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Roasting a Chicken


lullyloo
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I've been using Judy Roger's (Zuni) pre-salting method now for a number of years. I use this method for all meats, not just chicken and turkey. I salt and then wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Unwrap and let air dry in the fridge for 12 to 24 hours before roasting/grilling.

Ann

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Tonight I made the best roast chicken I have ever eaten, let alone made. I based it on the Judy Rodgers' Zuni method for seasoning and salting (dry brining). Dry the chicken well, stuff herbs (I used rosemary) and garlic under the skin over the breasts and thighs, maybe a bit of herbs in the cavity, and salt and pepper the skin. No wrapping. Let it air dry in the fridge for 2 days. I did it on a rack over a sheet pan, so the bottom didn't sit in any juices that might accumulate. Pull it out about 2 hours before cooking, and let it come to room temp.

Now, in the supposed Zuni recipe I have, the technique is to blast it in a 475° oven, in a preheated cast-iron or equivalent pan/skillet. I wanted to further riff on the idea of the French rotisserie chickens, which have small, roasted potates on the side that roast under the chicken in the drippings. I figured the potatoes, the ones I used were baby Dutch yellows, would burn at that temperature.

So I preheated the oven, hard, to 450°. I gave it at least an hour to get to temp. Then I put the chicken in a V-rack in a roasting pan, breast side down. The pan had been drizzled with a bit of olive oil, less than a tablespoon, actually. Just to get the potates started. I also oiled the ribs of the V-rack, since the skin of the chicken looked so dry at this point. Chicken went in breast side down, heat went down to 400° for 1/2 an hour. Bird got flipped. 15 minutes, breast side up at 400° Then I raised the temp to 425° for another 1/2 an hour. Flipped again, another 1/2 hour breast down at 425°. Flipped again, and finished off the breast side skin under the broiler. I also moved the potatoes around whenever I pulled it out of the oven.

The breast meat was perfectly done, and juicy. The thigh meat was perfectly done. The skin was AMAZING, as were the potatoes. You could probably get away with less time on a smaller bird, but for the usual 4-5 pounders, this timing, I think works.

It was truly a thing of beauty.

--Roberta--

"Let's slip out of these wet clothes, and into a dry Martini" - Robert Benchley

Pierogi's eG Foodblog

My *outside* blog, "A Pound Of Yeast"

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  • 2 weeks later...

Yes, pre-salting and fridge-drying. Here are a couple I did here:

DSCF0681.jpg

- other things distracted me and these sat out of the fridge for several hours before I got them in the oven, rather than one, hence the wrinkling on top of the breasts.

I roasted them at 210C for 1 hour 10 minutes, turning at 45 minutes. Note the fond for gravy:

DSCF0683.jpg

QUIET!  People are trying to pontificate.

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The wrinkling is attractive, IMHO. Did you do the butter-under-the-skin thing?

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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  • 2 years later...

Tonight I made the best roast chicken I have ever eaten, let alone made. I based it on the Judy Rodgers' Zuni method for seasoning and salting (dry brining). Dry the chicken well, stuff herbs (I used rosemary) and garlic under the skin over the breasts and thighs, maybe a bit of herbs in the cavity, and salt and pepper the skin. No wrapping. Let it air dry in the fridge for 2 days. I did it on a rack over a sheet pan, so the bottom didn't sit in any juices that might accumulate. Pull it out about 2 hours before cooking, and let it come to room temp.

Now, in the supposed Zuni recipe I have, the technique is to blast it in a 475° oven, in a preheated cast-iron or equivalent pan/skillet. I wanted to further riff on the idea of the French rotisserie chickens, which have small, roasted potates on the side that roast under the chicken in the drippings. I figured the potatoes, the ones I used were baby Dutch yellows, would burn at that temperature.

So I preheated the oven, hard, to 450°. I gave it at least an hour to get to temp. Then I put the chicken in a V-rack in a roasting pan, breast side down. The pan had been drizzled with a bit of olive oil, less than a tablespoon, actually. Just to get the potates started. I also oiled the ribs of the V-rack, since the skin of the chicken looked so dry at this point. Chicken went in breast side down, heat went down to 400° for 1/2 an hour. Bird got flipped. 15 minutes, breast side up at 400° Then I raised the temp to 425° for another 1/2 an hour. Flipped again, another 1/2 hour breast down at 425°. Flipped again, and finished off the breast side skin under the broiler. I also moved the potatoes around whenever I pulled it out of the oven.

