Russian Roasted Chicken

DSC_0812For Stone Dog XII, being held in 2016, I’ll be the head cook for our Russian-themed Feast. Since it’s my first go-round, I was asked to try the recipes I’ll be making (and actually document them, in some cases). Given that it’s the day before Thanksgiving, I figured I’d make the chicken dish I’m planning; it’s not turkey, but it’s pretty amazing all the same.

One batch makes ~10 lbs or 20 pieces of chicken.

Ingredients:

16.9 oz. Baltika No. 9 Russian Lager

1/4 C. Sea Salt

3/4 C. Sugar

1.5 L  Hot Water

1.5 L Ice Water

10 lb. or 20 pc. Chicken Thighs

1/4 C. (1 Stick) Unsalted Butter

1 Tbsp. Each of:

  • Whole Peppercorns
  • Thyme
  • Basil
  • Rosemary
  • Minced Garlic

Instructions:

1) Combine Russian Lager, Salt, Sugar, and Spices in a large bowl or kitchen tub. Stir to combine ingredients and begin dissolving salt and sugar for the brine base.

2) Heat up 1.5 L of water to just below boiling. Once heated, add into brine base and stir in, ensuring salt and sugar are dissolved.

3) Add 1.5 L of ice water to cool the brine down.

4) Add chicken, giving it a stir to distribute the spices throughout the mixture.

5) Cover chicken and brine, and refrigerate for 16-24 hours.

6) When ready to cook, pre-heat oven to 375* F, line pans with foil (helps with clean-up later), and melt butter.

7) Pat chicken pieces dry and lay them out in a single layer on the pans you’re using. Baste chicken with melted butter before placing in the oven.

8) Place chicken into oven and set the timer for 60 minutes. At the 40 minute and 20 minute marks, baste with more butter.

9) At the end of 60 minutes, check the internal temperature of the chicken with a kitchen thermometer to 165* F. Once it’s at 165* F, remove chicken from oven and allow it to rest prior to plating and serving.

10) Serve and enjoy!

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Cloud Observation 14

DSC_0830Date: 10/22/2015

Time: 1451 (2:51 PM)

Location: Home, DeKalb, IL

Cloud Types: Altocumulus

Cloud Coverage: Scattered

Temp: 63* F

Wind: Calm

I walked out of the house earlier after sleeping to run errands, and had to squint for the first few minutes to let my eyes adjust. Holy crap, was it bright! …But it was so nice compared to this morning!

Cloud Observation 13

DSC_0814Date: 10/22/2015

Time: 0631 (6:31 AM)

Location: Rt. 38 EB, DeKalb, IL

Cloud Types: Cumulus

Cloud Coverage: Broken

Temp: 52* F

Wind: Calm

After pulling an all-nighter to reset my sleep cycle for 3rd shift, I wanted to see the sunrise… Only, with the incredible amount of clouds present, there was no sun to speak of. I was rather disappointed by that, by the way.

Cloud Observation 10

DSC_0779Date: 10/20/2015

Time: 1657 (4:57 PM)

Location: Starved Rock State Park, Utica, IL

Cloud Types: Cirro Stratus

Cloud Coverage: Scattered

Temp: 76* F

Wind: SW 9 MPH

All good things must come to an end, right?

Midway through the day, I got stung by some sort of flying insect (likely a bee). Thankfully, I’m not allergic, but I was ready to ragequit and go home, but I have good people who take care of me. After I doused the site of the sting with water from my bottle, Haelga pulled out a small tube of tea tree oil ointment and applied it to where I was stung. We kept walking down to one of the canyons, where I grabbed this shot:

DSC_0681So worth the minor irritation.

Cloud Observation 9

DSC_0659Date: 10/20/2015

Time: 1223 (12:23 PM)

Location: Starved Rock State Park, Utica, IL

Cloud Types: Cumulus

Cloud Coverage: Scattered

Temp: 71* F

Wind: SSW 17 MPH

A modest breeze, increased sunshine, and good company made this an amazing day at the State Park.

Here’s a bonus pic of my travel companions for the day (Siobhan, Haelga, and Haelga’s kids):

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Cloud Observation 8

DSC_0657Date: 10/20/2015

Time: 1058 (10:58 AM)

Location: Home, DeKalb, IL

Cloud Types: Cirrostratus

Cloud Coverage: Overcast

Temp: 60* F

Wind: SSW 7 MPH

I chose to go out to Starved Rock State Park to take advantage of the fall foliage and the open skies… Also to take advantage of  the varying travel times to grab more observations.

Unfortunately, because of the tree cover in this pic, you can’t really see the clouds. However, it was overcast and I thought that it was going to be gloomy and dim all day…. Boy, was I wrong!