Friday, July 29, 2011

Roasted Chicken

This is a simple roasted chicken that anybody can do. The most important part to master is how to properly truss a chicken. Serve with its own natural jus.

1 3 1/2-4 lb organic chicken
Butcher's Twine

Preheat oven to 425 degrees with rack in the center of oven. In a separate bowl, combine 2 tbsp Kosher salt and 1 tsp freshly ground pepper (if this is too much salt and pepper for you, use less...but, it won't be as good). Rinse the chicken and then pat it dry with paper towels thoroughly. Use a pinch or two to salt and pepper the inside cavity of the chicken. 

Removing Wishbone:

This step is very important to being able to cut the chicken properly after it is cooked. If you clean the wishbone and let it dry, make a wish and hope it comes true.

At the neck of the chicken, locate with your fingers the wishbone. It will feel like an upside-down "V". With a pairing knife, cut around the wishbone and remove in one piece. Sometimes this takes practice and it will break, but make sure you get both sides and the top piece. Now you are ready to truss your chicken.

Trussing the Chicken:

This step is very important to ensure even cooking and a plumper looking chicken. 
Step 1: Cut off the upper wings because they will just burn, leaving the wing itself.
Step 2: Using about 2 feet of butcher's twine, turn the chicken legs away from you, and wrap twine around the bottom legs and make an "X" as shown above. 

Step 3: Tighten the "X" and wrap around the bottom of the thigh, covering the wing and bringing it around to the neck bone, wrap twine around it and knot tightly. If there is not enough neck bone, it is OK to just bring the twine past the wing and underneath. Cut the extra twine off and season your chicken all over with the rest of the salt and pepper. 
Side Note: You can also add garlic power or spices such as thyme, rosemary, sage, and you can stuff the cavity with a clove of garlic and a sprig of thyme or rosemary. I prefer plain so I can play with the sauce.

Put the seasoned chicken in a roasting pan or saute pan large enough to hold the chicken with room on the sides. If the pan is too big, the juices will burn. Put the chicken in the center of the rack in your oven, and roast for approximately 1 and a half hours or until internal temperature of thigh is 165 degrees. There is no need to open the over or baste the chicken. Remove promptly and let sit for 10 minutes before you carve it. Defat the jus and serve.

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