Fact: I’m not a fan of chicken. This wasn’t always the case but as the years went by I grew to love chicken and this Brined Whole Chicken was part of the reason why. Growing up along the coastline of the Atlantic Ocean meant that seafood was a large part of our diet and believe it or not, it was cheaper to buy shrimp and fish than chicken. Chicken was considered a delicacy and I loved it. That was until I made the hop across the big ocean to NY City and ate chicken on a regular basis. I quickly began to dislike this bird that is the favorite of many. Ever notice when anyone is describing a mystery meat in a favorable way they always describe it as “tasting like chicken?” Well upon hearing that description I’m usually instantly turned off, that was until I started paying attention to the bird.
Instead of tossing the bird on the fire with little care, I give it a lot of T.L.C. because I find that otherwise it is quite bland. This brined whole chicken was given lots of love and it showed! I brined it overnight in a simple homemade brine. Don’t leave brining to just the holiday, it is easy enough to prepare on a weeknight and the results are always outstanding. I’ve used both fresh and dried herbs in the past and have had great results. It really is a simple process that produces very flavorful and juicy meat. The process of brining replaces the liquid in the chicken with all of the goodness of the brine.
This means every bit of the meat is injected with all the flavors of the brine and as a bonus it’s extremely moist. Another added bonus is that brining provides lots of flavor without added fat. Brining truly has rekindled my relationship with chicken.
To go with the brined whole chicken, I sautéed Chinese long Beans, also called snake beans or bora (Guyana) in garlic and butter. For those that haven’t had Chinese long beans, the flavor is similar to green beans but has a more chewy texture. As a child, we would pick these from the vines that grew along the fence and eat then raw with salt. Yes, we really did snack on raw vegetables.
When cooking Chinese long beans, some prefer it barely cooked, while others prefer it cooked to death. I like it right in between, tender but still a bit firm. Chinese long beans, which are an excellent source of vitamins A and C, are a great addition to any stir-fry. Try something different tonight as replace these with your green beans, you won’t be disappointed. Needless to say, neither the whole brined chicken nor the Chinese long beans lasted very long in my house.