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lullyloo

Roasting a Chicken

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Got that right. Just threw me for a second, is all. I heard "season, and put in the pan" which I did... in a manner of speaking. haha Either way, it's all done now and was tasty as hell.

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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.

Sorry Dave, I did not get to try the Chef Fowke trussing method on my turkey. My sister-in-law decided to have Thanksgiving at her house instead of mine so all I had to do was the dessert, bring wine and show up and eat! :biggrin:


Life is short, eat dessert first

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I tried, and failed, to duplicate the Chef Fowke trussing method this past weekend. I need more detailed instructions. The pictures and the descriptions given so far just don't do it for me. What do you use, pullies or something to get the wings to go forward and the legs to go backward. I wound up (no pun intended) tying the tips of the wings together over the breast. But I was unable to find a way to get the legs to stretch out. Do you guys use magic twine? Is this why Vengroff thinks he will get run off of this site if he gives us pictures of the back side of the bird?

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I think it less than the method and more the chicken. after having tried many you cannot beat Empire kosher. a little annoying taking the leftover feathers off, but a little salt and pepper and half a lemon in the cavity and you're done.

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Hey Everyone,

So last night I made a whole roast chicken for my first time - came out pretty spectacular if say so myself :rolleyes:

Here's what I did: Finely chopped up a bunch of fresh herbs - parsley, sage and thyme. Then I added fresh minced garlic, shallots, paprika, salt, pepper, butter and olive oil. It smelled amazing! I then washed and dried my chicken and placed lemon quarters inside the cavity. I then cut some slits all around and stuffed some garlic cloves inside the meat. I then took my herb mixture and slathered it all over, including some under the skin. Here's where I wasn't so sure though.

I couldn't decide which method of cooking I wanted to use. ie - high heat short time, or high heat to crisp, then low, or vice versa, etc. I kind of made everything up so far combining all different techniques I read here and elseware, so I decided to continue by the seat of my pants.

It was a 3.5 lb. bird. I started it off at around 425. I should add though, that I surrounded the entire thing with potatoes and carrots. I also didn't use a real roasting pan - rather a deep toaster pan covered with tin foil. I baked for about 30 min then took it out to check on it. It seemed to be doing nicely. I basted it a bunch and spread the herb mixture and juice all around the veggies. I put it back in and decided to lower the temp to 375. I baked it for another hour basting every 15 min or so. I thought it must be done by now! I took it out and wasn't happy with the crispness or browness of the skin. Also the temperature of the meat was only about 140 at this point in the thigh! I cranked up to 450 and continued baking. It took another 30 minutes and the temp just barely made 180 which is what I read it should be. But I'm not sure if I took the temp in the right spot.

Anyway, the hard part came next. After letting it rest for 15 min came time to carve. It was my first time carving a whole chicken and I totally screwed it up. The legs, wings and thighs came off fine, but I literally butchered the rest of it. The meat was incredible though! I could taste all the herbs and the garlic and lemon - MMMMMM. My wife said it was the best chicken she ever had! But believe it or not, the dark meat still wasn't done enough - even after all that time. What did I do wrong? Also, the veggies were still hard.

I'm wondering if the vegetables blocked the heat flow or something? Maybe I need an elevated roasting rack? Any tips or suggestions on this? I also wasn't sure which way was up or down. What I really want to do is cook the white meat down at first, and then turn it to crisp up - but I didn't even know which way was which. And about the carving, although the meat tasted great still, screwing up the carving made the presenation pretty horrible! :sad:

I'm wondering if there are any disadvantages to using precut chicken parts as opposed to a whole chicken? Can I just do my same technique with the parts? Will I lose anything??

Any tips or suggestions greatly welcome!

Thanks,

~WB

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You can do a pan roast chicken with the parts. Cook the parts skin side down in an oven safe pan. Get it started on the stovetop in a heavy pan with a light coat of oil. You can start the legs and thighs first and add the breasts later so they don't overcook.

Be careful with the seasonings. They will burn easier in the pan. When I do it I just salt and pepper the pieces(I dry them in paper towels first to prevent sticking)

I put them in a pan over medium heat until I hear some sizzle and then throw them in a pre-heated oven at about 375.

I cook it mostly on the skin side and watch the heat so it doesn't burn. When I think there is about 20 minutes left I throw in some chopped garlic, a lump of butter, and whatever herbs are handy. Roll all the pieces around in the oil and seasonings and finish it skin side up.

