Chef-owner Kristine Subido, Pecking Order, Chicago
2 tablespoons salt
4 tablespoons sugar, divided use
½ gallon water
One 3½-pound chicken
½ cup light* soy sauce or tamari
¼ cup cane vinegar
5 garlic cloves, smashed and chopped
2 teaspoons cracked pepper
1 bay leaf
1 stalk lemon grass, quartered
1 knob ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper as needed
1 tablespoon annato powder
4 ounces unsalted butter, melted
Juice of 1 lime
Bring salt, 2 tablespoons sugar and water to a simmer in a large pot. Cool, immerse chicken and brine for 4 hours.
Combine soy sauce (or tamari), vinegar, garlic, remaining sugar, black pepper and bay leaf; stir well. Remove chicken from brine and marinate in soy mixture for 4 to 6 hours.
Remove chicken from marinade and pat dry. Season with salt and pepper, and stuff with lemon grass and ginger. Combine annatto powder, butter and lime juice in small bowl. Truss chicken and place in a roasting pan.
Roast in preheated 350 F oven until chicken reaches an internal temperature of 160 F, approximately 50 minutes to 1 hour, basting with the annatto butter sauce every 15 minutes. Increase temperature to 400 F for the last 15 minutes. Rest chicken 15 minutes; quarter. Serves 4.
*Light refers to color, not sodium content.