One of my go to recipes for whole birds is a brine. It keeps the meat tender and juicy. I always add alcohol to it as well. Bourbon isn’t something I drink but I cook and bake with it. I experimented with this bird and the flavor was outstanding. The flavor combo is Lemon Honey Chicken and its to die for!
Honey Lemon Brine
- Whole chicken or turkey (4.5lb bird used, if larger, increase the amounts)
- 4 cups Cold water; enough to submerge bird
- 1/4 cup Honey bourbon
- 3 tbsp Honey
- 1/8 cup Salt
- 1/8 cup Sugar
- 2 tbsp Pepper
- 1 tbsp Lemon juice
- 1 garlic clove (smashed, not chopped)
- 1 bay leaf
Combine all ingredients in a bowl that covers or a bucket. Place in the refrigerator for at least 12-18 hours. After this time has passed, pull the chicken/turkey out of the brine and place on a sheet pan lined with several paper towels. The bird has to dry out otherwise it will be soggy and not crispy. We all know, that’s our favorite part! It needs to rest for at least two hours so it must be refrigerated.
When you are ready to bake the bird, you’ll need to prep it for the oven. First and foremost, the recipe below will have the sauce added to the top of the bird. Preheat the oven to 400°. Place the bird in a large baking dish(spray with non-stick) or roasting pan. Apply the sauce and stuff with cavity with the lemon that has been tested and juices along with a handful of parsley. Bake uncovered for 40 minutes, then uncover for the remaining 30 minutes. You can check to see if the bird is done by placing a sharp knife where the leg connects to the body. If the liquid is clear, it is done. Let it set for 10 minutes before cutting to secure the juices.
Lemon Honey Butter Sauce
- 4 tbsp Unsalted butter (melted and completely cooled)
- 2 tbsp Honey
- Zest of half lemon and all the juice(cut lemon into 4 pieces)
- Handful of fresh parkley
- 1 tbsp Bourbon
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1 tsp Pepper
- 1 tsp Dried thyme
Mix the butter, honey, zest, juice, and bourbon together and pour over the chicken. Then sprinkle the S & P and thyme liberally over the chicken. This is where you fill the cavity of the bird with the lemon and parsley. Enjoy this wonderful mixture of flavors! You’ll never have another dry bird again.