In our quest for the best roast chicken, we discovered four techniques–two for flavor and two for moistness and tenderness. For flavor, we used a technique for putting herbs and spices under the skin and one for injecting chicken with a marinade. For moistness, we brined and infused chickens with steam. All four of the techniques are remarkably successful.
See the Video: Four Techniques for Better Chicken
For Moistness and Tenderness: Brining
Brine the chicken for one hour, in the refrigerator, in a solution of 1/2 cup salt for ten cups water. If you brine the chicken, you can still insert flavors under the skin. Injecting marinade after brining does not work well.
For Moistness and Tenderness: Infusing with Steam
Infusing with steam leaves the chicken moist and tender without becoming soggy. The best way to infuse with steam is with a vertical rack with infuser. You can inject marinade into the chicken before baking with this method.
For Flavor: Inserting Herbs and Spices Under the Skin
With the back of a spoon, create pockets on the breasts and legs. Place spices or herbs in these pockets and spread around. This works best in conjunction with brining or infusing steam during baking.
For Flavor: Inserting Marinade
Use a marinade injector to insert a wide range of marinades directly into the meat of the chicken. Puree chunky marinades first–those with herbs or vegetables. This method works well in conjunction with a vertical rack with infuser.