Roasted Chicken

During the past six months, I’ve learned that red meat is difficult to digest. Now, I wouldn’t recommend lacerating your intestines and having an ostomy bag hooked up in order to test this theory, so you can just take my word for it. Beef (especially grain fed beef), lamb and veal are all red meat. Pork, for some reason isn’t as tough to digest, but I am sure that my rabbi would have a different opinion regarding. This leaves us with chicken and fish, and as many of you know, chicken gets a lot of face time here at Long Island Foodie.

So, during my six months recovering from the accident and subsequent surgeries, I’ve eaten a lot of chicken, but I was cheating on the preparation. We got our Showtime Rotisserie Oven as a wedding gift from my aunt and uncle, and since then we have relied on Ron Popeil’s device to handle most of our chicken roasting duties, which is totally cheating since everything that goes in the Showtime comes out effortlessly and flawless. After a while, I began to yearn for a little bit more of a challenge, since seasoning a whole bird, putting it in the rotisserie, “set it and forget it,” was all that I had grown accustomed to, I decided to leave the rotisserie in the pantry and do it old school.

I wanted to roast chicken like they do in France. There, it is called poulet roti and when it is cooked in a pot it is called poul au pot. After searching the Internet, I found a great recipe from America’s Test Kitchen at Cook’s Illustrated.

We start with your typical aromatics; onions, carrots, garlic (maybe some celery if you also have that on hand). Chop them up into manageable pieces and set aside. Take your roasting bird and dry it off using paper towels, then season liberally using salt and pepper. Preheat your oven to 250 degrees with the oven rack in it’s lowest position.

Heat some olive oil in a large Dutch Oven over medium heat until it is just about to smoke. Add the chicken, breast side down and spread the aromatics around the sides of the bird. Brown the breast side of the chicken for about 5 minutes, until nice and golden brown. Flip the chicken over, and cook it breast side up until the chicken and vegetables are nice and brown, about another 6-8 minutes.

Now, cover the Dutch Oven and put it in the oven to cook for a little over an hour and a half (if your oven has a probe thermometer, use it. We want the thickest part of the breast to read 160 and the thickest part of the thigh to read 175).

When the chicken is done cooking, transfer the bird to your carving board and place a piece of tin foil over it (not too tight, just tented over the bird). Let the chicken rest for about 20 minutes while you make the jus.

Strain the liquid in the Dutch Oven into a small saucepan and simmer over low heat until you are ready to carve the bird. Splash a little acid into the jus just before serving (lemon juice or vinegar works great).

Give it a shot and tell me what you think.  I’m going to be posting a few more chicken recipes over the next few days (now that I have WordPress on the iPhone, I can do all my blogging from my phone, which makes things so much easier. Thank you Apple), so give this a shot and next time we’ll try Grandma’s Chicken Fricassee (which recently made an appearance at the Five Couple Camparama over Labor Day Weekend).

2 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Sherry Sea said,

    As it happens, I tried the Test Kitchen’s poulet en pot not long after I’d tried Julia Child’s chicken and tarragon. Both recipes follow the same general approach, but I found Child’s version to be unforgettable and not just because she uses butter very liberally as the browning agent. The Test Kitchen recipe has you tossing in garlic at a stage when it’s only going to burn. Which it promptly did in my case, making the final scrapings from the pan taste bitter and un-chickeny. So if you’re trying to avoid butter, go with the Test Kitchen’s recipe, but throw in the garlic after the chicken and aromatics have browned and you’ve cut the heat a bit. But if you really need to impress someone, go with Child’s recipe. Life is short.

  2. 2

    The Kavner's said,

    Sherry – I hear you about the garlic. Can’t remember what I did to avoid burning it, probably just smashed it and kept it whole to prevent it from burning too much.

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