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lullyloo

Roasting a Chicken

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I, too, have a hearthkit and love it. I think roasting chicken in it produces a great  skin and an incomparable juicy flesh. But I think it is more to do with the terracotta than just the high heat.

Sometimes, I use the convection oven to heat up the hearthkit to 475 and after the chicken is in about 15 minutes, I turn off the oven (saving energy) and still get a fabulous chicken.

That could very well be the case. Now that I think of it, my high temperature roasting experiments coincided with the installation of my Hearthkit.

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I had a little more trouble boning the breast on a spatchcocked bird and ended up kind of mangling it.  Maybe I'm just not used to the angles and need more practice?

I find slicing the breast across then going down and under best.

Um.

Know what I mean?


"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

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I had a little more trouble boning the breast on a spatchcocked bird and ended up kind of mangling it.  Maybe I'm just not used to the angles and need more practice?

I find slicing the breast across then going down and under best.

Um.

Know what I mean?

I think so. Next time I'll try with a thin carving knife. With the chef's knife I used I didn't do a very good job of turning the corner from the vertical slice along the breast bone to the horizontal cut along the rib bones. When the bird is flattened, this corner gets a lot sharper.


Chief Scientist / Amateur Cook

MadVal, Seattle, WA

Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code

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There you go. Carving knife is best.


"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

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I usually just go ahead and remove the ribcage when I spatchcock. That results in a boneless breast with wings attached and bone-in legs.


--

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Sam - That's one funny looking chicken.

After following this thread the past day or two I had to roast a chicken. So I picked up one of the "premium" chicks, almost a four pounder. Stuffed it with limes (no lemons in the house) and rubbed it with salt and pepper, then did it in the Romertopf at 425 for 85 minutes followed by 20 minutes of browning. Crisp and suculent. Served with Chinese eggplant and a simple mixed green salad and vinegarette.

I am going to have to try the cast iron skillet roasting method just to compare.

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If you live near a sur la table you should pick up a clay mattone for $20. Williams Sonoma is selling the same thing for 30. I think you will be amazed with the results between the iron skillet and the clay mattone. If you do this side by side, I'll be interested in hearing the results.

best, Paula


“C’est dans les vieux pots, qu’on fait la bonne soupe!”, or ‘it is in old pots that good soup is made’.

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FWIW, the Sur La Table "mattone," besides being remarkably un-brick-like, doesn't seem to offer any special benefits that can't be attained with a two heavy skillets (one above and one below). I usually use a heavy copper fry pan as the base and a cast iron skillet as the weight.

This is not to say, however, that Wolfert isn't correct about the difference between the results from the clay gizmo she recommends and using two skillets. I, too, would be interested to hear side-by-side comparisons.


--

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I am not completely sure how it works, but in a side by side test, the chicken done with the clay mattone was juicier and the skin crispier. In fact, there weren't any juices in the clay pan to make a sauce. The breast was finished cooking at the same time as the legs and both incredibly succulent. The other chicken was good, too. Just not the same.

By the way, this is a very old method dating back to the times of the etruscans. Chicken is still prepared in Lucca and some other towns using this mattone.

If there is anyone who can give me some good scientific reasons concerning the workings of clay versus iron in cooking this chicken, I would be very grateful. I'm writing a piece on the subject.


Edited by Wolfert (log)

“C’est dans les vieux pots, qu’on fait la bonne soupe!”, or ‘it is in old pots that good soup is made’.

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many chickens on the market today can be contaminated. 

As far as the chicken itself, do you think there's a better chance of getting an uncontaminated chicken from an organic producer in comparison to a mega-producer like Zacky Farms? I was at my local whole foods store and had a number of chickens to choose from, mostly organic. Like 4 different organic brands! Can anyone talk a little about the quality of the raw bird itself and what to look for? What's your experience?

