Total Time
Prep 9 hrs
Cook 2 hrs

The tart taste of cider is a perfect complement to any type of poultry, and this roasted chicken is no exception. Though you need to allow time for this bird to brine, your patience will be rewarded with a flavor-packed, moist bird. Best of all, making the bird yourself will save you 200 milligrams of sodium, compared to store-bought varieties. Brining overnight in a salt-and-cider mixture maked this chicken recipe incredibly flavorful and moist; basting with reduced apple cider adds a hint of sweetness to the finished roasted chicken. Use tongs to carefully remove skin from the hot chicken.


  1. Combine the first 5 ingredients in a saucepan; bring to a boil, stirring until salt dissolves. Remove from heat; cool completely. Remove and discard giblets and neck from chicken. Rinse chicken with cold water; pat dry. Trim excess fat. Pour brine into a 2-gallon zip-top plastic bag. Add chicken; seal. Refrigerate 8 hours or overnight, turning the bag occasionally.
  2. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  3. Bring 2 cups cider to a boil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook until cider has thickened and reduced to 1/4 cup (about 15 minutes). Set aside.
  4. Remove chicken from bag; discard brine. Pack chicken dry with paper towels. Place the onion halves, parsley, and garlic into cavity. Lift wing tips up and over back; tuck under chicken. Tie legs. Place chicken on rack of a broiler pan. Bake at 400°F for 1 hour and 30 minutes or until thermometer register 175°F Remove from oven (do not turn oven off). Carefully remove and discard skin. Baste chicken with half of the reduced cider; return to 400°F oven for 10 minutes. Remove from oven; baste with remaining cider reduction. Transfer chicken to platter.
  5. Place a zip-top plastic bag inside a 2-cup glass measure. Pour drippings into bag; let stand 10 minutes (fat will rice to the top). Seal bag; carefully snip off 1 bottom corner of bag. Drain drippings into a small bowl, stopping before fat layer reaches opening; discard fat. Serve jus over chicken.