
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 cups apple juice
- 1 head garlic, halved horizontally
- 1 whole Smart Chicken
In a pot, bring all ingredients up to a simmer. Let cool completely. Add liquid to a large sealable plastic bag and add the chicken. Remove the air from the bag and seal. Refrigerate for at least eight hours.
- 2 ounces fresh sage
- Extra-virgin olive oil, as needed
- Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
- 2 red apples, cored and quartered
- 2 large potatoes, cubed
- 1 butternut squash, diced
- 2 carrots, cut into 1½-inch strips
- 1 cup fresh parsley leaves
- ½ red onion, sliced
Remove the chicken from the brine. Carefully tuck some of the sage underneath the skin on top of the breasts. Rub the chicken with olive oil and season lightly and evenly with salt and freshly cracked pepper. Over a hot grill, sear and mark all sides of the chicken.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, toss the apples, potatoes, squash, carrots, and onion with parsley and remaining sage. Season with salt and pepper. Arrange all of the vegetables in a large cast iron skillet, leaving room in the center for the chicken. Transfer the whole chicken to the pan and roast in a covered grill or preheated oven at 420°F for 25 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165°F at the thickest portion of the thigh. Check to make sure the potatoes are tender; if not, move the chicken to a carving board to rest and return the vegetables to the oven for another 5 to 10 minutes.