Tuesday, August 11, 2009

How bout Them Apples? Perfectly Roasted Chicken

In a recent episode of Top Chef Masters, the Master Cheftestants were strapped with the challenge to re-make another Cheftestants signature dish, of course signing the dish with their personal style in the end result. Chef Art Smith was charged with re-tooling Suzanne Tracht's steak and egg dish. His result of a ground lamb scotch egg did not fair well with the judges, but he knows it and stops their criticisms short with this snarky remark, "I've got issues with eggs, ok. I've had so many issues with eggs, I could lay an egg!"

Well, the perfectly roasted whole chicken is my egg.


I've been able to cutup a whole chicken and roast the parts of the whole successfully; yet the whole bird crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside alluded me time and time again. Hell, I've even made a giant 16lb turkey for Thanksgiving successfully (love those popup timers). I've tried glazes, marinades, simultaneously roasting with fresh vegetables, and none of my hackneyed methods yielded the roasted chicken of my dreams. To my utter joy, this period of failure came to an end over the weekend.

Of course, I get by with a little help from my friends. Them Apples, a UK cook and foodie blogger, recently released his tried and true method for roasting a chicken. Post reading his post I purchased a young 5lb chicken and dedicated my Saturday night to Lemon Herb Roasted Chicken, homemade jalapeno cornbread muffins (inspired by Seven Second Rhapsody), and steamed broccoli.

After thawing and washing my little bird, I compared the cooking notes on the package to the cooking notes from Them Apples to inform my preheating. My bird's package says 350 degrees and 20-23 minutes per pound. Them Apples recommends, "200c, twenty minutes per 500g and an extra thirty minutes on top of that. This is one of those times when you need to know your own oven." Using my hand iPhone unit converter app, I found out 200c = 396 f and 500g = 1.1lbs. While my two sources agree on timing per pound, the heat was 50 degrees off. What do you do in a situation when you want to learn the 'proper' technique? Split the difference. Finally, the summary of this whole paragraph ends with preheating the oven to 375 degrees.

Now my heat is ready, I turned back to Them Apples for simple steps of flavoring using my own cupboard's components:
  • Brush the inside and out of the bird with olive oil.
  • Rub the inside and out of the bird with salt and pepper.
  • Line the inside with lemon slices; de-seeded.
  • Roughly chop 4 large garlic cloves and fill the bottom inside of the bird with the pieces.
  • Fill the rest of the cavity with fresh herbs; whatever you have on hand. I had flat parsley, mint, and basil.
  • Let that puppy, I mean chicken, roast for 20-23 minutes per pound at 375. I roasted mine just about 10 minute less than the recommended time.

EUREKA! It worked. By Jobe, I've got it! Dreams do come true! And other such triumphant sayings. The skin was crispy and delish, the meat was tender and flavorful-and the smell! My god, the aroma filled the house and almost our stomachs because it was so heavy. Thanks to Them Apples and all my other foodie friends whom continue to educate, motivate, and inspire me and my food.

21 comments:

them apples said...

What an excellent post, and what an excellent result.

I'm glad my instructions work - that method has certainly never failed me.

The best part about this whole blogging thing is when people cook your recipes, so thanks very much indeed for cooking mine.

You've made my month!

Diana H said...

That looks perfect.

Conor said...

Yum! I haven't roasted a chicken for a couple of months, I think it's time to rectify this, especially as we're having wet and cold weather at the moment. Glad you've conquered your roast chicken mountain!

Mmmmmmm, mountain of roast chicken....

"Vanilla and Thyme" said...

This recipe is awesome! I'll be making two for the week to use as I would Rotisserie Chicken. My kids are crazy about grilled chicken quesadillas, and I like to have shredded chicken in the fridge ready and waiting-

Janice Soriano said...

The chicken looks gorgeous, great color, and I'm sure it tasted great.

Divina Pe, RHN said...

Wrong time to view your post. I'm actually hungry and I'm looking at a roast chicken. Looks good. Thanks for the reminder. I need to roast some chicken as well.

Good Meal Good Deal said...

Yum... yum... the chicken looks really good, make me feel hungry...

redkathy said...

Lots of chicken served in my kitchen. Thanks for the entertaining and informative post. BTW - The chicken looks fabulous!

Kevin Sandridge said...

Hey Hey Now... that's one nice lookin' bird you got there! Love the "cross the pond-ness" of this post, by the way! Who says the Brits eat bland food. Not I, and certainly not anyone who reads this entry!

Way to keep it real and delicious O-Town Style!

John D. said...

It looks like you achieved your goal, good for you! I usually roast my chickens at about 425 F for about 65 minutes for a 4 pound chicken. I cover the breast for the first 20-25 minutes. This seems to work well for me.

Tana said...

Great attempt Laptops. The chicken looks perfect.

5 Star Foodie said...

The chicken looks fabulous! I can just imagine how delicious it must taste!

Kyle Farris said...

You da' bomb Rach.

Lori Lynn said...

I wrote about a roast chicken too, Julia Child style.
Yours looks fab.
LL

latestrecipes said...

Now I want some roasted chicken too!
That looks really good, I can almost smell it :)

Teresa Cordero Cordell said...

Gorgeous roast chicken.

April Cavin said...

I can't wait to roast a chicken as soon as the weather cools off-- I'll be saving this post for sure!

redkathy said...

OM Gosh we eat so much chicken in my house it's crazy, and yours looks fabulous! Thanks for sharing this, I'll surely be trying this method.

Angie said...

Looks great, I do a chicken about once a week now, although they get torn into faster than I can photograph them! I stuffed the last one with apples and poultry seasoning rub

Claudia said...

Gorgeous! Just the thing as the cooler weather moves in. Think I will do lemon and thyme.

Nike said...

Hogan interactive shoes are designed keeping in mind Tiger Shoes medical issues like painful joints and injuries to knees and back. The shoes are made comfortable but not monotonous; Beats By Dr Dre one will always find elegance in Interactive Hogan shoes. Weather it be plain leather shoes available in brown, Hogan Scarpe gray and blue or the latest Interactive Hogan suede brown with light blue and gray shades.

Post a Comment