Kyle Bailey's impeccable roast chicken with pretzel stuffing is one of the reasons The Arsenal, a new 200-seat restaurant and bar housed within the Bluejacket Brewery in Washington, D.C., is quickly finding a following. Known for his work as chef at the hit District restaurant Birch & Barley, Bailey brines his chicken for 12 hours before he roasts it, a technique that renders both white and dark meat moist and juicy. But before he does that, Bailey has to go out and find the right pretzels for his stuffing. Because the sort of soft-baked, chewy pretzels hawked at ballgames are ideal for this dish, an expedition to the nearest stadium might be in order.

This upgraded dish is perfect for winter, when you're embracing carbs and looking for something savory. Just don't ruin the bird by filling it with Rold Gold.

Pretzel Stuffing
(Serves 2)

Ingredients

  • 2 cups of diced soft pretzels
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup chopped onions
  • 1/2 cup chopped carrots
  • 1/2 tsp celery seed
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh sage
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsely
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp butter

Preparation

Step One
Sweat carrots, onion, celery in butter until translucent, over low-medium heat.

Step Two
Add the diced pretzels and celery seed. Heat until pretzels are warmed through and have absorbed butter (about 3–4 minutes).

Step Three
Add stock and continue to stir until absorbed (about 3 minutes). Add fresh herbs and stir to combine.

Chicken

One whole chicken (2.5–3 lbs)

Brine Ingredients

  • 1 gallon water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp whole black peppercorns
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 5 sprigs thyme
  • Zest of one lemon

Preparation

Step One
Combine the ingredients of the brine, submerge chicken fully, and brine for 12 hours in the refrigerator.

Step Two
Truss the chicken. Roast at 325°F for 45 minutes or until juices run clear and chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°F.

To Serve

Spoon pan-cooked stuffing and pan juice onto a plate. Top with pieces of golden roast chicken.