I’ve been roasting chicken wrong for years! At last though I’ve seen the light and learned the method and our Sunday dinners will never be the same again. I took a cooking class from Sir Keller a few years ago and thought I had gathered the main tips in my head. Always temper your meat (bring it to room temperature before cooking) and make sure your chicken is really dry before cooking so the skin will be crispy. Well, my friends, that’s just the beginning of the story! There’s so much more to it!
Here are all the things I’ve been doing wrong.
There should be a big red eeeeeeeenk button by each one:
???? Rubbing it with oil and or butter.
???? Stuffing the cavity with lemon, onion and herbs (which creates steam and therefore less crispy skin).
???? Using a roasting pan.
???? Basting the skin every 20 minutes.
Here is the RIGHT way:
Start by brining the chicken for 6 hours. This is optional but I was going for the whole experience here.
Boil enough water to cover the chicken with 1/2c salt, 6 bay leaves, 6 garlic, 1/8c honey and 1 bunch of Italian parsley for one minute until the salt dissolves. Then cool to room temperature and place the rinsed chicken inside the pot and let her swim in the refrigerator for 6 hours.
After 6 hours remove from the brine, rinse, pat dry and salt and pepper the cavity. Leave out for 30 minutes or refrigerate uncovered until 30 minutes prior to cooking (we want it tempered and dry remember).
Preheat the oven to 475 degrees. Truss (another thing I’ve been doing wrong… See the video below for instructions.)
Salt and pepper the skin and heat a cast iron skillet (or other oven proof pan on the stove. Once hot add 1 tablespoon of safflower oil and swirl it around to coat. Preheating the pan keeps the skin from sticking and speeds up the cooking time as the pan doesn’t need to absorb heat in the oven so the energy all goes to the chicken.
Place the chicken breast up and legs back (away from the handle) in the skillet and pop her in the oven. 475 degrees is hotter then I’ve cooked a chicken before. It only took 45 minutes (usually takes 60-90). I did need to cover it with foil about 30 minutes in. We were alerted to this need by the smoke alarm (always a sign of a good dinner cooking). I did check it every 15 minutes and rotated the pan once. No basting during the cooking time though!
Once it’s done, move to a cutting board, add a tablespoon of thyme leaves to the skillet and sauté for a minute, THEN baste the chicken with the pan juices and thyme. That crispy dry skin sucks up the jus just like that. Leave her to rest for 15 minutes.
Not one to waste good flavor and an already dirty dish I put that skillet right back to work and sautéed some kale with a little olive oil and corse salt while the chicken was resting.
Served alongside stuffing and kale we all remarked on how juicy yet crispy this chicken was. We really love roast chicken here, now we know how to really cook it!
Here you can see the master himself making a slightly different variation of his famous roast chicken (over root vegetables):
Thomas Keller: Bouchon Roast Chicken
Everyone should have the Bouchon cookbook collection. The recipes and descriptions are very precise yet simple, my favorite combination!
The grand finale of this meal was this banana bread bundt cake Scarlet made from Pioneer Woman.
And because we were out of powdered sugar and didn’t feel like driving for an hour to go to the grocery store and back we made our own!