The President’s Roasted Jumbo Chicken

January 26th, 2011

On a recent trip to S&R, I was pleasantly surprised to find that one of the local poultry companies had once again come out with their jumbo chickens. These chickens are at least 3 kilos or roughly 7 pounds in weight. They’re huge….somewhat like little turkeys.

So excited was I that I quickly picked up a 3.5 kilo bird with every intention of roasting it the next day.

The difference with this bird and the brand of turkey that I favor is that it comes unflavored…or not brined. So to remedy this, I planned to brine my chicken also to give it extra moistness and flavor once I roasted it.

Second problem. The bird was way to big to fit in the fridge. And brining is usually done in the fridge. Since my bird was frozen, I figured I could brine him overnight and a few hours the following day. Just in time for roasting. And that’s what I did. After roasting, the bird was juicy and nicely crunchy on the outside. Perfect.

The Presiden’t Roasted Jumbo Chicken

1 jumbo chicken (3 kilos), cleaned and trussed
1/2 cup of rock salt
1 tsp. pepper
1/2 cup soy sauce
8-12 cups of water
ice cubes

1/2 cup of butter
4 big heads of garlic
6 large potatoes (diced)
5 sprigs of fresh rosemary
2 tsps. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper

pan drippings
1/2 cup butter
1/3 cup flour
3 cups hot water
1 broth cube
1/4 tsp. pepper

In a deep, large pot combine the 1/2 cup salt, 1/2 cup soy sauce, 1 tsp. pepper, and water. Put in the chicken and make sure that it is covered with the liquid. Add the ice cubes when the chicken has defrosted. Leave to brine overnight in the fridge or in my case, on the kitchen counter since the bird was frozen.

When you have finished brining the bird take it out of the liquid and pat dry with paper towels.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit or 170 degrees celsius.

Wash the potatoes but do not peel.  Cut into 2-inch pieces.  Separate the garlic cloves and leave unpeeled as well.  Take a large roasting tin enough to accomodate the chicken.  Put the potatoes and garlic into the pan.  Add 2 sprigs of rosemary.  Season with salt and pepper.

Slather the chicken with 1/2 cup of butter.  Put the remaining rosemary into the cavity.  Place the chicken on top of the potatoes and garlic….breast side up.

Roast.  Roasting time will depend on the weight of the chicken.  I give 10-12 minutes per pound of meat.

Check the chicken every 15-20 minutes.  Baste with the pan juices.  If you notice that the chicken is not browning evenly, turn the roasting pan around.

When the chicken is cooked, take it out of the oven.  Remove the chicken from the roasting pan and place it on a serving tray.  Cover with foil.  Remove the vegetable as well.  The remaining liquid in the pan will be used for making gravy.

In a separate saucepan, melt the remaining 1/2 cup of butter.  Add the flour and cook for a minute.  Slowly add the water and the liquid from the pan.  Whisk to make a smooth gravy.  Add the broth cube and pepper.  Cook for 2 minutes.

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