Thursday, August 8, 2013

The World's Most Moist Roast Chicken with the Crispiest Skin

I wish there was more to say about this chicken other than the following:
"Oh lordy."
"Oh wow."
"Give me more now."
"Why is the chicken gone already?"
"Make another."
But this is a straight-forward roast chicken that doesn't need all of the regular culinary description fluff. The flavor is pure, the meat is moist, the skin is potato chip crisp.
No 'elements of rosemary and notes of thyme'.
No 'subtle spice and just a hint of sweetness'.
Just damn good chicken flavor.
If you knew what this chicken tasted like, you would make it tonight.
You should make it tonight.
Though...if your oven is dirty, it might smoke up your house something awful, but that just means you can disarm your smoke detectors and enjoy drinks out on the patio while dinner is in the oven!
Simple Roast Chicken - by Barbara Kafka
Follow these directions precisely and, as my sister would say, 'error on the side of caution with doneness'. To cut down on the smokiness, I like to cover the bottom of the baking dish with sliced red potatoes. The juices and fat from the chicken, couples with a generous sprinkle of salt and black pepper, make for some delicious potatoes. They'll get rather soft, so scrape them all into a bowl and mash lightly for a side dish of rustic smashed potatoes!
5- to 6-pound chicken at room temperature, wing tips removed
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • 4 whole garlic cloves
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, optional
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
    1. Place rack on second level from bottom of oven. Heat oven to 500°F (or for convection, reduce to 450°F).
    2. Remove the fat from the tail and crop end of the chicken.                
    3. Stuff the cavity of the chicken with the lemon, garlic, and butter, if using. Season the cavity and skin with salt and pepper.
    4. Place the chicken in a 12 x 8 x 1 1/2-inch roasting pan breast side up. Put in the oven legs first and roast 50 to 60 minutes, or until the juices run clear. After the first 10 minutes, move the chicken with a wooden spoon or spatula to keep it from sticking.
    5. Remove the chicken to a platter by placing a large wooden spoon into the tail end and balancing the chicken with a kitchen spoon pressed against the crop end. As you lift the chicken, carefully tilt it over the roasting pan so that all the juices run out and into the pan.
    Optional: Pour off or spoon out excess fat from the roasting pan and put the roasting pan on top of the stove. Add one cup stock or other liquid and bring the contents of the pan to a boil, while scraping the bottom vigorously with a wooden spoon. Let reduce by half. Serve the sauce over the chicken or, for crisp skin, in a sauceboat. 

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