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Roast Brined Chicken with Raisin & Pine Nut Agrodolce

Featured by Whetstone Wine Cellars in the Pinot Noir Wine Club.
Roast Brined Chicken with Raisin & Pine Nut Agrodolce


"Brining isn't imperative," says Michael Chiarello, "but it adds juiciness." Before roasting, he rubs the brined birds with a spice mix and brushes them with butter; the flavors are even better at room temperature, making this a stellar picnic dish.

Yield: 8
Prep Time: 35 Minutes
Cook Time: 180 Minutes


• 1 1/2 gallons water
• 2 cups kosher salt
• 1/2 cup light brown sugar
• 2 tablespoons black peppercorns
• 8 bay leaves
• 1/4 cup juniper berries
• 8 cups ice
• Two 3 1/2-pound chickens
• 1/2 cup Toasted Spice Rub
• 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
• Raisin and Pine Nut Agrodolce, for serving


1: In a large pot, combine the water with the salt, sugar, peppercorns, bay leaves and juniper berries. Bring to a simmer to dissolve the salt. Transfer the brine to a very large bowl and add the ice. Let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate the brine until chilled. Put the chickens in the brine, breast side down, and refrigerate for 4 hours.

2: Remove the chickens from the brine and pat dry with paper towels. Put the chickens on a large rimmed baking sheet and sprinkle all over with the Toasted Spice Rub. Set the chickens breast side up and tie the legs together with kitchen twine. Refrigerate the chickens, uncovered, for at least 4 hours or overnight. Bring the chickens to room temperature before roasting.

3: Preheat the oven to 450°. Brush the chickens with the melted butter and roast in the upper third of the oven for 45 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 350° and roast the chickens for 30 minutes longer, or until an instant-read thermometer registers 155° when inserted in the inner thigh. Let the chickens come to room temperature. Carve each one into 8 pieces, transfer to a plate and serve with the Raisin and Pine Nut Agrodolce.

Recipe sourced from

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