- 1 litre (4 cups) water
- 1/2 cup (30g) russian caravan tea leaves
- 1/2 cup (175g) honey
- 1/2 cup (110g) white (granulated) sugar
- 2 lemons (1 sliced, 1 whole)
- 1/3 cup (40g) sea salt flakes
- 1 bunch fresh sage
- 1.8 kilogram whole chicken
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1Place the water and tea leaves in a saucepan over high heat; bring to the boil. Remove from the heat; stand until cooled completely. Strain; discard leaves.
- 2Stir the honey, sugar, sliced lemon and salt flakes through the tea mixture until well combined.
- 3Place a large sealable bag in a large bowl; add half the sage and chicken, breast-side down. Carefully pour the tea mixture over the chicken and seal the bag, removing all the air. Refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight, rotating three times.
- 4Preheat oven to 180°C.
- 5Remove chicken from brine (discard brine); pat dry with paper towel. Place in a large roasting pan. Stuff remaining sage and whole lemon into the chicken; truss the legs with kitchen string. Drizzle over olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 1¼ hours or until the juices run clear when the thickest part of a thigh is pierced. (Cover the parts of the chicken that brown faster with foil.)
Try this with roasted mixed heirloom carrots and potatoes. Russian caravan tea is a blend of China black keemun, oolong and lapsang souchong teas. It's not actually from Russia, but was transported to Russia from China. It is the lapsang souchong that gives the tea its defining smoky flavour. It is available from select supermarkets and tea shops.
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