Saturday, April 5, 2014

DINNER: The Ultimate Roast Chicken

Roast chicken is a dinner classic.  How could I continue experimenting with other recipes until I
mastered this very basic, and very elegant main dish? I couldn't.  I set my sights on perfecting my roast chicken; I pored over all kinds of recipes, including Thomas Keller's.  I learned that the key to making an amazing roast chicken was keeping the bird dry - apparently a moist bird creates steam in the oven, which results in a dry chicken.

Here's what I came up with...hope you enjoy it as much as I did:

Serving Size: 3-4

  • One whole chicken - skin on, guts removed
  • Sea salt
  • Pepper
  • Crushed garlic (bottled is fine)
  • Vinegar
  • Preheat oven to 420 degrees
  • Defrost your chicken naturally (i.e. don't use the microwave)
  • Soak the chicken in vinegar (I use full strength white vinegar, and simply soak the chicken in a bowl of it - turn the chicken in the vinegar bath until all sides have soaked for at least 5 minutes) - this gets rid of the foul chicken smell, which is incredibly strong when you reheat chicken
  • Remove the chicken from the vinegar bath - dry the chicken inside and out with a paper towel
  • Lift the skin and apply crushed garlic directly onto the chicken (underneath the skin)
  • Generously coat the chicken in sea salt - a tablespoon should do the job
  • Sprinkle black pepper all over the chicken
  • Put the chicken on a rack (or slotted plate) over a tray. I didn't have a rack so I used chopsticks to prop my chicken above a pie plate (and placed chopped potatoes underneath the bird - these cooked in the released chicken juices)
  • Bake for 50-60 minutes - try to avoid opening the oven until at least 45 minutes into the baking process

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