Perfect Roast Chicken

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by cerise, Oct 22, 2013.

  1. cerise

    cerise Banned

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    Roasted chicken is real comfort food, for me.  How do you roast yours?  Do you add veggies, put herbs under the skin or in the cavity? Any tips or tricks?  Make my mouth water. Show me your favorite/best roasted chicken :)
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2013
  2. ordo

    ordo

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  3. dillbert

    dillbert Banned

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    in stark raving madness to so many "perfect" methods involving brining, etc., followed by blast roasting in a hot oven, I've worked out my grandmother's secret....  she used a cast iron coal stove / oven, I've got a dial....err, actually a digital thingie...

    starting with a non-frozen chicken....

    using a V-shaped rack

    for maximum pretty tie up the legs over the cavity

    skin on, breast side up; oiled & salted & peppered (minimum treatment....)

    into the oven at 245-275'F for a long time.

    how long is long?  a 5-7 pound chicken, two - three hours easy;  thermometer is required - I bring mine up to roughly 145'-150'F internal, deepest part of the breast - implies knowledge/practice in "how to take the bird's temp"

    when the bird is essentially cooked, jack up the oven temp to 435-475'F and brown the skin crispy.  takes no more than 20-30 minutes depending on how fast the oven comes up to temp.  it's pretty easy to "hold" the chicken at a lower temp for another 30-60 minutes allowing "perfect" timing.

    this works if you're willing to accept temperatures less that the 1650'F minimum deepest internal poultry temperature recommended by the government... (okay okay, it's only 165'F min....) cooking poultry  to 165'F+ requires consumption in concert with lots of liquids - because at those temperatures, not much left but chicken dust.

    ...minimum treatment...

    one can stuff the cavity with any number of things - mostly "aromatics" - things that when they get hot give off smells.  onion (family), peppers, citrus are among the usual suspects; plus herbs - rosemary/thyme/sage (I hate sage...)

    the brining / butter / compound butter under the skin, and other 'tricks' etc., is aimed at making for a moist juicy chicken.  well, the low & slow roasting does not create a juicy moist bird, it keeps the naturally moist and juicy bird from becoming a dried out chunk of chicken leather . . .

    but everybody loves the sights & crunch of a crisp skin - so that I "create" at the end - rapidly, so as to not affect the underlying bit of the chicken..... the fat in the skin has to get to (about) 300'F before it browns and crisps - so more hotter more faster is bestest.

    the downside to this method is one cannot come home at 5:30 and have the chicken on the table at 6:00.  takes time.
     
  4. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    I use a technique I picked up from Cook's Illustrated for a high roast chicken. I've taken to just koshering my chickens and skipping the brining. 







    I might like the potatoes even more than the chicken. 
     
  5. french fries

    french fries

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    Funny, I cooked my first slow-roasted chicken like that yesterday, on an indirect gas grill. It was delicious!!
     
  6. cerise

    cerise Banned

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    Last edited: Oct 22, 2013
  7. cerise

    cerise Banned

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    Good tips.  Thank you, Dillbert.
     
  8. siduri

    siduri

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    I usually put some butter rolled in chopped chives and marjoram, cracked black and pink pepper and cracked coriander seeds, under the skin.  I take 1 inch, strips of cold butter, they fit easier under the skin, and push it over the drumsticks

    I don't truss the chicken.

    I put it on a baking parchment paper laid directly on a very wide, very long,  and very low-sided thick aluminum baking pan (no more than an inch high, maybe less) - one that will hold the chicken and several potatoes cut lenghthwise in wedges.

    I put the chicken on the paper.  Cut the potatoes lenghthwise into fairly thin wedges (the wide side no thicker than a finger, and coming to a point on the opposite side), toss in black pepper, salt and oil.  Strew them around the chicken, IN ONE LAYER and not crowding the chicken.  I don;t want to create steam around the chicken with high sides of the pan or potatoes mounded around it. 

    The oven is preheated to the maximum (480 or whatever it is) and put it all on a low shelf (rack) of the oven.  My oven is gas and the gas is on the bottom.  That's how i like it. 

    I cook at this very high heat until the leg feels somewhat wobbly (not too much or ready to fall out) and then i stick a very thin sharp knife into a couple of the thickest parts, leave them a second, and then touch over my upper lip.  It should feel hot, but only just hot.  I also check pressing around the cut place to see if the juice runs yellow (done) or pink (not done)

    Turn the potatoes halfway through, when they;re nice and browned. 

    I don;lt turn it, i don't put it on a rack, i salt it afterwards (for fear it draws out water).  The potatoes come nice and crisp (especially the thin side) and soft inside, the chicken extremely juicy with crisp skin.  perfect. 
     
  9. dillbert

    dillbert Banned

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    >>i salt it afterwards (for fear it draws out water).

    try it before, you may likely like it.  true, salt draws out moisture/water. 

    but, included in the extraction are proteins, etc., which make for  "really dang good surface stuff"

    please don't "judge" how/why/whetherfore salting a chicken is more better / more worse based on what the potatoes like.

    I can concur - unsalted cooked potatoes taste like . . . hmmm, at a loss here . . . but would "not good" suffice?
     
