Whole Roasted Chicken

November 15th, 2019

Roast Chicken 3 Ways

Have you heard? We are launching our very own Farm Boy Organic Chicken – yay! A roast chicken is the yummiest, hands-off dinner around. Get yourself a side salad, or toss some potatoes and onions into the oven along with your chicken, and let it all roast, that’s it…minimal effort.

Everyone roasts a chicken differently, and if you’re new to the kitchen, or simply haven’t done it before, here are 3 methods, all with cult followings, that I’ve ranked in difficulty from easy to more advanced, depending on how much time or effort you want to put in. All will result in a moist, tender bird with crispy skin that will make everyone at the table go, “mmmm.”

IMPORTANT NOTES:

With each of these recipes, remember to remove the chicken from the fridge an hour or so in advance to let it get to room temperature. This lets it cook more evenly and quickly. 

You also have to ensure that the skin is as dry as possible. You can use a paper towel or a dish cloth (that will, of course, be washed before it is used again), and pat the chicken dry. The drier your chicken, the crispier the skin. Aka…the best part.   

Perch your chicken on a bed of chopped root vegetables, potatoes, or brussels sprouts in the roasting pan. They’ll cook alongside of your chicken and get covered in all the salty, schmaltzy chicken fat or oil or butter you’ve used in the recipe. Perfection.

Let your chicken rest. Give it 15-20 minutes after roasting to sit on a cutting board. Perfect time to make a salad! The juices will distribute evenly through the meat and the result will be *chef’s kiss.*

 

Easy: Salt + Heat

This method couldn’t be easier or less involved. It was made popular by Thomas Keller, chef and owner of iconic Napa Valley restaurant, The French Laundry. One ingredient: salt. Well, and the chicken of course. 

The trick is getting your chicken nice and dry, and your oven really hot. Then? Set it and forget it for an hour. Crispy, tender, seasoned all the way through, delicious.


Medium: Butter, Garlic & Herbs

This version is a little more involved, but stuffing butter under the skin of the chicken is well worth the extra effort. It gives the skin a chance to get crispy and nicely brown, and stuffing the chicken with lemon, garlic, and herbs makes everything aromatic and fragrant. It also needs a quick baste in the middle of baking time to keep your chicken juicy. 

You can riff on this to no end – change the herbs, use a compound butter, omit garlic, drizzle olive oil…this is your chicken!


Advanced: Overnight Buttermilk Brine

Made famous by Samin Nosrat in her book and Netflix special, Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat, this chicken recipe is actually not advanced in terms of technique, but it does require preparation and forethought in that you brine it overnight in buttermilk, something you may not have on hand. 

The key technique for even browning is rotating the chicken at intervals so that the hottest part of your oven (the back) is coming in closest contact with the chicken. 

Do you have any chicken tricks? What’s your go-to? White or dark meat? Does anyone in your family sneak in and eat the crispiest pieces of skin? I have a lot of chicken questions. 

Emily

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