From The Cooks Illustrated Complete Book of Poultry.
¾ cup kosher salt or 6 tablespoons table salt, plus more to taste
¾ cup sugar
1 (3- to 4-pound) chicken, rinsed, patted dry and cut into 8 pieces
1 recipe pesto (below)
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
1 garlic clove, coarsely chopped
1 cup packed fresh basil leaves
1 tablespoon fresh parsley leaves
3 ½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper
1. In a gallon-size sealable plastic bag, dissolve the ¾ cup salt and sugar in 1 quart of water. Add the chicken, pressing out as much air as possible; seal and refrigerate until fully seasoned, about 1 ½ hours.
2. Place the nuts, garlic, basil, parsley, and olive oil in the work bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade; process until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Transfer the mixture to a small bowl; stir in the cheese and salt and pepper to taste (use salt sparingly if chicken was brined).
3. Rinse the chicken pieces well and pat dry. Rub the pesto under the skin of each chicken piece.
4. Arrange the chicken pieces on a broiler pan, skin side up, so that the wings and the legs are around the perimeter of the pan and the thicker breasts and thighs are in the center. Brush the chicken with vegetable oil and lightly season with salt and pepper (be generous with the salt if you have not brined the chicken). Adjust the rack so that the chicken will be no closer than 8 inches from the heating element and preheat the broiler.
5. Broil the chicken until the skin is a rich brown color, about 12 minutes. Turn the chicken over; continue to broil until the juices run clear. The wings and legs should be done in about 7 minutes; remove them to a plate, cover with foil, and continue to broil the thighs and breasts for an additional 3 to 5 mintues. Remove the remaining chicken from the oven and serve.
Serves 4 to 6
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