Tuesday, February 28, 2012

How to Roast a Chicken

I can confidentially say I make a fantastic roast chicken.  It’s that kind of meal I know I can always fall back on.  Perfect for Sunday Dinner, entertaining a couple of guests, or even on a weeknight.  Best part is you can make chicken pot pie with the leftovers (if there are any) and you can also make a stock.

These are the steps to a basic chicken, once you have this mastered add other seasonings.  Next time try stuffing the cavity with thyme or tarragon, and half a lemon... anything that appeals to you.  

Here are the steps:

Preheat oven to 400F.

Remove giblets (if not already removed by butcher) and give the chicken a rinse inside and out.  Pat dry with a paper towel.  Tuck chicken legs in making a hole in the skin and tucking one leg under the other putting one leg through the hole.  My butcher does this already.  You can also tie with kitchen string.  This keeps the tips of the legs from burning.

Place the chicken in a roasting pan with a little water or chicken stock on the bottom.

Brush with olive oil, season well with kosher salt and pepper, and finish with a pad of butter on top.  So here’s the trick, when I say “season well” I mean use a lot of salt, when you think you’ve used enough, add more.  You won’t find me saying that with any other recipes, but with chicken, it gives the skin that amazing flavour and crispiness everybody loves.

Cook until the skin is turning a golden brown colour.  I never use a meat thermometer with roast chicken.  All you have to do is take one of the legs and give it a shake, and when the leg breaks apart easily from the skin it’s done.  Cover loosely with foil and let rest for 5-10 minutes before carving.

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