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I know nothing about any current scientific comparison studies, but even if the risk is only 15%, you are not going to serve rare chicken, are you? It was only 15% in the late 1960s - early 1970s for domestic poultry, as I recall, and would guess that it is higher than that now in the industrial chicken coops.

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Chef Fowke -

This weekend is Canadian Thanksgiving and I am thinking of preparing the traditional turkey. I was thinking of trying your chicken trussing method for the turkey. I am assuming that the trussing method that kept the chicken moist should work (in principle) for a larger bird as well.

I will be cooking a free range organic bird, I have not determined the size as yet.

Comments, please :smile:


Life is short, eat dessert first

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Chef Fowke -

This weekend is Canadian Thanksgiving and I am thinking of preparing the traditional turkey.  I was thinking of trying your chicken trussing method for the turkey.  I am assuming that the trussing method that kept the chicken moist should work (in principle) for a larger bird as well.

I will be cooking a free range organic bird, I have not determined the size as yet.

Comments, please  :smile:

Let us know how it turns out. I am planning to give it a try next month for American Thanksgiving and would like to hear how your experience turns out.


Chief Scientist / Amateur Cook

MadVal, Seattle, WA

Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code

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Could we get a picture of the backside of the trussed chicken so that we can get a better idea of how the strings run?

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Could we get a picture of the backside of the trussed chicken so that we can get a better idea of how the strings run?

I'll take a pic of the other side next time. Hopefully I won't be run of this board for posting it. I tied it based on my interpretation of Fowke's original description.


Chief Scientist / Amateur Cook

MadVal, Seattle, WA

Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code

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So I brined a 3.5 lb chicken, dried it with paper towels, trussed it using Chef Fowke's stretched-baby method, slathered it in EVOO, herbs, S&P, and then stuck it in a 400 degree oven (non-convection). After about an hour, the bird was fully cooked and the skin was sort of golden-brown and starting to get crispy. It wasn't, however, as brown and crispy as Vengroff's and Chef Fowke's looked. The wings and sides weren't really brown at all, actually. I didn't want to leave it in any longer because I was worried that I'd end up over-cooking it.

Anyone know why it didn't end up all crispy? Think it has something to do with the lack of convection?

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In David Rosengarten's Q&A, I asked about his baked chicken slathered with goose fat. He proclaimed that he had a revelation when he did that in a convection oven. I can understand why that might make a difference.


Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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Anyone know why it didn't end up all crispy? Think it has something to do with the lack of convection?

Convection could be a factor, although I've made crispy-skinned birds without convection too.

=R=


"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

LTHForum.com -- The definitive Chicago-based culinary chat site

ronnie_suburban 'at' yahoo.com

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I don't have a convention oven and I make crispy skin chicken all the time. :biggrin:

I have never brined before - does brining the skin make it as crispy as normal?


Life is short, eat dessert first

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I'm thinking that if I let it air dry next time - for an hour or so - after drying with the paper towels that maybe I'll have better luck. Maybe also a hotter oven. And the skin was pretty crispy - just not all over brown like the preceeding photos. Something to work towards, I suppose.

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I did the thing tonight with the iron pan in the oven at 450. I had a small bird--at $2.49 a pound it was under $8, so I'm thinking like 3+ pounds? After half an hour it wasn't done, and i'm thinking about why as it finishes cooking here.

1. My oven may suck more than I thought; I really should get a thermometer and test it.

2. I crammed most of a cut-up lemon in the cavity (along with some star anise) and it was a small bird, so that may have acted kinda like stuffing and prevented it from cooking quickly.

3. I put a hoisin/vinegar/garlic/ginger/scallion glazey type thing on it, which mighta burned a little.

Either way, I'm not a convert. I think I make a mean roast chicken the regular way, at around 400 with occasional basting. Or at least, I like it. And I know what I'm doing. This thing threw me off when it wasn't done. Dammit.

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If you're going to try out a technique, you have to try it as written. When you start messing with it, it ain't going to come out right.

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