tell me about roast chicken...

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by ladyhazy, Apr 26, 2006.

  1. ladyhazy

    ladyhazy

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    Well... pretty much apparently, I joined this forum in my desperation. I'm a college student in a course that requires us to take nutrition classes. And that means cooking... yes it does.

    I just wanted to ask if it's possible to roast a chicken in an hour.
    If it is, that's really great! I've never roast a chicken before and we have a time limit (and i think we'll need about an hour because we have to prepare it for some time).

    The recipes i've found require it to cook for about two hours. PLEASE help me here... :cry:
     
  2. suzanne

    suzanne

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    Welcome to the wonderful world of cooking!! :D Once you learn how, you'll never want to give it up.

    Seriously: yes, you can roast a chicken in an hour. The key is to get as smallish one, maybe about 3 pounds. You also need an oven, a pan or baking dish to roast the chicken in, and a wire rack that fits in the pan.

    If the chicken comes wrapped in plastic, take off the wrapping, and reach in and pull out the little bag of giblets inside the cavity. (You can throw them away if they scare you. :p )

    Take a bunch of paper towels and dry the chicken thoroughly, inside and out. For the inside, just wad up a bunch and shove them in; don't forget to pull them out again, since they don't taste good cooked.

    Sprinkle a little salt inside and all over the outside. You don't have to use a lot of salt, and table salt is okay. But don't skip the salt; it really helps the flavor.

    Put the chicken on the rack breast side up and put the rack in the pan. Put the whole thing in the refrigerator while the oven is heating. You don't need to cover the chicken; in fact, it will be crisper if you can let it sit this way in the fridge for a few hours or even a day. But if you don't have time, just turn on the oven to 450 degrees F. Make sure first that there is a rack placed in the middle, with enough room above for the chicken to fit without hitting the rack above.

    This next part is very important: thoroughly wash the surface where you were working, and your hands, and anything that chicken juice might have gotten on.

    Once the oven is hot enough (to be sure, it helps to have an oven thermometer in it), take the chicken out of the fridge and put the whole thing into the oven on that middle rack. Close the door. Set a timer for 45 minutes, and open the kitchen windows, since this might make the kitchen a little smoky. :eek:

    When the timer goes off, open the oven door, and using oven mitts or a folded over DRY towel, pull out the pan with the chicken and put it on a burner (turned OFF, please!). Close the oven again. Jiggle one of the chicken's legs; if it moves easily, the chicken is probably done. To be sure, stick a fork into the space where the leg meets the body: if the juices run out pink, stick the chicken back in the oven for another 5 minutes, then pull it out again and stick it with a fork on the other side. When it's done, the juices will be fainly yellow, almost colorless.

    Let the chicken rest for a few minutes (it's tired from all that poking :) ), then cut it apart. If the dark meat still looks a little pink, put it back in the pan and back in the oven for another 5 minutes. But the whole thing should be fully cooked by now. Enjoy!

    (for those reading along, this is an adaptation of a recipe in James Peterson's Glorious French Food. He has you cook a 4-pound bird for 50 minutes at 450, which I found gave a perfectly cooked breast but still rawish legs and thighs. I figure a smaller bird will work fine with that time and temperature.)
     
  3. ladyhazy

    ladyhazy

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    whew! thanks! you might have just saved our lives! I'll try that tomorrow. thank you thank you thank you. i was worried it wasn't even possible!
     
  4. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    Suzanne's instructions are pretty good and similar to the method I use most which I learned from Cook's Illustrated.

    Cook's illustrated shingles the bottom of the roasting pan with thin sliced potatoes. They cook along with the chicken and absorb the flavors of the chicken. The potatoes also stop the smoke as the hot fat isn't alone in the bottom of the pan. They'll stick like crazy, but if you line the roasting pan with the Release type foil, they slip right out. A non-stick roasting pan works fine too.

    Where I really differ with Suzanne is that I'd let the chicken sit on the counter for 20-30 minutes before roasting to bring the chicken closer to room temp. In my experience, this helps eliminate that pink thigh problem as the whole chicken doesn't have that refrigerator chill anymore.

    Phil
     
  5. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    Oops, one more thing, I usually butterfly it as that helps it cook evenly too. Not as pretty to present though.

    Phil
     
  6. nowiamone

    nowiamone

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    I butterfly open also, cutting the back bones entirely out with my kitchen shearsand cracking the breast bone so it lays flat. I also have started roasting my turkeys this way also. Half the time and a wonderful "roasted" flavor.
     
  7. mezzaluna

    mezzaluna

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    I just butterflied a chicken, cut out the rib cage and keel bone, and have it marinating in olive oil, garlic, lemon juice and rind, Italian herb mix, ground rosemary, salt and pepper. I cut into the leg/thigh joints.

    My husband calls this "roadkill chicken" because the first time I did it, the fire was too hot and the skin got charred; it looked like it had been run over! :blush:
     
  8. suzanne

    suzanne

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    Well, yeah, letting the bird come to room temp is helpful -- I just didn't want to give "unsanitary" advice to a newbie. :p

    Darn, I hadn't even thought about spatchcocking the bird -- the fancy name for butterflying -- but that still qualifies as roast chicken. And it gives a much more evenly cooked chicken. I don't think it's an unattractive presentation at all (well, maybe it could be kind of unappetizing if it gets burnt. :eek: ). Especially if it's done nicely, ALL the skin gets golden and crisp. And we all know that the skin is the best part. :lips:

    I hope LadyHazy reports back on how it worked. If there was a problem and she has to do it again, she can try butterflying it. Aw mom, roast chicken AGAIN? :lol: