Lets face it, after several attempts you can get it right or very wrong. I have a friend in Mykonos who inspired me to spend more time with saline solutions and meats. It is true that I had been brining for ten years but he kept discussing the topic as he sat in my kitchen library.
So here we are; this recipe takes a little effort and time. The first thing is where do you find a French chicken in Tokyo. That is the hard part, but if you search around long enough, you’ll find it. Ask a friend who is a chef 🙂
The recipe and steps are below but here are some observations: one, you do not need to make the skin crispy with a torch because the chicken of a Bresse chicken is very juicy and the fat gets rendered with the blanching stages. It is not dry but juicy and with the glaze you add taste; and I am personally looking for color instead of a maillard reaction. Too often when you try to torch the chicken you scorch it by accident. The skin is fantastic as it is.
The past point, I do not use a thermometer and it is a little tricky so I suggest using one to avoid mistakes.
Step One: Weigh the bird after making sure the cavity is free of any remnants and place a yellow onion into the cavity.
Step Two: Create a solution of water and salt using a ratio of 10% of the birds weight for the water and .8% of salt.
Step Three: divide the water into two equal parts.
Step Four: Inject the chicken by lifting the skin and massaging the top side and legs so the skin gets loose. Be careful not to puncture the skin. The injection is into the breast 75% and thighs and legs 25% all through the chicken’s cavity. You will see the chicken plump up immediately.
Step Five: Take a large pot of water and boil the water, a rolling boil. Take another bowl large enough to fit the chicken and make a water bath. Keep them aside one another. Now blanch the chicken 5 times for 20 seconds each time, i.e. in boiling water 20 seconds and into the water bath 20 seconds. Make sure you hold it by the legs to get my “leggy look”, extended and tight.
Step Six: Pat dry the chicken and empty the water for the cavity by tipping it upside down. Tie it up (butcher’s rope) so the cavity and the neck side are both closed. This can be done with one or two strings. I sometimes use two or one.
Step Seven: Place it into the fridge exposed in the air for 24+ hours.
Step Eight: Preheat the oven to 75° centigrade and then place the chicken into the oven for 4h00.
Step Nine: Turn the bird around at the half way mark.
Step Ten: At the last 0h40 wipe the bird with the skin glaze of your choice and raise the temperature slightly if you think the chicken is not cooed enough 82+°. Continue to wipe the skin with the glaze.
Last Step: rest the chicken for 0h35m before cutting it. I cut it right down the center and separate the chicken into two parts. I then cut the breast bone in and plate it.