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Roasting a Chicken

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what to readers think of judy rodgers of zuni cafe fame of using a small 3 1/2 pound chicken and roasting it at 475-500 degrees?  she claims that you can crank the heat up really high so that the skin crisps, but because you're using a smaller bird, the meat is cooked as well.  i'm gonna try it on monday.  as for brining, is there a consensus on whether it's worth it?  i plan to liberally salt and pepper my bird, stuff with half a lemon, and rub thyme butter under teh skin and on the outside as well.  does that sound acceptable? 

mike

It works, even for a larger chicken. The drawback is that it can create a lot of smoke and a big mess in your oven. But you can minimize both by putting a layer or two of sliced potatoes in the bottom of your roasting pan. They absorb the fat so it doesn't burn and smoke, and they keep the splattering down as well. And then you can eat the potatoes too, if you like that sort of thing.

With butter under the skin, you probably don't need the brining for moisture, but it does season the meat all the way through, which I think is an advantage. If you do brine, don't salt the bird before roasting, but you probably figured that out.

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This recipe is c/o JonesWineNo1 over on Vinocellar, but I had to post it here to share--

45 minutes at 450 degrees for a slightly over three pound bird.

The keys to success are: brine overnight, truss the bird, make sure the oven is at 450 before placing chicken inside, let the chicken come to room temperature before placing in oven, and let chicken rest for ten or so minutes under a tent of aluminum foil prior to carving.

If the bird is bigger than three pounds then the increase cooking time. In the event the chicken begins to burn (very rare) then tent scorched area with foil and continue cooking.

If you brine the bird, it is almost impossible to dry out the bird.

DE-LISH!

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AAAHHH... Another convert to the magic of brining. :biggrin: David Rosengarten would have you take that same chicken, slather it with goose fat and use a convection oven. THAT is a whole 'nother chicken.


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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I believe trussing is bullshit. I'd like for someone to prove me wrong but I doubt they can.

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I believe trussing is bullshit. I'd like for someone to prove me wrong but I doubt they can.

I think Cooks Illustrated put that one in the trash can. I have also seen other chefs on some of the shows state the same thing. I can't remember who right now but I remember thinking "well if xxx says so, it must be true." I think the story goes that trussing actually makes it harder to get the thighs done before the breast dries out. Makes sense to me.


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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I stopped trussing when I was a late teen. Never saw the point.

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I do the opposite of trussing, I cut the skin between the breasts and the legs to allow the heat in. If I don't, I pull the chicken out when the breast reaches 165 and the inner thighs aren't finished. Blegh.

Congrats on discovering brining! You'll never go back.

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I believe trussing is bullshit. I'd like for someone to prove me wrong but I doubt they can.

I can't.

No trussing.

Spatchcock it flat, make incisions for a big bird. Sometimes I'll make little slits to pass the ankle bones through to hold them in place.

A whole chicken looks like a headless human infant anyway. One that's tied up is just awful beyond words.


"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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The only good thing about trussing a bird is that it prevents it from flopping around when you turn it. BFD. Don't bother.

Jinmyo, did your kids have jaundice? :blink::blink::unsure:

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Jinmyo, did your kids have jaundice?  :blink:  :blink:  :unsure:

No, but they did have big bellies and bent knees on the diapering table. :sad:


"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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This thread reminds me of Mark Bittman's "Fastest Roast Chicken."

Put a cast-iron pan in the oven while you're preheating to 450. Season the chicken and plop it in the pan. (I put a temperature probe in the thigh before the plopping.) Wait 30 minutes, or until the temp is 155 or so.

Done. One of the best effort/result ratios to be found in cooking.

Of course, if I'm comfortable and have the time, I will brine it first. And with more time and comfort, sneak some herbs under the skin. With utmost comfort and time, I spatchcock it, brine it, light the grill, infuse olive oil with lime zest, garlic and ancho powder and massage into the flesh under the thigh and breast. Skin down over an indirect fire for 40 to 45 minutes. That's still less than 15 minutes' real work.

None of these (including tjaehnigen's initiating post) really requires much effort -- and given the price of chicken (even designer birds), there's not a more efficient combination of work, cost and result to be found.

Plus, it gives an American a reason to say "spatchcock," a word we've for some reason stupidly discarded.

spatchcock spatchcock spatchcock


Dave Scantland
Executive director
dscantland@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics signatory

Eat more chicken skin.

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Plus, it gives an American a reason to say "spatchcock," a word we've for some reason stupidly discarded.

spatchcock spatchcock spatchcock

There you go then, lad.


"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 believe trussing is bullshit. I'd like for someone to prove me wrong but I doubt they can.

Hmmmm, lets not give up on trussing so quickly.

There lives a very old lady (probably dead now or pushing 100) in Bordeaux who believes in trussing chickens for good reason. She trusses the wings backwards and up over the breast of the bird. The legs are tied to stick straight out.

The look of the bird when it is finished is very long and almost all one thickness from neck to tip of the leg. This allows an even cooking with a maximum amount of exposure to crisp the skin

She used to laugh at the British about (among other things) how they trussed their birds to be fat and compact (just like the average Brit she would say).

This works extremely well on quails, pheasants and Guinea fowl


Chef/Owner/Teacher

Website: Chef Fowke dot com

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. . . wings backwards and up over the breast of the bird. The legs are tied to stick straight out.

