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Roasting a Chicken


lullyloo
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I did the over night air dry thing 'cause Cook's Illustrated told me to. :rolleyes: They usually do a good job of actually testing various methods, so I generally trust their advice. As mentioned in my method (well, it's really CI's) , I AM brining mine, so the skin is wet. I am not sure I could dry it well enough with paper towels. Certainly not as dry as it's going to get with a long air dry in the fridge. When my chicken comes out, the skin is very tacky. And I get killer results with crisp skin.

But back to TK's method really quick. The link a few posts back shows a recipe that lists butter in the ingredients. Yet nowhere does he call for it's use. In fact, he says that he DOESN'T use it, but suggests you can. Reading further, I thought it would be used to make the sauce for the bird. But it's not. Am I missing something? Or should that recipe list the butter as optional, as it does with the thyme?

Jeff Meeker, aka "jsmeeker"

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But back to TK's method really quick. The link a few posts back shows a recipe that lists butter in the ingredients. Yet nowhere does he call for it's use. In fact, he says that he DOESN'T use it, but suggests you can.  Reading further, I thought it would be used to make the sauce for the bird.  But it's not.  Am I missing something? Or should that recipe list the butter as optional, as it does with the thyme?

He finishes the dish with butter as noted in the last paragraph of the recipe linked to above.

It is hard to go wrong with roast chicken even if using el cheapo commodity birds IMHO.

Jon

--formerly known as 6ppc--

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I have an odd request for a roasting technique: let's say (purely hypothetically, of course... :wink:) that I want to overcook one of the breasts. Just one, though, maybe to 175F or so. The other should be 155F when I pull it. Any thoughts on how best to achieve this?

Super easy. Cover one side of the breast with a double or tripple layer of foil. Roast the bird with high heat, until the thigh meat is properly cooked. The covered breast should be perfect. The uncovered breast will be at least 10 degrees hotter. Maybe not quite 175, but it could get close.

Notes from the underbelly

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I usually do a lemon halved inside with many cloves of garlic (also salt the inside), salt and pepper the outside liberally after rubbing with olive oil and some more lemon then with the size of our chicks usually just over a kg only an hour 15 at 200c cook it only until the juices run clear in the thigh. I also put more lemon chunks and garlic with the skins on in the pan (toss in evoo) as well which makes an amazing gravy (you can also throw potatoes or even better sweet potatoes in if you want)

another variation that is good - same as above but with lime and adding red chillis - mmm I do this with rice.

My chicken never comes out dry and with the gravies (thickened with cornstarch) they are very tasty indeed.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Thom Keller's Simple Roast Chicken is a no-fail recipe.  You could add the potatoes to the pan to roast in the pan juices.  For the beans, blanch them, refresh under cold water and dry, the saute in butter with pine nuts.  Finish with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.

I'm intrigued by how incredibly simple Thomas Keller's chicken recipe is - this would be perfect for a weeknight dinner. I looked at some of the reviews in the linked recipe and it seems that the high roasting heat produces a lot of smoke. How much smoke are we talking about? I live in an apartment and I'm not particularly keen about having it fill up with smoke! :raz:

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I'm intrigued by how incredibly simple Thomas Keller's chicken recipe is - this would be perfect for a weeknight dinner.  I looked at some of the reviews in the linked recipe and it seems that the high roasting heat produces a lot of smoke.  How much smoke are we talking about?  I live in an apartment and I'm not particularly keen about having it fill up with smoke!  :raz:

I can't speak for Thomas Keller's recipe, but when I tried the Cook's Illustrated recipe for high-heat roast chicken (the one that is spatch-cocked, I forget the exact name of the recipe), not only did it totally fill up my house with smoke, but the inside of my oven looked like a bomb of chicken fat had gone off. And I had just cleaned my oven the previous week . . . .

On the plus side, the chicken was really, really good and it was done quickly enough for an easy weeknight meal.

Now, I wait until my oven is already dirty, then I prepare that recipe, knowing that I'm going to have to clean the oven anyway. :wink:

PS I think if you live in an apartment, you will find the smoke level objectionable unless you have a lot of windows open and some fans going (or a very powerful exhaust fan).

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I roasted a 4-lb bird the other day and had what I thought was an ingenious idea that turned out to be garbage. I added a few drops of lemon oil to the melted butter that I rubbed on the chicken. It smelled great going in, but quickly turned to toxic fumes within minutes. They eventually subsided and the resulting chicken -- which, incidentally, did not kill me -- tasted great, but that was in spite of the lemon oil. :rolleyes:

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I'm intrigued by how incredibly simple Thomas Keller's chicken recipe is - this would be perfect for a weeknight dinner.  I looked at some of the reviews in the linked recipe and it seems that the high roasting heat produces a lot of smoke.  How much smoke are we talking about?  I live in an apartment and I'm not particularly keen about having it fill up with smoke! 

I read about this all the time, but I've yet to have it happen to me. I don't know why this is. It's a great weeknight dinner! If it weren't so hot in Texas, I'd make it tonight. Unfortunately, my oven tends to heat the whole kitchen/living room at my house.

Edited by jayejo (log)

There's nothing so bad in this life that pork fat can't make better.

My Blog

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I'm intrigued by how incredibly simple Thomas Keller's chicken recipe is - this would be perfect for a weeknight dinner.  I looked at some of the reviews in the linked recipe and it seems that the high roasting heat produces a lot of smoke.  How much smoke are we talking about?  I live in an apartment and I'm not particularly keen about having it fill up with smoke! 

