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Dec 17, 2007 10:27 AM

Question about Zuni Roast Chicken recipe

Kind of stupid question, but will ask anyway...
When she talks about brining the chicken (excerpt from recipe below), does the salt go under the skin or on the skin? I've tried it both ways. I'm guessing the intention is to draw the water out of the skin so it crisps up nicely, but unsure. Thoughts?

"Season the chicken liberally all over with salt and pepper {we use ¾ teaspoon of sea salt per pound of chicken}. Season the thick sections a little more heavily than the skinny ankles and wings. Sprinkle a little of the salt just inside the cavity, on the backbone, but don’t otherwise worry about seasoning the inside. Twist and tuck the wing tips behind the shoulders. Cover loosely and refrigerate."

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  1. I always do it over the skin. Which way did you like it better?

    6 Replies
    1. re: chowser

      Skin. Kind of hard to "sprinkle" salt under the skin, so I think I put too much salt. Chicken turned into a big salt bomb. But I was curious if maybe my "sprinkling" technique was wrong.

      1. re: brownonthebeach

        Definitely on the skin. The meat inside will be seasoned well after the brining.

        1. re: brownonthebeach

          Salt bomb is a perfect description of the time I made it as well. I learned not to brine a Kosher chicken; I learned to use 3/4 of a teaspoon of Kosher salt (not sea salt) per pound of chicken; and I rarely brine for even her minimum of 24 hours--sometimes about 16, but I find even 8 hours to be sufficient. Never had a salt bomb since.

          1. re: JoanN

            hmmmm, i'm thinking the "salt bomb" problem is probably due to too little time rather than too much. The chicken needs the time to absorb the salt (salt pulls moisture out of chicken, chicken reabsorbs it). if you rush it, all the salt is still on the surface.

            1. re: FED

              I can only say what's worked for me. A more-than-24-hour brine and I've got too salty chicken. And even with just 8 (although more often I do let it sit overnight) I've had moist, flavorful meat and that spectacularly crispy skin.