Please read this important message from General Mills regarding their recent flour recall: http://www.generalmills.com/flour
The brine in this recipe is my basic five-ingredient everyday brine for chicken or pork with added apple cider in a 1-to-1 ratio to water for the liquid base.
- 1 quart cloudy apple cider
- 1 cup Kosher salt
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
- 1 large fresh bay leaf
- Juice of 1 lemon
- For the Pork or Chicken: 1 4- to 5-pound boneless pork loin or 1 to 2 3-pound spatchcocked chickens
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- 4 tablespoons fresh thyme, stripped, divided
- 8 sage leaves, chopped, divided
- Zest of 1 lemon, divided
- 6 potatoes, peeled and cut into quarters then halved, 8 chunks per potato
- 6 apples, halved and cored
- 4 onions, cut into wedges with root attached
- 4 celery sticks, chopped with the leafy part
- 1 cup apple cider
- 1 cup chicken stock
- For the Stovetop Gravy:
- (Add any pan drippings from roasting pan to this recipe as well.)
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1/4 cup apple cider
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire
- Coarse black pepper
To brine the roast or chicken, bring 1 quart of cider and 1 quart of water to a boil with the salt, light brown sugar, peppercorns and bay. Dissolve salt and sugar then remove from heat and add lemon juice. Add an equal amount of ice to liquid to quick-cool the brine.
Place pork loin or chicken(s) in a 2-gallon bag plastic food storage bag with a zip top, add the brine and close the bag, letting out any excess air. Store in the lowest part of the refrigerator overnight or up to 2 days.
Preheat oven to 400°F. Remove roast or chicken from the brine and pat dry; dress with half the thyme, sage, lemon zest, salt, pepper and olive oil.
In the roasting pan, add the potatoes and cook until light brown, 15-20 minutes, remove the pan from the oven. Turn the oven down to 375°F. Add apples, celery and onions with oil, salt, pepper and remaining thyme to the pan. Add cider and stock. Top with pork or chicken and roast about 1 hour until the pork reaches an internal temperature of 145°F, the chicken 165°F.
Remove pork or chicken from the oven and place on a cutting board to rest. To make the gravy, melt the butter in a saucepot over medium-high heat along with any of the pan drippings. Add flour, cook a minute or two then add cider and stock. Cook to thicken then add Worcestershire, pepper and salt, to taste.
Slice roast or carve chicken and serve with apples and potatoes, and plenty of gravy over everything.