Monday, April 28, 2014

Roast Chicken

We like roasted chicken.  I didn't make it all that often, though, because the recipe I used, from Cook's Illustrated, was kind of fussy (a lot of their recipes are).  But then I started using a modified version of this recipe from the New York Times.  It's simple and has worked every time.  Now we have roast chicken about once a month.
  1. Brine chicken for several hours (see Rule #4)
  2. Put large skillet (I use a 13" cast iron pan) in oven and pre-heat to 475ºF
  3. Remove the wing tips and spatchcock the chicken by cutting out the backbone (the NYT recipe doesn't call for spatchcocking it, but I think it's better that way, and you get to say "spatchcock.".  Save the backbone and wing tips for making stock.)
  4. Coat with salt & pepper. Or, rub with garlic, herbs, and butter, putting butter under the skin.  Or use your favorite seasoning blend.  Do whatever you want.  Don't use too much salt, though, since the chicken was brined.
  5. Place chicken in pan, breast side up, splaying out the legs so the thighs contact the pan.
  6. Roast for 40 - 45 minutes.
  7. Let chicken rest for about 5 minutes before cutting it into pieces.

Commercial poultry farms are horrible places.  We try to always get our chickens from farmers' markets or at least get free-range ones at the grocery.  Those really aren't "free range" like you imagine, but at least they're better.  Egg farmers are even worse than chicken farmers, if you can believe that.
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