Friday, November 10, 2006

Another roast chicken

I noticed that whole roasters are on sale at my local market. I pick up a couple the other day. Found a recipe at America's Test Kitchen. I happened to see the actual cooking on PBS and it just stuck in my mind. For one thing I had never brined anything. I didn't even know if I had anything large enough to brine a chicken. I did have a rubbermaid container that would work woo hoo!!!

Crisp-Skin High-Roast Butterflied Chicken with Potatoes

If you prefer not to brine, use a kosher chicken - it is salted and has a taste and texture similar to a brined bird. For extracrisp skin, after applying the flavored butter let the chicken dry uncovered in the refrigerator 8 to 24 hours. Russet potatoes have the best potato flavor, but Yukon Golds have beautiful color and better retain their shape after cooking. Either works well in this recipe. A food processor makes quick and easy work of slicing the potatoes.Serves 4

1 cup kosher salt (or 1/2 cup table salt), for brine
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 whole chicken , 3 1/2 to 4 lbs, preferably free-range or other high-quality chicken such as Bell and Evans, giblets removed and reserved for another use, fat around cavity removed and discarded
2 1/2 pounds russet potatoes (4 to 5 medium), or Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and sliced 1/8 to 1/4 inch thickVegetable cooking spray (nonstick)
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
3/4 teaspoon table salt (for potatoes)
Ground black pepper
1. Dissolve salt and sugar in 2 quarts cold water in large container. Immerse chicken and refrigerate until fully seasoned, about 1 hour. Meanwhile, adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 500 degrees. Line bottom of broiler pan with foil and spray with nonstick vegetable cooking spray. Remove chicken from brine and rinse thoroughly under cold running water.

1. Butterfly chicken, flatten breastbone, apply flavored butter (if using), and position chicken on broiler pan rack; thoroughly pat dry with paper towels.
2. Toss potatoes with 1 tablespoon oil, salt, and pepper to taste in medium bowl. Spread potatoes in even layer in foil-lined broiler pan bottom. Place broiler pan rack with chicken on top. Rub chicken with remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons oil and sprinkle with pepper.
3. Roast chicken until spotty brown, about 20 minutes. Rotate pan and continue to roast until skin has crisped and turned a deep brown and an instant-read thermometer registers 160 degrees in thickest part of breast, 20 to 25 minutes longer. Transfer chicken to cutting board. With potholders, remove broiler pan rack; soak up excess grease from potatoes with several sheets paper towels. Remove foil liner with potatoes from broiler pan bottom and invert foil and potatoes onto cookie sheet or second cutting board. Carefully peel back foil, using a metal spatula to help scrape potatoes off foil as needed. With additional paper towels, pat off remaining grease. Cut chicken into serving pieces and serve with potatoes.

Lesson learned: This chicken was very tender, moist and quite tasty. I will definnitely do this again because the brining makes it so good.
BUT the potatoes were another story. Because of the compound butter used on the chicken and also calls for oil on the potatoes, the potatoes get rather greasy, quite bit more than described in the above recipe. I supplied the link to the recipe but their site and photos can be a bit wonky so don't be surprised if the photos don't show up.


mooncrazy said...

Great pix of the crispy chicken. I wonder why they add the butter as chickens usually have enough fat. How about just making a paste of the herbs and rubbing that on?

Lil bird introduced me to brining a few years back with a turkey she cooked, yum, but I forget to do it early enough. This looks good enough to make me remember.

wheresmymind said...

Man...all the cool kidz are brining these days!

La Vida Dulce said...

To brine is divine. I have been a believer ever since I sunk my teeth into that first brined El Cheapo "frozen buy one get one free" turkey years I roasted years ago. Juicy all the way through. Many thanks to Alton Brown. Brining does wonders with chicken and pork chops. Oh, man, if only my computer had smell-o-vision. That bird of yours looks so dee-lish. Pass me a tortilla!

tiedye said...

Oh oh OH I just need a bite of that chicken just one bite just one. . . his left leg would be good. Kosher meat next best thing to organic - almost organic but tons cheaper. Always fresh, never preserved, aged, whatevah. Learned that from my jewish BIL. Oiy!

But now, about the buttah. "It's like buttah dahlingk!" Do you guess it was just to make the skin crisp?

And the brining. All good things come back around. My Grandmother used to do this, I remember the stories . . . .

doodles said...

I will now be one of the "cool kidz" and brine. Now I wanna try brining a pork roast.

tie when compound butter is called for it is usually for flavor, as moon said chickens have plenty of fat. Think next time I will make a paste, therby not using a lot of butter. The concept of the spuds under the roasting chicken is very good in theory.

Like I said this is definitely on the repeat list and yep nothing beats having chicken with a tortilla.

maltese parakeet said...

i really recommend brining the pork roast. ming tsai does it with some soy sauce in place of the salt and it's really moist and flavorful.