The look of the bird when it is finished is very long and almost all one thickness from neck to tip of the leg. This allows an even cooking with a maximum amount of exposure to crisp the skin . . .

This kind of trussing makes some sense. How do you get the legs to stay in position? Do you have to break the joints?


Dave Scantland
Executive director
dscantland@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics signatory

Eat more chicken skin.

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When tying the chicken the string starts forward of the wings (one turn around each wing) and is pulled tight around the neck and back around under the thighs. The string is then wrapped up, around and down between the chicken legs. It is tied off around the lower drumstick making a very long and thin chicken. :blink:

I hope that makes sense....


Chef/Owner/Teacher

Website: Chef Fowke dot com

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Hmmmm, lets not give up on trussing so quickly.

OK, I haven't set up the energy balance differential equation to examine the thermodynamics of this thing but:

1) The thigh takes the longest to cook

2) Trussing the bird decreases the surface area of the thigh/leg.

How could trussing it make it cook more evenly? Please offer some scientific explanation, not heresay.

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Hmmmm, lets not give up on trussing so quickly.

OK, I haven't set up the energy balance differential equation to examine the thermodynamics of this thing but:

1) The thigh takes the longest to cook

2) Trussing the bird decreases the surface area of the thigh/leg.

How could trussing it make it cook more evenly? Please offer some scientific explanation, not heresay.

Simple, the thighs are not tucked and tied as in the traditional way of Trussing. The maximum amount of area of the thigh is exposed to the heat source to help with an even cooking.

To make it clearer...the final trussed bird looks like it is lying on its back with its arms crossed over its head and it legs s t r e t c h e d out and crossed. If the traditional trussed bird is 12 inches long this trussing method produces a bird stretched to 16 - 18 inches.

If I had a chicken in my hand right now I would truss it and take a photo...(coming soon! Maybe tomorrow night). :unsure:


Chef/Owner/Teacher

Website: Chef Fowke dot com

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Hmmmm, lets not give up on trussing so quickly.

OK, I haven't set up the energy balance differential equation to examine the thermodynamics of this thing but:

1) The thigh takes the longest to cook

2) Trussing the bird decreases the surface area of the thigh/leg.

How could trussing it make it cook more evenly? Please offer some scientific explanation, not heresay.

If I understand the technique Chef Fowke is suggesting, it stretches the chicken lengthwise and pulls the thigh away from the body of the chicken. This would actually be more effective than just letting the chicken lie without support.

That's if I understand the technique.

Regardless, I'm having trouble with the geometry described in your subsequent explanation, CF -- particularly the thigh part. Is this one of those things I won't understand until I've actually done it?

edit: cross-posted with the Chef. I'll wait for the photo.


Edited by Dave the Cook (log)

Dave Scantland
Executive director
dscantland@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics signatory

Eat more chicken skin.

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Hmm, I think I see what you're saying and you may be right Chef Fowke. At least we can all agree that tying the bird up like a bowling ball doesn't work.

You should take a picture and then we can have Dave do a science experiment.

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Does it make a difference whether the chicken is French, British, American, Canadian, Chinese, or some other nationality? After all, there are variations in the way everyone butchers. Meat, I mean.

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I hate to trusss, probably because I'm not very good at it, and agree that it can usually be ignored. However, if using a rotisserie, is there any other technique that can equal trussing as a way of keeping the bird in place as it rotates?

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How much water, salt, time etc...do you use to brine a 3.5 lb bird?  :unsure:

Also for little 1 lb. Cornish Game hens, Rocks, etc.

I always thought trussing was for stuffed birds.

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The following recipe is is about as easy as it gets and utilizes the "low and slow" method of cooking in the oven resulting in the most succulent chicken meat I've ever had, and I'm accustomed to velveted chicken which is incredibly tender (I call it melt in your mouth meat).

Every time we've made this for guests, it's a fabulous hit and the recipe has to be distributed. The recipe is all over the net as well because of it's popularity.

Mimi's Sticky Chicken

This is the best and easiest roast chicken you've ever tasted. It seems a little strange, but it's the only one my family will eat, and company loves it, too!

* 2 teaspoons salt

* 1 teaspoon paprika

* 3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

* 1/2 teaspoon onion powder

* 1/2 teaspoon thyme

* 1/2 teaspoon white pepper

* 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

* 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

* 1 whole roasting chicken, about 3 pounds

* 1 cup chopped onions

Combine all spices (first 8 ingredients) in small bowl.

Rinse chicken, inside and out. Drain well.

Rub spice mixture over skin and the inside of chicken.

Place in a resealable plastic bag, seal and refrigerate overnight.

When ready to roast, stuff cavity with onions.

Place chicken breast side down in roasting pan.

Roast uncovered at 250¼F (that's not a typo...it's really 250¼! Anything over 225¼ is safe as long as the chicken reaches an internal temperature of at least 155¼, which this does, and more) for about 5 hours. Baste occasionally with pan juices or until pan juices start to caramelize on bottom of pan and chicken is golden brown.

Serves 4.

Enjoy!

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How much water, salt, time etc...do you use to brine a 3.5 lb bird?  :unsure:

I find it easier to put an egg into the water and add the kosher salt until the egg floats.


Chef/Owner/Teacher

Website: Chef Fowke dot com

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