I read about this all the time, but I've yet to have it happen to me. I don't know why this is. It's a great weeknight dinner! If it weren't so hot in Texas, I'd make it tonight. Unfortunately, my oven tends to heat the whole kitchen/living room at my house.

Funny coincidence - I just did this (the Keller recipe) two weeks in a row. First time, a little smoke. Second time, tons of smoke! I think the vaporized chicken grease on the oven interior from the last time smoked off. :angry: Need to remember to wipe the inside of the oven out after doing this.

Delicious chicken though - a minimum of six-hour brine is an absolute must. I've never been able to get the breast and legs both moist-tender until I tried this (brine + high heat). It is a perfect weeknight meal - brine in the morning, pull it and throw it in the oven in the evening. A little glace with the drippings, and bob's your uncle.

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I know there's often a debate about this, but after spending a year brining chickens before roasting I stopped. I didn't like the effect it had on browning, and I realized the juiciness was artificial ... chicken juices replaced with salt water.

The way to get the breast meat and dark meat cooked properly is ... cook them properly. The breast needs to be held about 10 degrees cooler than the legs. There are lots of ways to do this, but the easiest I've found (by far) is basically barding. Cover the the breast meat with something, like foil, for roughly half the cooking time.

This was standard practice for hundreds of years when spit roasting fowl in front of a fire. They used fat, not foil, but the effect was similar. For some reason we've lost this useful practice, but retained ones that make no sense in an oven (like trussing).

Edited by paulraphael (log)

Notes from the underbelly

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  • 2 weeks later...

Spent the afternoon listening to the Verve's new album and making a roast chicken that I'd previously brined. She's stuffed with frozen unsalted butter, lemon confit, lovage, flat leaf parsley and chives.

2796203253_b91d39678b.jpg2796203257_df19d01af4.jpg

and her she is a sitting on some roast cauliflower puree you can't see. It must have smelt good as then a kestrel appeared in the garden.

2796203267_deb87972df.jpg2797167916_91178ccd23.jpg

Ummmmm roast kestrel.................

“Do you not find that bacon, sausage, egg, chips, black pudding, beans, mushrooms, tomatoes, fried bread and a cup of tea; is a meal in itself really?” Hovis Presley.

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Lullyloo, there's a good article about brining, written by Janet Fletcher for the SF Chronicle in '98.  It no longer seems to be available online, but it's been copied onto the site linked below.  (Apologies if this breaks eGullet rules...)

The article is still on line here: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?...25/FD107260.DTL

 ... Shel


 

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I'm in the beer can camp. It's got to be one of the easiest ways to fix a chicken and it tastes great. I accidently left one in the oven for almost 3 hours (it was a night involving a lot of alcohol) and it was still nice and moist and not burnt when I finally remembered it

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  • 1 year later...

Roasting a chicken, eh?

I've got one in the oven right now. We raised a couple dozen "meat kings" at the in-laws' farm this past summer so there's still a good number in the freezer. This variety of bird plumps up fast meaning I had to process them before the end of August. My M.O. is as follows: invert, decapitate, bleed, plunge in hot water, de-feather, eviscerate, chill and bag. Eat within a few days or freeze for later.

I find roasting a chicken to be therapeutic and really hard to screw up -- unlike expensive cuts of beef. There are zillions of recipes out there for which I'm grateful when I'm in need of inspiration. This merged topic could be a text book. There are no absolutes in poultry cookery as far as I'm concerned.

My current thinking:

  • fresh is best
  • defrost a whole bird in the fridge, not the microwave
  • pat dry
  • don't stuff
  • start hot, finish low

Personally, I like to cut off the wing tips and remove the back for a flat even-cooking bird. These raw poultry bits are awesome in the stock pot. Tonight's chicken is probably seven or eight pounds so the breasts and legs cook fairly evenly in an unbutterflied/unfrogged bird. This chicken got the treatment above, with lemon and ginger in the cavity, and the skin got olive oil, dried herbs and salt.

101_3401.jpg

Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

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  • 6 months later...
Confucius style, ginger brined and roasted.

With noble wheat berries, manicured asparagus, some cipollini onions, a few fluted mushrooms and soffritto made from my lardo.

This looks fantastic. Great job.

What is "soffritto made from lardo"? And what is the ginger brine?

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This looks fantastic. Great job.

What is "soffritto made from lardo"? And what is the ginger brine?

Soffritto: slivered garlic browned in rendered lardo slices with olive oil, dried chili and lemon zest with which the asparagus, mushroom and cipollini are heated up.

The brine simply has fresh ginger in it.

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Inspired by that essay I roasted some thighs Monday night. Kept it as simple as possible: salt, a little rosemary, some potatoes and onions and a little olive oil roasted @ 425 F until the meat thermometer said they were done.

Results were... pretty disappointing. The skin was fish belly white and just slightly crisped. The meat was juicy but bland enough that the rosemary dominated. Potatoes looked steamed rather than roasted, not crisp at all. Drippings were all fat, without enough juice to make even a single serving of gravy.

Next time I'll brown the thighs in butter first...

Add some carrots and celery...

Wait, I'll see what the Fat Duck has to say about roasting chicken pieces...

This is my skillet. There are many like it, but this one is mine. My skillet is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it, as I must master my life. Without me my skillet is useless. Without my skillet, I am useless. I must season my skillet well. I will. Before God I swear this creed. My skillet and myself are the makers of my meal. We are the masters of our kitchen. So be it, until there are no ingredients, but dinner. Amen.

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