An Opinionated Way to Roast a Chicken

What's your favorite way?

24th Jan 2011

Roast Chicken in the Oven

Having roasted many, many chickens in my cooking life, I've come to the opinion that there is no way to roast a chicken without some kind of opinion. You may get away with tossing an untrussed chicken into the oven with a shower of salt, maybe a lemon in the cavity, and calling it dinner, pretending to be as careless as possible.  But that's still an opinion. So is planning days ahead of ti...

The Importance of Jus: Two Chickens in One Meal

How the most chickeny chicken dish imaginable.

10th Aug 2009

twochickens 24

Every morning we would roast thirty-six chickens just for their juices, rather than for the meat...Thirty-six chicken provided enough juices for thirty portions of freshly cooked chicken. In other words, the customer had the juice of more than one whole chicken accompanying his dish...It was extreme.
- Marco Pierre White, Devil in the Kitchen

The flavor of natural roasting juices...can...

A Return Home: Roast Chicken with Crispy Drippings Croûtons

What Nick cooks when he feels nostalgic for simplicity.

10th Mar 2009

crispydrippingscroutons02

I think part of the reason I took a break from roast chicken was the rising absurdity of my preparations.  A few years ago I had chased after juicy meat and crispy skin, by trying various combinations of slow roasting , extreme slow roasting , experiments with baking soda , and high, high heat .  The results were often spectacular, if never quite practical.  And somewhere alo...

The Gateway Stock: What to Do With Leftover Roast Chicken

29th Feb 2008

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As a cook, I've been rather reluctant to prepare homemade stock.  I give the usual litany of excuses: too much hassle, not enough time, not cost-effective.  I keep a little jar of Better than Bouillon in my fridge door (one chicken, one beef, one vegetable) and I've always got instant stock whenever I need it, in small quantities or large.   I don't have to worry about it going off, beca...

Crisp-Skinned Roast Chicken, via Baking Powder

6th Feb 2008

crisp skinned roast chicken 01

Sometimes I can’t even follow my own train of thought.  I was buying some butcher's twine at a kitchen supply store because I figured it was time to learn how to truss a chicken.  I had skated around the issue for a year or so because Barbara Kafka had told me not to worry about it.  She said it was unnecessary and even detrimental to the cooking process.  But maybe that was just for her...

Gorgefest Saturday

Manhattan. 1 day. 9 Restaurants.

26th Nov 2007

saturday gorgefest 01

I hadn’t been to New York since my exodus in July and I returned with a plan.  I wasn’t going to waste any moment visiting attractions, or seeing a Broadway play.  I lived there for two years, so it felt right to walk back in and get to what I spent most of my time doing: eating.  And with the Paupered Chefs reunited for the first time in half a year, it really wasn't that hard for ou...

Fastest Roast Chicken

3rd Sep 2007

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I’m not sure why I never thought of this technique before.  The biggest problem I have with most of the chickens I roast is that the white and dark meat are done at different times.  It’s the great paradox of whole roasted chickens: they should probably be roasted separately.  To get the dark meat done I usually have to dry out the white, or dig into a wing when I know it probably shoul...

How Low Can You Go?

20th Apr 2007

slow slow chicken 2

I tend to get caught up on certain cook book authors, and for the past month it has been all about Heston Blumenthal. Head chef at the Fat Duck in the U.K., his cookbook In Search of Perfection has been fostering idea after crazy idea.  In a Serious Eats article, we wrote about cooking a pizza on the bottom of a cast iron skillet , to great success.  The best part is that his mad-...

Slow-Roasted Chicken

19th Feb 2007

slow roasted chicken 3

I realize now things have gotten out of control.  What started as a simple pursuit to find the ultimate method to roast a chicken has taken up way too much of my time.  I like to roast a chicken at least once a week.  But this is less a ritual than a weekly torture session.  Rather than repeat the same well-worn recipe that has been time-tested and approved, I try something new every singl...

On the Difficulty of Roasting a Good Chicken

5th Dec 2006

Herb_roasted_chicken_23 There's a passage in Anthony Bourdain's book of bistro recipes, Les Halles , that goes something like this: "If you can't roast a chicken, you are a sorry, incompetent idiot who should dig his own grave."  Apparently, roasting a chicken should be marvelously easy: throw salt and pepper on that bad boy, put into the oven, and out comes a crisp-skinned, succulent, juicy, hot dinner, twice as...

Zuni Cafe''s Roast Chicken

The heat was intense, but this roast chicken was the best yet

8th Aug 2006

roastchicken6 1

Yeah, it's true, I did decide to roast a chicken on the hottest day of the year , much to the chagrin of my girlfriend, my neighbor Jason, and my brow which had to battle the entire evening against a downfall of sweat pouring over my forehead.  And while the hysterics of previously mentioned cocktail mistress (girlfriend) could be seen as an over-dramatization of slightly toasty dinner, s...

Kafka''s Herb-Roasted Chicken

How to roast a chicken at 500 degrees

4th Jun 2006

High heat has its positives and negatives, but one thing for sure is that it definitely tastes much different than whatever the Joy of Cooking will throw at you.

In fact, one of the only downsides is that this recipe is easy to the point of being rather boring.  For the busy this is a godsend, but we cooked it with some much more challenging melting potatoes , that upped the ante on the fat...

Roast Chicken: Getting Dirty With the Bird

You know exactly where it came from. This thing used to be an animal. You’ll want to name it.

18th Apr 2006

dirtybird02

Hello, there.  The first step to perfectly roasting a chicken is to get acquainted with the subject.  At first I hid it underneath the wrapping when chopping and prepping, like I was ashamed that it might see me.  But the only way to really get the chicken to do what you want is to get personal.  You'll be shoving lemons and such inside its cavity short enough.  Don't get squeamish.

First,...