This is everything roasted chicken should be: moist, deeply flavorful meat with crisp, citrus-savory skin. You can get great results without brining the chicken first if you use a quality chicken, but it’s the brining that makes it so moist. Allow one to six hours to brine the chicken. Try it with an unwooded Chardonnay from Australia, along with a bowl of roasted potatoes and a salad.
- Yield: 4 to 6 Servings
- 1 cup soy sauce
- ½ cup brown sugar
- One 3½-pound chicken, preferably organic and free-range
- Olive oil spray
- 2 oranges
- 2 tablespoons miso
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Pour the soy sauce into a pasta pot or a clean bucket big enough to hold the chicken, add the sugar, and swirl around to dissolve. Add 2 cups warm water and swirl around some more to dissolve the sugar. Place the chicken into it and add enough cold water to cover completely. Let it brine, refrigerated, for up to 6 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 300°F. Rinse off the bird in cold running water and dry it thoroughly with paper towels, including the cavity. Set it, breast side up, on a roasting pan fitted with a rack sprayed with olive oil.
- Zest both oranges, place the grated zest in a small bowl, add the miso, and squeeze the juice from one of the oranges into it. Mix together with a fork until you have a creamy miso-orange paste.
- Gently separate the skin from the chicken meat. Spoon the miso paste under the skin, aiming for maximum coverage. Cut the remaining orange into quarters and stuff into the cavity. Spray the skin with olive oil spray, pepper liberally, and roast for 30 minutes. Increase the oven temperature to 375°F, remove the pan from the oven, and flip the chicken over using sturdy tongs so it is now breast side down. Roast for another 30 minutes. Increase the oven temperature to 425°F, remove and flip again, and cook for another 20 minutes to really crisp up the skin.
- Remove and let the chicken rest for 15 minutes. Carve and place on a serving platter. Squeeze the baked oranges over the meat and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.