Friday, May 23, 2008

Comfort Food: Roasted Chicken

Roasted Chicken. Yes, that most simple of things is certainly on my list of comfort foods. But even the most simple foods, should be done well.

What you will need:
One chicken about 2.5lb is a nice size I find.
Butchers twine
Roasting pan, try to use one with at least 2 inches free space around the bird.
Olive oil
Salt and pepper

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F.

Remove the giblets and neck from the cavity of the bird if need be and pat the skin dry.
Now one of the keys to successfully roasting a chicken and not drying it out, is to truss the bird. Why? Very simple, a chicken is composed of white meat (breast) and dark meat(leg and thigh) these will cook at different rates with the breast being cooked to perfection before the legs. So, trussing will pull the legs in close to the breast and help in obtaining that succulent roast chicken that won't be dried out at all.

So let us truss the bird, this really isn't a complicated process at all and easily done step by step.

Step 1:
Place the chicken on a cutting board with the breast side up. The tail should be facing you.

Step 2:
Slip a string under the center of the chicken's back, making sure that the ends are even.

Step 3:
Draw the string up on the sides of the chicken gently encircling the wings.

Step 4:
Pull the string toward you. This will make the wings lay flat against the chicken's sides.

Step 5:
Cross the strings at the base point of the chicken's breast, and wrap the string carefully around each drumstick pulling it tight until the legs of the chicken cross.

Step 6:
Pick up the tail end of the chicken and wrap a string around the chicken's tail, making sure to pull the string tightly until the cavity of the chicken is covered. Tie a knot in the string.

Step 7:
Place the chicken with the breast facing up, and bring the ends of the string back to the front of the chicken. Tie a string into a knot and trim of any excess string.

Now, rub the trussed bird with a bit of oil season well with salt and pepper.
Place the bird in the roasting pan and into the oven on the middle rack.
Roast for about 50 minutes, use a meat thermometer to check for doneness in the thighs. If it reads 155 - 160 degrees F pull the bird from the oven and let it rest for 20 minutes before carving.

Simple, delicious comfort food.

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