Sounds like you are onto something good. Roast chicken is one of the greatest meals when its done right.

rodney

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Humm. I am a little baffled. You said you cooked this chicken for pretty much two hours and the dark meat was not done??? Was the oven on??? :hmmm: I usually roast a 3 1/2 lb chicken at a very high temperature, 500 degrees breast up for 40 minutes, then I turn it upside down and cook the back for 40 minutes and my husband thinks it's overdone. As for carving, the best way I've found to do it so you don't hack away at it is to cut off the wings, then the thighs with the drumsticks ( then separate the drumstick from the thighs). Lastly I carve around the wishbone to take it off then it is easier to take off the breast whole. Put the breast on your board and slice it nicely.


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A 3.5 lb bird can be seared on the breast side in a pan. That will crisp the skin. As for potatoes, you should boil a little ahead of time. It takes longer than 45 minutes to bake a potato. Other veg should definitely cook in time, unless you didn't cut them into small pieces?

If the meat was 180 degrees, it was done. The paprika probably had something to do with the color of the meat. Usually you can take a chicken out at 140 or 150 and let it rest. The carryover cooking does the rest of the job. 180 degrees is old school, grand mother temperatures.

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The dark meat at the bone in a chicken is often pinker than the meat closer to the skin-- this gives the illusion that it may not be cooked, when it actually is. Go by temp, as others have said, although I wouldn't endorse a number as low as 150 in the dark meat. My own preference is for close to 170-180 in the dark meat, but no more than 160 in the breast.

You may have slowed down your chicken by opening your oven door over and over again to baste. I usually plop my bird in a cast-iron skillet, let it sit for an hour and ten at 400, and it's done. The skillet helps the dark meat reach the temperature I want quickly, and it gets nicely browned on top.

Nice work with the herbs-- I've never cut slits. I frequently shove herbs or a stuffing under the skin, however. And the lemon inside is crucial!


"I don't mean to brag, I don't mean to boast;

but we like hot butter on our breakfast toast!"

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Thanks for the tips everyone. As for the veggies, i cut the potatoes to about 1 inch squares, the carrots as well. I used a lot of potatoes though and they totally surrounded the chicken. I'm wondering if this blocked the heat flow and contributed to my long cooking time. Also, I supposed the constant basting could've added to that as well. Also the veggies weren't done enough after that time.

I just bought a cast iron pan a few weeks ago and would like to try again using that. Will the pan be good for searing chicken? I'm worried that the skin will stick to it and pull off when I turn it. Does roasting in the cast iron (w/o searing) make any difference than roasting in another pan? I'm totally inexperienced right now when it comes to cast iron cooking. I know there's a lot of talk about cast iron 'round here and I certainly have my reading cut out for me.

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Make sure the skin is as dry as possible when it goes in the pan. That will help with the sticking.

Have you seasoned the pan? The more you use it the better it will work so don't get distressed if it sticks a little.

Rodney

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Humm. I am a little baffled. You said you cooked this chicken for pretty much two hours and the dark meat was not done??? Was the oven on??? :hmmm: I usually roast a 3 1/2 lb chicken at a very high temperature, 500 degrees breast up for 40 minutes, then I turn it upside down and cook the back for 40 minutes and my husband thinks it's overdone. As for carving, the best way I've found to do it so you don't hack away at it is to cut off the wings, then the thighs with the drumsticks ( then separate the drumstick from the thighs). Lastly I carve around the wishbone to take it off then it is easier to take off the breast whole. Put the breast on your board and slice it nicely.

If you remove the wishbone before you roast the bird - it makes cutting the whole breast off in one piece much easier and you don't lose any meat. Just cut a slit on each side of the wishbone, run your fingers up and down it to loosen the meat around it and yank it out.

johnjohn

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If you remove the wishbone before you roast the bird - it makes cutting the whole breast off in one piece much easier and you don't lose any meat.

I do that when cooking a goose, because it is a huge wishbone and very sharp at the ends. But I usually don't bother with a chicken. I just wanted to mention the idea of taking off the breast from the carcass in order to slice it nicely. I've never used a thermometer for chicken, usually just pinch the thigh with a knife to see if the juices are running light, not red or pink, then it is done enough for me. I like putting thinly sliced garlic under the skin on the breast and on the thighs and drumstick and a half slice on each "pocket " in the inner thigh. Also, if you have time and plan ahead, brine the chicken for a day or two, then take out of the brine, dry and leave it in the fridge uncovered to dry out a little-you get a really nice crispy skin that way. And if you want it really brown in color, brush it once or twice with soy sauce before roasting.


WorldTable • Our recently reactivated web page. Now interactive and updated regularly.

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I am curious why you would want to do parts instead of a whole chicken. Aside from not having to carve it up, it would seem to me that the whole chicken is significantly more economical and yields a better result. Just curious.

Your herb and butter mixture sounds terrific, I wonder though, since I always put butter and garlic and sage leaves under the skin, what the difference is with putting it outside the skin.

Finally, I agree with the brining, I tried a beer/apple cider vinegar brine not too long ago and was blown away with the result. Give it a try.