  10. french fries

    french fries

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    I agree with Dillbert Siduri. Extracting the moisture from skin also means a crispier skin. I always salt roasts BOTH before cooking and after carving.
     
  11. chicagoterry

    chicagoterry

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    My go-to roast chicken recipe comes from Molly Stevens who has written wonderful books on both roasting and braising. It's the most fool-proof method I've found and it is always juicy and well-seasoned.  It involves heavily salting the bird 8-48 hours before you roast it--the longer the better--and leaving it uncovered in the fridge. Then you smear it with butter or oil and place it on a bed of lemon or onion slices and put it in a hot oven with the thighs facing the back, where the oven is hottest.

    Here's the whole thing:

    http://mollystevenscooks.com/recipes-page/basic-roast-chicken/
     
  12. koukouvagia

    koukouvagia

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    How do I roast chicken, let me count the ways.  I roast it like this, in a skillet just large enough to hold the chicken and a few veggies, this makes a really good gravy.


    Or like this, sitting on a rack, also very good because the rack sits ontop of the potatoes which are yummy.


    There's no right way or wrong way.  You can roast it slow in a low oven or hot and fast, I don't season under the skin, I don't use butter, I sometimes stuff the cavity with herbs and onion or citrus, and sometimes I don't put anything in there at all.  Sometimes I use rosemary, sometimes I use oregano, sometimes both.  It's all good.  Sometimes I cook it upside down and then turn it right side up to get ultra crispiness all around.  There's dozens more ways I want to try, because they're all good and they will all give results.  I'm not a restaurant so I'm under no obligation to replicate my food exactly time and time again.  It can and will always be different.

    But to be honest, my favorite and go-to way to roast chicken is to do it in parts - first I cook a roasting pan of potatoes, kielbasa and veggies for a half hour, then I nestle in drumsticks and thighs upside down and cook for 20, then turn them over and cook another 15 and it's perfect.

     
  13. dillbert

    dillbert Banned

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    >>Funny, I cooked my first slow-roasted chicken like that yesterday, on an indirect gas grill. It was delicious!!

    sorry, got distracted and lost track of this thread.

    I'm a big time major convert to the low&slow methods for chicken, beef, pork.  working from home, I have the

    luxury of tending the kitchen over ‘the whole dang day’ – however, not everyone is in the same boat….

    Sear off a pork tenderloin, 10-15 minutes in a 275’ oven to “de-pink” – absolutely melt in yo’ mouth.  Etc etc.

    Without question, given the experience and expertise one can crank up the hot box to 475’F and do a very good job.  The key methinks is in the experience factor – eateries are fond of bragging about their ten million Kelvin degree ovens/cookers – I’ll take low&slow (g)
     
  14. nicko

    nicko Founder of Cheftalk.com Staff Member

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    For me keeping it simple is the best. Season the meat with salt and pepper, put a little butter on top to baste and then I roast it at 350 till almost done then turn up the temp to 375 to crisp the skin. While I have experimented with brining and it does help I find selecting the right chicken often cancels the need to brine. Typically I use Miller Amish chickens for the best results and no larger than 3-4 pounds. 

    One alternative method I enjoy is dicing up a small block of mozzarella cheese (small dice) and tossing it with garlic, lemon zest, fresh thyme, salt and pepper. I then put the mix underneath the skin of the breast and the legs and roast it. The cheese gets nice and melted and also protects the breast meat. It is quite tasty actually. Learned this from a fellow chef college @ckoetke  years ago.
     
  15. cerise

    cerise Banned

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    K, your birds look DEELISH!

    Nicko, I keep it simple too. See, I would never have thought of adding mozzarella. (You reminded me of  turkey breast stuffed with mozzarella, prosciutto, spinach etc.  I'm already thinking about Thanksgiving.  Can you tell?  LOL.) Will keep it in mind. Thank you.  :)
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2013
  16. french fries

    french fries

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    @Cerise  Nice avatar. /img/vbsmilies/smilies/lol.gif
     
  17. cerise

    cerise Banned

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    Hahahahaha.  Thanks French Fries.
     
  18. rick alan

    rick alan

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    I preheat the convection oven at 452F before tossing in the untrussed chicken on a flat wire rack over a ceramic plate to catch the drippings, and after 5:55 min at that setting I lower it to 441 and go for another 22:22.  I then open the oven to cool to 275 and continue at that temp for about an hour depending on weight.  Nice crispy skin, nice juicy meat.

    A point I haven't heard yet is that you don't want the meat to be too juicy, you do have to concentrate some of that juice to get the flavor.  So no covering with foil and other foolishness I've heard elsewhere on the net.

    It's a bit more elaborate when I want the vegies to catch the drippings, but not far off from what others have described.  I like to shield or even isolate them from the high temps as I here I don't want the taters crisped/overcooked or my onions singed.

    WARNIG!

    You must use my exact numbers for the first 28:17 of cooking or court absolute disaster.

    Rick
     
  19. dillbert

    dillbert Banned

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    >>WARNIG!

    >>You must use my exact numbers for the first 28:17 of cooking or court absolute disaster.

    or one could just start low & slow and crisp up the skin at the end.  which curiously does not court absolute disaster.....
     
  20. rick alan

    rick alan

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    I will have to first check the numbers on that. ;-)~

    Rick