My friend Jessica and I have a birthday tradition. Every year for our birthdays we make each other dinner. Given that Jessica and I are both foodies these aren’t your average dinners. Last year Jessica made me homemade ravioli and she always has the best wine. This year I made her a Citrus Chicken and a Crouton Salad with Roasted Brussels Sprouts. It was the perfect summer meal to enjoy on my balcony.

1 Whole organic chicken
1/4 cup olive oil 
2 shallots, minced 
2 oranges, zested and sliced 
2 lemons, zested and sliced 
3 tbsp. chopped fresh mint leaves
2 tbsp. chopped fresh thyme leaves, plus 1 sprig
1 tbsp. chopped fresh rosemary
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground black pepper
2 cups organic chicken stock 
2 tsp. all-purpose flour 
2 tbsp. butterWine Brine
1 bottle of white wine
3 cups water
¼ cup salt
¼ cup sugar
1 bay leafThe night before. Place chicken in a pot or large plastic container with a lid (must be big enough for the chicken to be covered in brine). Pour 1 bottle of white wine over the chicken, add water to cover the chicken, about 3 cups, but may vary depending on how big your pot is. Add salt, sugar, and 1 bay leaf. Cover and refrigerate overnight.Preheat the oven to 450º degrees.Remove chicken from the brine and pat dry with paper towels. In a small bowl, mix together the olive oil, shallots, orange zest, lemon zest, thyme, mint, rosemary, salt and pepper.In a baking dish. Slice zested lemons and oranges and place them in the dish as a bed for the chicken to rest on. Place chicken on top of the lemons and oranges and rub mixture all over the chicken.Using kitchen twine, truss the legs together. Add the chicken stock and sprig of rosemary. Roast for 40 to 50 minutes, or until the leg juices run clear.

Remove the chicken from the baking dish and tent with tin foil, set aside.

Place the flour and butter in a small saucepan. Mix together until butter is melted and flour is cooked, it will make a paste called a roux. Strain pan juices and whisk in with the butter and flour. Bring the juices to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat and simmer for 8 to 10 minutes until slightly thickened. Season with salt & pepper to taste. 

Whenever I make a whole chicken, I use my Wine Brine. It started with me getting a bottle of white wine as a gift, and I didn’t like the taste of it but didn’t want to waste it. I was making a chicken and decided to add the wine to the brine mixture and the result was a moist, tender, juicy chicken. It doesn’t have to be an expensive bottle, in fact I suggest the cheaper wines. You can also use a red wine, but I prefer a white.


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