Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Chicken Method

First of all, I was very excited to see that I was commented by none other than the Monte of Monte's Ham fame and also of this blog. Follow it won't you? I am honored as well as pleased that it wasn't a cease and desist warning for repurposing his recipe. And thanks again for the years of delicious ham.

Today I would like to share a chicken method from Timing Is Everything: The Complete Timing Guide to Cooking. I've mentioned this book before and though I use a lot of different books for reference and recipes and inspiration, somewhere along the line I end up cracking this one. Cheffy types are always saying "until done". I find it nice to have some idea how long that might be. This book gives you that information plus storage methods and times. Again, it is my kitchen bible along with a couple of others that I will mention in upcoming posts.

So I guess it's the my kitchen Old Testament and the others are the Kitchen New Testament, Apocrypha and  Book of Mormon. (Notice I spared you Amazon Affiliate links on those titles)

The Chicken Method

The method is really for chicken pieces and works extremely well with thighs. However this last time I attempted it with splayed Cornish hens.

I started by cutting the backbone out of the birds and pressing them flat against the board. I seasoned both sides liberally with salt and pepper.

These are the steps;

Heat pan over high heat. Add a little fat or oil if necessary to get things started (it has not been necessary with thighs) . Place the chicken (or pieces) skin side down in the pan.

Cook for 10 minutes. Flip chicken over and cook on other side for 10 minutes.

Reduce heat to medium. Flip chicken again and cook for 5 minutes. Repeat this step 3 more times and begin checking for doneness.

With the hens I gave them a little rest covered at the back of the stove after they hit about 160 degrees F in the breast.

The pan I used to cover the pan during resting vibed like a robot bug, no?

The skin comes out exceptionally crispy, almost like chicharrones. If you use thighs there is less concern about overcooking and lots of fatty skin to render.

If you use schmaltz as your cooking fat, thighs will definitely produce some with this method.

I have one of these uneaten legs with me today for lunch!


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