Natural Brined Chicken With Pomegranate Orange Glaze


Executive chef Scott Dalesandro of the Pyramid Club in Philadelphia uses a brining technique to drench the chicken in moisture before roasting, resulting in fall-off-the-bone-tender meat.

1 cup honey
1 cup salt
2 quarts water
4 cloves garlic, sliced (reserve 1 sliced clove for under the skin)
1 medium white onion, diced
1/2 cup fresh herbs, such as rosemary, sage, and thyme (reserve some for under the skin)
1 tablespoon garlic powder
2 whole natural chickens, 3 to 4 pounds each
6 thin slices lemon, seeds removed
Pomegranate Orange Glaze (recipe follows)

In a large, deep pot, mix the honey, salt, and water together. Bring to a boil so the salt dissolves. Stir to combine, and cool immediately. 

Once the liquid is cool, add the sliced garlic, onion, herbs, and garlic powder to the brine. Submerge the chicken in the brine. Let the chicken sit in it for 24 hours in the refrigerator.

Remove from the refrigerator. Tuck the lemon and the reserved garlic slices and herbs under the chicken’s skin. Truss the chicken with kitchen twine. Let it sit in the refrigerator uncovered for 12 hours prior to roasting.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Divide Pomegranate Orange Glaze, reserving half for later. Brush chicken with the glaze. Place on a roasting rack and roast in the oven for 15 minutes. 

Decrease the oven’s heat to 350 degrees. Roast the chicken for 25 minutes more until the bird’s internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. Remove from the oven and baste with the reserved Pomegranate Orange Glaze.

Yield: 6-8 servings



1 cup pomegranate juice
4 teaspoons golden brown sugar
3 teaspoons honey
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons orange juice
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoon ancho chili powder

In a large skillet, add all ingredients except salt. Boil until reduced to a half cup of liquid, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt.

CHEF’S TIP: “You can achieve great results baking and roasting chicken in the oven if you remember to cook low and slow.”


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