These recipes are from the cookbook First We Eat by Eva Kosmas Flores. They were reprinted with permission from Abrams Publishing.
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Serves 2 to 4
1 quart (960 ml) warm water
3 tablespoons table salt
1 roasting chicken (about 5 pounds/2.3 kg)
1 teaspoon flake kosher sea salt, plus more as needed
½ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon ground thyme
¼ teaspoon crushed dried rosemary
¼ teaspoon ground oregano
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 ½ cups (360 ml) chicken stock
½ cup (120 ml) cream sherry
¼ cup (½ stick/55 g) unsalted butter
1 small white onion, finely chopped
¼ teaspoon flake kosher sea salt
4 ounces (115 g) fresh morels
½ cup (120 ml) cream sherry
Crusty bread, for serving
To brine the chicken, stir together the water and table salt in a large bowl until the salt has dissolved. Place the chicken in a large resealable plastic bag and then add the brine to the bag. Seal it, place the bag in a casserole dish for storing ease, and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or up to 24 hours.
Preheat the oven to 425 ºF (220 ºC).
Remove the chicken from the brine, rinse it, and pat it dry.
In a small bowl, mix together the kosher salt, garlic powder, thyme, rosemary, and oregano. Coat the chicken inside and out with the oil, then the salt mixture.
Place the chicken in a small roasting pan and pour in the stock and sherry. Roast for 30 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 375 ºF (190 ºC) and roast until a thermometer inserted into the chicken thigh reads at least 165 ºF (75 ºC), an additional 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes, basting the bird every 15 minutes and adding water to the pan as needed to maintain at least 1 inch (2.5 cm) of liquid.
During the last 30 minutes of cooking time, begin preparing the morels. In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Add the onion and salt and cook until the onion softens, about 5 minutes, stirring once.
Add the morels and stir to coat in the butter. Cook, stirring every few minutes, until the onion becomes lightly golden around the edges and the morels darken in color, 10 to 14 minutes.
Add the sherry to the pan and cook over low heat until the liquid has reduced by about one-third and is brown in color, 10 to 15 minutes more.
Spoon out 3 tablespoons of the pan juices from the roasting pan and add it to the morels. Cook for 5 minutes more, then add ¼ cup (60 ml) of the pan juices to the morels, stirring to scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan, and remove from the heat.
Transfer the entire morel mixture into the roasting pan around the finished chicken. Taste the roasting pan juices and season with salt as needed. Carve the bird and drizzle the pan juices over it. Serve with the bread for dipping.