Saturday, January 29, 2011

I roast chickens just to eat the crispy skin.

Roasted chicken is one of those memories I attach with happy childhood things. Now that I think of it, most of my sentimental memories are food related.
The best part of roasting a chicken is the crispy, fatty, salty, garlic skin. My father can roast an AMAZING chicken with THE BEST skin. Upper caps are needed for the level of good we are talking. My sister and I used to fight over the skin like hungry coyotes. Tender, juicy chicken meat and crispy skin. If you can pull them off together you win. So here's what I had...
-3.75 of a pound fresh whole chicken (This one had no liver or heart, get one with the guts for really)
-Garlic salt
-Fresh Thyme

I'm always careful with cross contamination of raw products. I had food poisoning once and it will teach you a lesson you'll never forget. Something about chicken, I'm twice as careful. I think it's all the juices that can splash everywhere, airborne meat juice. No. I open the chicken in a clean sink, with the roasting pan very near by. I'll even rinse the extra liquid out of the wrap with hot water before throwing it away.
Rip a large paper towel first, place the chicken on the wrack then begin dabbing dry the chicken. A dry chicken will get crispy skin so dry it over, under, and all around. Become friends with the chicken, because you're about to become better friends with the chicken...
Slide your fingers between the skin and the breast to create a pocket. Be gentle, you don't want to tear her up after all (Ha! Ha!). Using 2 tablespoons of soft butter, place it under the skin. Make sure it's spread out a bit, but you don't have to go crazy. It's important not to rip the skin. I'll even rub a thin layer of butter on the outside of the whole chicken.
Roasting with celery, carrots, and onions is always a great idea. They make magic together. Rough chop these.
I stuck some of the veggie trio inside the chicken cavity before tying the chicken. Tying the legs and wings close to the body help with the cooking. I spread the rest of the veggies around the pan. Season the chicken generously with the spices. Letting the chicken sit for fifteen minutes also helps the skin dry out a bit more.
To help myself clean up as I go I keep a brown bag on the ground next to me when I cook. It just helps keep my set up trash-free as I go. A dog also will help pick up dropped cut veggies.
When cooking a chicken it's 20 minutes per-pound + 20 minutes. My chicken weight 3.75 lbs.
Here's some math 3.75 x 20+ 20= 75 minutes.
I preheated the oven for 450 degrees. Roast the chicken at this heat for fifteen minutes. Lower the heat to 350 degrees for the remainder of cooking time. I've had the best success with this cooking time and temp process. Once the cooking time is over remove from oven. Break the skin by the leg and second joint to check to see if the juices from the chicken run clear to know if it's done. Let the chicken rest 10 minutes before carving it. I put my chicken on a cutting board that is sitting in a rimmed cookie sheet. It will run juices when you begin to carve. The cookie sheet will catch the juices and avoid a huge mess. (Don't waist this juice add it to gravy!)
This chicken was a knock out. The skin was super crispy and the meat was super moist. Another time I'll show you how I make gravy with the extra chicken parts this one didn't come with. It's just not the same without it.

1 comment:

  1. You have explained so much here that has been lacking in my attempts at roasting chicken. I'm going to try it your way. I love your detailed explanations of timing and getting the chicken in the pan without getting chicken juices all over the place.