Wednesday, July 18, 2012

2012 Kitchen Bucket List Challenge: Roast Chicken

As part of my 2012 Kitchen Bucket List Challenge, I decided to take on roasting a chicken.

I was originally going to use Bethenny Frankel’s Boyfriend Chicken recipe, but then I decided it just had too many ingredients. I wanted a recipe that used salt, pepper and chicken. I found this one  by Thomas Keller. Thomas Keller is the chef behind two of the best restaurants in the United States.

This recipe is the exact opposite of almost every other roast chicken recipe I saw while perusing the internet. Most recipes suggest roasting the chicken at 350 degrees for an hour a half or two hours. Keller’s recipe cranks up the heat to 450 degrees for an hour. This leads to smoke and grease splatters inside the oven. A small price to pay for this awesome chicken.

Before I handled the chicken,I poured some salt and pepper into a bowl so I wouldn’t contaminate my salt and pepper shakers. The first steps are to rinse the bird, remove the sack of yuck from the inside cavity and then pay dry. I coated the bird inside and out with salt and pepper. Then the recipe said to truss the bird. Yep, had to look that one up on the internet. Basically it means tying it together so it cooks more evenly. Here’s a video that I found very helpful:

I tied it up and let it rest while I waited for the oven to pre-heat. This gave the salt sometime to work its magic. Into the 450 degree oven it went.
The spattering sounds started with the first 10 minutes.
Within the first 20 minutes,  wisps of smoke were escaping from the oven.
At 22 minutes, I turned on all the fans in the kitchen and started biting my finger nails.
At 40 minutes, the bird was turning a lovely golden brown.
At 55 minutes, I put a meat thermometer into the breast. It came out 170 degrees so I took it out of the oven.
 I used a basting brush to take the fat from the bottom of the pan and brush over the chicken. Then moved the chicken from the pan to a cutting board. It looked like this:

I did a little dance. The recipe recommended letting it rest for 15 minutes. Do not tent it with foil. If you want crispy skin – you cannot tent. The end result was a delicious, juicy roast chikcken.

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