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For Xmas I brined my chicken as I usually do (okay, technically I made guinea hen, but I roasted it like roast chicken), but cooked it using the Zuni Cafe method instead of my usual rack method. I heated up a cast iron pan really high and dumped the bird in, breast up, and stuck it in the oven. Partway though I flipped it over, and then near the end I flipped it again to re-crisp the breast skin. Worked really well and clean-up was much easier than when I use the rack.

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I use an enameled, cast iron pan, and begin the bird on the stovetop, sauteeing all around with butter, just enough to get the skin started. Then I flip it breast side up, and roast at 375 degrees. I'll baste it every now and then with the butter that melts into the pan, and the chicken is usually done in about an hour. I should add that I have a convection oven, and if there was ever a reason for buying this upgrade with your next oven, roasted chicken is the one.

Sometimes, instead of starting on the stovetop, I stuff little pieces of truffle butter under the skin, then begin roasting at 400 degrees for 10 minutes or so, after which I turn down the heat to 375, basting occasionally. Can't go wrong with this method, either.

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I roasted a chicken recently for only the second time in my life. The first time was pre-cooking school, I had no idea what I was doing and it did not come out well.

This time, I wanted to try searing it first, so I put it in the oven at 500 and let it go for a while. It didn't really brown like I wanted to after a little while and I was getting impatient. So I turned it down to 350 or so and cooked it until the little thermometer popped. I also double checked it with a "real" thermometer in the leg. It came out well but it took longer than I hoped; about two hours. We ate less than half of it and I used the bones to make chicken stock and the meat in some chili.

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When I reviewed James Peterson's Glorious French Food for The Daily Gullet (click here if you want to read the whole piece), I tried his Roast Chicken, which calls for an absolutely plain (not even salt) 4-pound bird to cook for 50 minutes at a very high temperature. This did not produce a fully cooked chicken, at least not to my taste: the breast was just barely done (still slightly blushing), and the legs were raw at the joints.

I'm not all that surprised that Wannabechef's took that long and still wasn't done to their liking. For one thing, all that basting meant the oven was getting opened A LOT and losing heat. And what with changing the temperature, that poor oven just got so confused! :raz: And yes, it is possible that the vegs all around blocked some heat -- although I wouldn't think that would make more than a couple of minutes difference.

Well, there's only one thing to do: roast another chicken! Mmmmmmm, roast chicken :laugh:

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I'm eagerly reading this thread, as someone who's roasted a number of chickens but never to absolute perfection. I'm always looking for the best way to do it. My goal is to have the absolutely crispiest skin to eat as that's the best part :laugh: My lastest attempt was last weekend - doing it the Tom Douglas way (his lemon thyme chicken) - slathering with kosher salt, pepper and thyme, stuff with lemon, garlic and more thyme. I think making sure the skin was very dry helped. I used a somewhat hot oven (425) but basted with butter and chicken fat about every 15 minutes. The chicken turned a nice roast color and very tasty, not too dry or rare - the skin was good but there could have been even more crisp! I used a heavy cookie sheet with the chicken on a small rack, thinking this would help keep the skin crisper as it would be dryer. No veggies around it either. One thing that bothers me and no one mentions is the higher the heat, the more fat that splatters everywhere. Are you guys just cleaning your ovens alot or do you just not care about the grease splatter? Maybe I'm being too squeamish about the mess....

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One thing that bothers me and no one mentions is the higher the heat, the more fat that splatters everywhere. Are you guys just cleaning your ovens alot or do you just not care about the grease splatter? Maybe I'm being too squeamish about the mess....

That's the price to you pay for good chicken. Or, some of us have self cleaning ovens. :smile:

I like to roast my chickens at 475 - 500 F.

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I think one of the tricks to crisp skin is to stop basting for the last 20 minutes. I usually don't put vegetables around the bird either, except for garlic, because of the steam they create.

I use a vertical stand also.

Rodney

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I've stopped basting my chickens and they seem to be fine. I do slather butter all over, inside the bird, and under the skin, though. But I think the key to a moist bird is the brining.

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how important do you find the quality of the chicken? i once bought two chickens for $5 on sale from the supermarket and they were very stringy. not sure if that was because of my cooking or because the chicken was crap. usually i buy 'smart' chickens (which i think are grain fed?) or free-range chickens and they don't have that problem.

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how important do you find the quality of the chicken? i once bought two chickens for $5 on sale from the supermarket and they were very stringy. not sure if that was because of my cooking or because the chicken was crap. usually i buy 'smart' chickens (which i think are grain fed?) or free-range chickens and they don't have that problem.

Same here. I quit buying supermarket chickens. I either get free range from better food stores or buy at our farmers market. There is a real difference.

I'm also a firm believer in brining.

Rodney

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