I followed the recipes in Charcuterie for both challenges. My biggest surprise was that I had to heat up the brining liquid to simmer to dissolve the salt and sugar and then cool it to refrigerator temperature before submerging the meat. I never did that in my previous experience brining a turkey for Thanksgiving – no wonder it never seemed to work! The chicken was tasty and had a great texture. I used a free-range chicken from the local farmer’s market. I was unable to buy a brisket from a local farmer, so I cheated and bought a beef brisket from my local BJ’s. Once the brisket was brined, I braised it for around 4 hours. The result was a nice piece of corned beef.
The corned beef was made into mini Reuben sandwiches for a party last Saturday. I give a shout out to Nancy, Holly, Jude, Claire and Marjorie, who mixed, formed, ate, sipped and gabbed on Saturday. I used Zoe Francois Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes and taught my friends the technique. They baked boules, baguettes, pain d’epi and pitas over several hours. The Reuben sandwiches were a hit – whenever I passed a plate, it came back empty. Comments included the best corned beef I ever tasted.
|Brined and roasted chicken|
|Multiple minis with my favoriate, sour cornichons|
|One of the boules from Saturday|