Chef Mark's Brined Roast Chicken with Herb Jus


  • 1 cup kosher salt or 1/2 cup iodized or plain salt
  • 1 quart hot water
  • 3 quarts cold water
  • 1 chicken, about 6 1/2 lb
  • 2 Tbs. unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 4 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 4 cloves garlic peeled
  • 1 small yellow onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon black peppercorns
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar

For the wine jus:

  • 1/2 cup crisp, dry white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 Tbs. chilled unsalted butter
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste


In a plastic container or stainless-steel bowl large enough to hold the chicken, stir and dissolve the salt and sugar in the hot water. Add the cold water and stir, add thyme, garlic, onions and peppercorns. Rinse the chicken, and then submerge it in the brine. Cover and refrigerate for 12-24 hours, the longer the better.

Preheat an oven to 400°F.

Remove the chicken from the brine and pat dry with paper towels. Rub with the butter and season inside and out with pepper.

Place the chicken on its side on a V-shaped rack in a roasting pan. Roast for 30 minutes. Turn the chicken on its other side and roast for 30 minutes more. Turn the chicken on its back and roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh, away from the bone, registers 170°F, about 45 minutes more. Pour the juices from the chicken cavity into the pan and transfer the chicken to a warmed platter. Cover loosely with aluminum foil and let rest for 10 to 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the herb jus. Strain the cooking juices into a bowl. Skim off any visible fat from the surface and pour the juices back into the roasting pan. Set the pan on 2 burners over medium-high heat. Add the wine and boil until reduced by half, about 1 minute. Add the stock and boil until the liquid is reduced to 1/2 cup, about 6 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter and herbs. Season with salt and pepper.

Carve the chicken and serve hot with the herb jus and your choice of sides.

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