08 March, 2006

Recipes - Roast Chicken

About as complex as I get. It takes about 5 minutes to make.
  • 1 bird, the bigger the better. (I have done this with chicken and duck.)
  • Butter (That's butter, people. Not margarine, olive oil, or any lesser thing.)
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Rosemary
  • (Everything else is optional.)
  • Poultry-type seasonings
  • Garlic
  • Onions
  • Chicken stock and Wine -or- Milk and Flour

Clean the chicken, rinsing it inside and out. I don't do anything with the extra parts, but I'm sure they can be used somehow.

Layer the botton of a dutch stainless steel pot with sandwich-sliced onions. Clean the loose skin off a head or two of garlic. Cut them in half (so that you are left with a top and bottom) and place them cut-side down in the pan, directly on the bottom, but around the edge.

Fill the inside of the chicken with 1 to 3 tablespoons of rosemary. Good stuff!

Place the chicken directly onto the onions, bottom side up. Some people put the bird on a roasting rack, but it seems drier and less flavorful that way to me.

Melt a 1/4 stick of butter or so, and rub the butter onto the chicken. Salt and pepper the chicken. Season it more heavily than you might think makes sense. It can't hurt a thing. This is also where you would want to put on the poultry seasoning if you are going that way.

Cover the bird and bake it 1 hour at 375, then flip the bird over, butter and season it again, and let it go for another hour. A wooden spoon in the chest cavity of the chicken works great as a turning tool.

After the second hour, you get to choose what to do with the drippings. First, set the chicken aside. Then remove the garlic (and use it on crackers or bread.) Leave the onions.

The original recipe calls for chicken stock and white wine to be added to them, and reduced by half. That works OK. It's pretty tasty, but it is a little fancy. It lacks the all-important "plop" factor.

I bake potatoes while the chicken is cooking, and add milk, flour, and more seasonings to make gravy for the potatoes.

----

With duck:
Forget the onions. The drippings off a single duck yielded 2 cups of pure duck fat. I cooked the duck with the garlic, so it was garlic-seasoned duck fat no less. It was like striking the mother-lode! Over the next week everything was cooked in garlic duck fat, especially the frozen wedge potatoes and roasted potatoes. I had no idea those little gems could taste so good!

2 comments:

Danny Kaye said...

Yep...gotta love the fat and the flavor!!

After 20 years as a chef, I learnt that there are no right or wrong ways of preparing many foods...just personal tastes.

And...

After 20 years as a chef, I learnt a thing or two. I developed my own style of bird-baking.

I posted it to my blog in case you want to check it out. I would post it here except it is written as a college paper and is therefore way too looong to put your readership through.

I think you'll find it at least interesting. Or not...

codepoke said...

Definitely interesting. My boy thinks I'm an idiot for not just baking it and being done with it.