Note: Although we brined the chicken before roasting to make it juicier, you can skip those steps if you are pressed for time.
- 2 quarts water
- ½ cup kosher salt
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 2 large sprigs fresh rosemary left on stems
- 5 peppercorns
- 2 quarts ice water
- 5 pounds bone-in skin-on chicken pieces (we used chicken halves)
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon dry ground rosemary
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- If brining – the day before, bring water, salt, sugar, rosemary and peppercorns to a boil in a large pot and boil 10 minutes.
- Remove from heat and add the 2 quarts of ice water. Refrigerate until liquid is below 40 degrees F.
- Place chicken pieces in zipper seal gallon-sized bags (2-3 bags).
- Divide brine between bags. Place bags of sealed, brined chicken back into pot you used to make brine and place in refrigerator overnight. (You can use anything to hold the plastic bags but we used the pot that was used to make the brine in as it was the perfect size to hold all of the chicken).
- The next day, about 90 minutes before serving, drain and discard brine.
If you chose not to brine, start here.
- Line a sheet tray with foil and place chicken on the pan. Pat both sides dry with paper towels. Run your fingers under the skin to loosen it from the flesh but still leave it attached on the sides and ends.
- Mix spice blend by combining salt, pepper, rosemary, paprika and garlic powder.
- Brush the skin side of the chicken with the oil and sprinkle the spice blend over the tops.
- Heat a ribbed grill pan over medium high to very hot heat. In batches, sear chicken pieces on both sides to brown skin and give char marks. Remove to sheet pan.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Let chicken cool slightly until it is cool enough to touch.
- Lift the skin that you loosened earlier and slide rosemary compound butter coins under skin, pushing to edges under skin.
- Place pan in oven and cook for 40-50 minutes or until fully cooked.
- Serve immediately with a little of the pan drippings brushed over the tops.