I started planning our small gathering menu a week before Thanksgiving. I went online to find an interesting recipe for “chicken” and got this Cider-Brined Turkey with Star Anise and Cinnamon recipe from Bon Appetit.  Well, I have to modify the recipe since I’m doing chicken. I got two 1.5 lb chicken to roast for a small group of 7.  Now here’s my very own Cider-Brined Chicken with Star Anise and Cinnamon with Chorizo Bilbao & Mushroom Rice Stuffing.

Cider-Brined Chicken with Star Anise and Cinnamon 


  • 1/2 cup apple cider, plus 1/4 cup
  • 1/8 cup rock salt plus more
  • 1/2 soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup (packed) light brown sugar
  • 10 whole black peppercorns
  • 8 whole star anise pods plus more for garnish
  • 1 garlic clove, smashed
  • 2 scallions, white parts only, trimmed, split lengthwise
  • 2 1/4”-thick slices unpeeled ginger
  • 5 dried shitake mushrooms
  • 2 3”-4” cinnamon sticks plus more for garnish
  • 2 1.5 lb chicken
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Cinnamon powder
  • *Melted unsalted butter or vegetable oil (for basting)


  1. Bring cider, salt, and the next 9 ingredients to a boil in a very large pot, stirring to dissolve salt and sugar.
  2. Let cool to room temperature.
  3. Stir in 2 liters cold water.
  4. Add chicken to brine and press down to submerge. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  5. (After 24 hours) Remove chicken from brine and pat dry with paper towels. Discard brine.
  6. Mix  ground black pepper, salt, and cinnamon powder. Season it to chicken, inside, out, and in between the skin.
  7. Stuff the chicken with rice mixture.

Chorizo Bilbao & Mushroom Rice Stuffing

  • 3 cups of cooked rice (brown, or mix with white rice)
  • 2 Chorizo Bilbao*, sliced
  • 1 pack of dried shitake mushroom
  • 1/2 cup sliced onion, minced
  • 1/2 cup garlic, minced
  • *1/2 cup chestnuts (optional)
  • 1/4 cup celery, diced
  • fresh ground pepper
  • salt
  • 2 large eggs


  1. Cook rice according to directions in rice steamer.
  2. Sauté mushrooms, celery, and onions in olive oil. Stir in Chorizo Bilbao and season with pepper and salt. Add cooked rice. Eggs can be added  for a richer, moister stuffing.
  3. Stuff rice mixture into the chicken. Skewer the cavity.

*Chorizo Bilbao is air-dried Spanish pork sausage. It is a great addition to stews, rice and beans or lentils. 


  1. Place chicken breast side up on a roasting pan. Let stand at room temperature for 1 hour.
  2. Preheat oven to 200 to evenly cook the chicken. (I am only using an electric oven) Combine remaining 1/4 cup of cider and 1/4 cup of water in roasting pan.
  3. Drizzle olive oil or brush turkey with butter.
  4. Roast chicken breast side up, for 1 hour.

I hope you can also try this recipe and tell me how it goes. 🙂
With much love, Jade

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