Chickens that are brined have a juicier texture and more flavourful meat. A full brining process can take anywhere from a few hours to an entire day, but this quick brine is relatively fast and enhances the flavour of the chicken. Don’t be shocked by the amount of salt used—it does not leave the chicken tasting salty! Use only kosher or coarse salt, never table salt.
1 roasting chicken
1/2 cup kosher salt
1/2 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
1 head garlic
1 tsp olive oil
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Place the chicken in a glass baking dish or on a sheet tray with a piece of parchment. Rub the entire 1/2 cup of kosher salt over the chicken, inside as well, and let sit for one hour. Rinse the chicken and dry it well (this can be done one day ahead and the chicken can be left uncovered in the fridge overnight for a drier skin, which yields a more crisp skin after baking). Place the dried bird in a roasting pan and slather the bird with the butter, and salt the skin evenly with approximately 2 tsp of salt. Again, this does not increase the saltiness of the bird but allows the bird to be well seasoned. Add pepper if desired. Cut the garlic head in half crosswise, drizzle with olive oil, and add to the pan. Slice the lemon crosswise and add to the pan.
Roast the bird in the oven for 1 hour 15 minutes, or more for a larger bird. You can baste the bird once or twice during roasting. Allow the bird to rest for 10 minutes before serving.