The quirky, simple brine from Cheerwine is fit for any large bird that comes your way during the holiday season. Here, Chef Ashleigh Shanti of Benne on Eagle uses a chicken, roasted perfectly, and finished with a healthy slathering of the easiest and tastiest glaze you’ll ever make.
1 quart water
¾ cup salt
1 bunch parsley, torn
1 bunch sage, torn
3 bay leaves
½ cup black peppercorns
3 oranges, sliced
2-inch knob ginger, sliced
1 liter Cheerwine
2 quarts ice
1 roasting chicken, 6–8 pounds, giblets removed
1 orange, split
Black Pepper-Cheerwine Glaze
2 cups Cheerwine
1 tablespoon cracked black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
To a medium pot, add salt and water and bring to a boil.
While the salt dissolves (approximately 5–6 minutes), in a separate, non-reactive pot large enough to hold your bird, add parsley, sage, bay leaves, black peppercorns, orange slices and ginger.
Add boiling salt water to pot, allow to steep for 10 minutes before adding Cheerwine and ice. Agitate the brine with a good stir to encourage cooling.
Once ice has melted and brine has cooled to at least 40 degrees, add your bird. Place your bird in the refrigerator to brine overnight (8–10 hours)
Remove bird from brine and carefully rinse, removing any loose debris. Discard brine.
Lay your hot pink bird on a sheet tray lined with a cooling rack to air dry in the refrigerator, ensuring crispy skin during the roast. You’ll want to do this for another 6 (up to 24) hours.
To roast your bird, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Stuff bird with a split orange, secure drumsticks together with twine, and tuck in the wing tips to avoid over-browning.
Bake in a roasting pan for 80–90 minutes (or until a thermometer reads 180 degrees) basting halfway through with pan drippings.
Make the Glaze
While the bird roasts, combine glaze ingredients in a small saucepot. Bring to a boil for one minute.
Decrease the heat to low-medium and reduce glaze for 18–20 minutes. When done, the glaze should coat the back of your spoon.
Brush warm glaze onto the entire chicken and transfer to a serving platter. Carve and enjoy!