The breast meat was perfectly done, and juicy. The thigh meat was perfectly done. The skin was AMAZING, as were the potatoes. You could probably get away with less time on a smaller bird, but for the usual 4-5 pounders, this timing, I think works.

It was truly a thing of beauty.

I want to say that, inspired by the current discussion on roasting the perfect chicken, I remembered this post by Pierogi and dug it up. This is the best description I've ever seen, and I had planned to try it immediately. Somehow, never got around to it, but never forgot it.

Once again, I'm planning to try it immediately.

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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I knew I was having a touch of deja-vu in the new roast chicken thread! Always have trouble remembering posting on a subject before...

So have you been air-drying chickens since it was discussed in this thread?

I'm always afraid it will make them dry out.

It just seems so counterintuitive.

And how can brining fit in with this method?

Edited by Jaymes (log)

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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I knew I was having a touch of deja-vu in the new roast chicken thread! Always have trouble remembering posting on a subject before...

So have you been air-drying chickens since it was discussed in this thread?

I'm always afraid it will make them dry out.

It just seems so counterintuitive.

And how can brining fit in with this method?

Step 1: Brine chicken.

Step 2: Drain.

Step 3: Pat dry with paper towel. Place uncovered in fridge for a day or two.

It dries out the skin and not the meat. Works, too, with pork belly and steaks.

Chris Taylor

Host, eG Forums - ctaylor@egstaff.org

 

I've never met an animal I didn't enjoy with salt and pepper.

Melbourne
Harare, Victoria Falls and some places in between

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I posted this on the "other" roast chicken discussion but apparently it was not in the right format, :wink: so here it is again:

I have been making Ina Garten's "Jeffery's Roast Chicken" or "Engagement Chicken" for several months now.

Here is the link to the receipe http://www.foodnetwo...cipe/index.html

I find it is easy to prepare, and tastes fantastic. No brining, no fuss, no muss. I love lemon in anything, so this is perfect for me. I have done it with meyer lemons with even better results. I do find that it takes a bit longer than the recipe calls for, but maybe that is because the chicken is bigger than called for in the recipe and I like the skin very crispy and the onions very soft.

I have served it for casual suppers, to rave reviews. During the first 39 years of marriage my husband never liked roast chicken - too tasteless and non descript for his taste. This roast chicken is now one of his favourite dishes. :rolleyes:

It is always moist and delicious.

Edited by forever_young_ca (log)

Life is short, eat dessert first

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I posted this on the "other" roast chicken discussion but apparently it was not in the right format, :wink: so here it is again:

I have been making Ina Garten's "Jeffery's Roast Chicken" or "Engagement Chicken" for several months now.

Here is the link to the receipe http://www.foodnetwo...cipe/index.html

I find it is easy to prepare, and tastes fantastic. No brining, no fuss, no muss. I love lemon in anything, so this is perfect for me. I have done it with meyer lemons with even better results. I do find that it takes a bit longer than the recipe calls for, but maybe that is because the chicken is bigger than called for in the recipe and I like the skin very crispy and the onions very soft.

I have served it for casual suppers, to rave reviews. During the first 39 years of marriage my husband never liked roast chicken - too tasteless and non descript for his taste. This roast chicken is now one of his favourite dishes. :rolleyes:

It is always moist and delicious.

This does look really good, and easy. And it's a nice use for the lemons from my tree.

I do have one question... the recipe doesn't say whether to roast the chicken with the breast up or down. Obviously, I know that breast up is usual but, for a while, it was sort of the fashion to roast breast down with the feeling that it might keep the breast moister.

Thoughts?

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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I have always done it breast side up, but there would be no harm in trying breast side down for the first bit of cooking. The breast would take on the lovely onion, lemon flavours. If you have access to meyer lemons I would highly recommend using them - as they are delicious

Edited by forever_young_ca (log)

Life is short, eat dessert first

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I don't use fat. Just a generous rub with a mixture of salt, pepper and high-quality paprika (either sweet or half-sharp depending on my mood).

No basting either.

Gives wonderful crackly, tasty skin, with a depth of flavor and wonderful dark-red brown color from the paprika.

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