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)
- Bring cider, salt, and the next 9 ingredients to a boil in a very large pot, stirring to dissolve salt and sugar.
- Let cool to room temperature.
- Stir in 2 liters cold water.
- Add chicken to brine and press down to submerge. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
- (After 24 hours) Remove chicken from brine and pat dry with paper towels. Discard brine.
- Mix ground black pepper, salt, and cinnamon powder. Season it to chicken, inside, out, and in between the skin.
- 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
- 2 large eggs
- Cook rice according to directions in rice steamer.
- 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.
- 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.
- Place chicken breast side up on a roasting pan. Let stand at room temperature for 1 hour.
- 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.
- Drizzle olive oil or brush turkey with butter.
- Roast chicken breast side up, for 1 hour.