During this time while we practice social distancing, many of us are stuck at home, cooking and eating while perusing social media. There’s time to do more in the kitchen than usual, so we asked our staff to share some of their favorite Quarantine Recipes. We will be posting them here in the coming weeks and hope they help fill both time and stomachs.
By Hailey Olden, Activities Therapy Assistant
Food is not only a great way to connect me to my body, but a great way to connect with those I love. Giving to others fills us in so many ways. When I make this recipe with/for someone, it allows me to bond with them on multiple levels. Participating in an activity like cooking helps encourage a sense of trust, community, meaning, purpose, belonging, closeness and mindfulness.
My fiancé and I were gifted a smoker at Christmas 2018. We had just bought our first home and were ‘making our nest.’ It started off as something that was intimidating for the both of us, but with the use of several cook books, lots of practice, we are now experts ?.
This recipe, was an experiment that turned out to be delicious! Part of the recipe is a brine for brisket (honey, cloves of garlic, peppercorn, bay leaves) and the other part is a brine from turkey/chicken (rosemary, lemon, thyme, parsley). Of course, salt is a part of any brine. As for the smoking, it is all pretty standard.
When chicken or other meat is put into a brine solution, a two-way transfer begins. Juices from the protein are pulled out into the brine, while the brine (along with flavorings in brine) are pulled in. As that’s happening, other changes occur. The salt changes the character of the proteins, breaking them down and loosening their grip on each other. This makes it harder for moisture to escape when the meat is cooked.
- 3–4 lbs. whole chicken
- 8 cups water
- 1/3 cup kosher salt
- ¼ cup honey
- 3 dried bay leaves
- 5 cloves garlic (keep whole, smashed lightly)
- 1 tbs. black peppercorns
- 10 sprigs fresh parsley
- 3 sprigs rosemary
- 7 sprigs thyme
- 2 lemons sliced
- Using a large pot (large enough to fit whole chicken in) bring water to a slow simmer dissolving kosher salt for about 2 minutes. The basic ratio is 1 tbs salt per one cup of water.
- Throw all other brining ingredients into the water (garlic, pepper corns, bay leaves, lemon slices, honey, and herbs).
- Bring water to a boil for about a minute to finish dissolving the salt.
- Remove pot from stove and allow water to cool completely.
- DO NOT put the chicken in the brine until the brine has completely cooled.
- TIP: to help brine cool down faster, allow the pot to cool down a bit and then place the pot in the fridge.
- Once completely cooled, add chicken to the brine, cover, put in fridge 8–24 hrs. The longer it sits, the more salt that is pulled into the chicken.
- NOTE: Chicken should be completely submersed in brine. If not add extra water.
- After brining time is complete, remove chicken.
- Season outside with lemon juice, olive oil, salt, pepper, and rosemary.
- Place chicken breast side down or on smoking stand.
- Set smoker to 250–275 degrees.
- Smoke 3–4 hours to where the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees.
- Remove from smoker and let sit for 10 minutes before carving.