Sunday, March 1, 2009

Roast Chicken

Here's a recipe that I tried for the first time this week that I think came out superb. Actually, it's the roasting technique that I tried out for the first time. Here's the thing about a whole roasted chicken - there are two separate pieces to the recipe. First you have the seasoning/flavor components and second you have the roasting technique. The seasoning is the easy part - just use what you like. But the technique can be the difference between a bird that cooks perfectly in an hour and a bird that comes out still raw in the middle. The technique I used was from Cook's Illustrated New Best Recipes cookbook and after tasting the results, I plan on using it again and again.

Roast Chicken
1 3-4 lb whole chicken, giblets removed
1 carrot, cut or snapped into 2-3 inch pieces
1 celery stalk, cut or snapped into 2-3 inch pieces
1/2 a medium onion
2 cloves of garlic
olive oil
dried thyme

1. Pre-heat oven to 375oF
2. Rinse chicken. Dry well.
3. Lightly coat entire chicken with oil
4. Place Stuff carrot, celery, onion, and garlic in cavity
5. Season with salt, pepper, and thyme - be sure to add some to the cavity as well
6. Place chicken, wing-side up, on v-rack in roasting pan (yes, wing-side up) - if you don't have a v-rack, use some tin foil molded into a ring to help prop the chicken up
7. Roast for 15 minutes
8. Rotate chicken so the other wing is up
9. Roast for 15 minuted
10. Rotate chicken, breast-side up
11. Turn oven up to 450oF
12. Roast for another 25-35 minutes
13. Remove from oven when an instant-read thermometer registers 170oF in the middle of the thigh
14. Place chicken on cutting board and let rest, uncovered, for 10 minutes before carving

The chicken came out incredible - perfectly browned on the outside and moist on the inside. I served it with some rice pilaf and a mixed greens salad (for the grown ups; the kids had carrot sticks with ranch dressing). Everyone cleaned their plates. We got the chicken on sale at Whole Foods for $1.99/lb, so all told, this meal probably cost under $12 total. Actually, with leftovers and a chicken carcass to make soup with, I'll end up with two home cooked meals using quality ingredients for under $12. Not a bad deal if you ask me.

1 comment:

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