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Sep 16, 2012 05:40 AM

chicken breast roaster?!

I found this in my freezer - I have no idea where it came from - it is a chicken breast roaster - with a pop-up timer in it - about 2 1/4 lbs. I took it out to make tonight but am looking for ideas on how to cook it. My concern is that it might dry out if I just dry rubbed it and baked it.

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  1. First thing to do is remove that "pop-up timer" and toss it in the garbage.
    Next thing to do is brine the breast with two quarts of cold water, 1/4 cup brown sugar and 2 tablespoons of salt. Brine for at least six hours (overnight in the fridge would be better).
    Rinse and dry, rub with a mixture of oil and preferred herb mixture, sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper. Lay on a bead of freshly chopped vegetables in a roasting pan, cover with foil and roast at 375 degrees for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Uncover, check internal temperature (should be below 165 at this point) baste with juices from bottom of pan, return to oven to brown and finish cooking until done (I like 165 degrees internal temp. for breast but you'll have to decide what you like) and let it rest 10 minutes before carving.

    9 Replies
    1. re: todao

      I'd leave the pop-up timer in until after cooking and simply disregard during cooking to prevent juice from escaping through the gaping hole the timer will leave.

      1. re: todao

        Hate to question people who are obviously better cooks than myself, but are you sure about that salt concentration? I realize there aren't any hard and fast rules when it comes to brines, but to my eye (for a not quite 5% solution), two tablespoons looks closer to the amount of table salt used per one quart of water instead of two....... Just askin'.

        1. re: Bryan Pepperseed

          For a broiler/fryer chicken (which is what smilingal has - a roaster is a heavier chicken than what she has) I'd brine it in a solution of 1/2 cup salt (using salt with granules sized similarly to table salt such as pickling salt) and 2 quarts of water for 30 - 60 minutes.

          Scientific studies have shown that meat absorbs the most moisture from a salt concentration of 6%. However, meat tends to have a more pleasant, saltier flavor from being brined in a 9% salt solution. So, try both and see which one you like.

          1. re: 1POINT21GW

            Your ratio is correct. A cup of kosher salt to a gallon of water. 1/4 cup brown sugar.

            1. re: 1POINT21GW

              Personally, I don't really ever change the salt concentration of my brines. What I change is the "time in the brine" - depends on animal and/or cut of meat.
              Except when I'm including soy sauce in the solution, I use 1/2 cup Diamnod Crystal Kosher per qt of water. - which, if I'm not mistaken, is pretty close to your finer graind/more water ratio.
              Basically, I was thinking that todao might have had a typo with the 2TBS per 2 QT. ratio.

              1. re: Bryan Pepperseed

                Have you ever tried using pickling salt when making a brine? If not, you may want to give it a shot. The finer crystals dissolve much easier and faster than kosher salt and will even dissolve completely in cold water - a big plus when making brines. The salt itself is identical to kosher salt, just much smaller crystals. I even like to bake with pickling salt over kosher salt for the more even distribution of the crystals.

                1. re: 1POINT21GW

                  Diamond Crystal is not rock salt, like Morton's, but a flake salt that dissolves very readily. It's been my house salt for about fifteen years.

                  1. re: Will Owen

                    True, but pickling salt dissolves easier in ice water than does Morton's or Diamond Crystal kosher salt.

                  2. re: 1POINT21GW

                    Nope, never tried it. I'll look at it the next time I'm at the market.

          2. I assume a "chicken breast roaster" is a big chicken breast intended for roasting? If so, I like this recipe:

            1. thanks for the suggestions - unfortunately I didn't see either reply before I started cooking - so I dried the chicken, dry rubbed with lots of garlic powder, onion powder, some s + p, and paprika - covered with foil, baked 350 for about an hour, probably more, then uncovered and baked for too many minutes more! It was good - enjoyed by three of us - but I would have liked it a bit moister. Too long in the baking process. I was also thrown off because the chicken, which was wierd because I didn't recognize the brand and there was no store indication on the label(s) - had TWO labels!!!! - on both sides - with both of them having two different weights - one 2 1/2 and the other about 3 1/4! Very strange indeed! Oh well - a good dinner none-the-less - served with whole wheat orzo with browned mushrooms and onions, and grilled asparagus.

              thanks again for the advice!