Herb-roasted Chicken

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  • 1 gallon water, divided
  • 3/4 cup salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 6 bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons black peppercorns
  • 1 bunch plus 1/2 teaspoon minced fresh thyme, divided
  • 1 head garlic, halved
  • 3 lemons, halved
  • 1 (2 1/2- to 3-pound) whole chicken
  • Pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced fresh savory
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced fresh sage


Place half the water, 3/4 cup salt, honey, bay leaves, peppercorns, 1 bunch thyme, garlic and lemons in a pot; bring to a boil. Turn off the heat and add remaining water, cold or iced. Refrigerate brine until cool.

Trim off fatty ends of chicken and remove giblets. Truss chicken with butcher’s twine and place in cold brine overnight or for a minimum of 8 hours. Remove chicken and pat dry with a paper towel. Season with salt and pepper.

Preheat oven to 400° F.

Place chicken in an oven-safe stainless steel sauté pan and roast for 1 hour. Remove from the oven and tilt the pan toward you, pooling the grease. Place herbs in grease. With a large spoon, baste chicken with herb mixture. Let chicken rest for 20 minutes, then slice and serve.

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