Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Roast Chicken

I think I finally nailed this thing. I'm to understand that along with the omelet, the roast chicken is a true test of one's cooking skills. Mine invariably comes out with a soggy or overly dry and papery skin. The herbs on the skin's surface burn. The meat is never done exactly to my taste.

That said, I do it again and again, never the same way twice. On Sunday I think I finally achieved a method.

Roast Chicken

1 chicken
olive oil
black pepper
dried thyme leaves
1 handful fresh sage
1 small onion, quartered

Preheat oven to 400°F. Rinse chicken and dry thoroughly with paper towels. Place chicken on the rack of a roasting pan. Rub chicken down thoroughly with oil and season to taste with salt, pepper and thyme. Do not go easy on the salt.

Insert the onion and sage in the cavity of the chicken. Roast for about 18 minutes a pound. My 4 pounder took 1 1/2 hours.

Chicken doneness is somewhat a matter of opinion. It is technically safe to eat when the breast reaches an internal temperature of 155°F. At this point it still has a gelatinous, pinkish quality that isn't appetizing. I shoot for 165° in the breast and 175° in the thigh should the fates decree that ratio is met. It usually isn't and one or the other is a little (technically) overdone. It's hard to overdo a thigh but the breast can be like papier mache or something when overcooked.

When all else fails, if the juices in the cavity run clear (not red) you'll be good to go. Discard the onion and sage before serving.

Let rest for 15 minutes before carving.

The skin was crisp and the bird was nicely seasoned and delicious!


No comments:

Post a Comment