Roast Chicken


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • For a

    1.5–2 kg


Appears in

New York Cult Recipes

New York Cult Recipes

By Marc Grossman

Published 2013

  • About

To achieve a roast chicken at home with skin as crispy and meat as flavourful as the ones from the rotisseries on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, I employ two techniques: I marinate the chicken in a salt-water brine; and I cook it slowly on a rack.



  • 3.6 litres (126 fl oz) water
  • 500 g (1 lb 2 oz) non-iodised salt
  • 300 g (10½ oz) sugar
  • 2 teaspoons black or yellow mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 2 lemons, quartered


  • 60 g ( oz/¼ cup) butter or olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons acacia or other light honey or maple syrup (optional)
  • 1–2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • 1–2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 3 pinches ground black pepper


Brining and Drying

Combine all of the brining ingredients together, except for the quartered lemons, in a large pot and stir over high heat until the sugar and salt have dissolved. Allow to cool at room temperature. As it takes a while for the brine to cool down, do this the day before or replace 500 ml (17 fl oz/2 cups) water with ice, which you can add once everything is dissolved, to quickly lower the temperature. In a large pot or bucket, submerge the chicken in the cooled brine with the quartered lemons. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours per kilogram (2 lb 4 oz), but not for more than 12 hours. Rinse, pat dry with paper towels and let it rest again in the refrigerator on a wire rack, uncovered, for 2–12 hours — air-drying the chicken in this way will help make the chicken more crispy.

Rubbing and Cooking

Preheat the oven to 120°C (235°F/Gas ½). Whisk all of the rub ingredients together and spread over the whole of the chicken and inside the cavity. Place the chicken on its back on a V-shaped roasting rack (see photo). Cook for 1½ hours. Turn the chicken over and return to the oven for another 1–1½ hours until the juices run clear when you pierce the chicken with a knife or skewer, or until a meat thermometer inserted into the deepest part of the thigh reads at least 75°C (165°F).