Classic Roast Chicken
A juicy and crispy roast chicken needs very little to make it perfect.
Hi, this is Chef Jim Swasey again at Cambridge School of Culinary Arts here in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Today we are going to be talking about roasting chickens. For a lot of professional chefs, roast chicken is tend to be one of those bench mark ways that you can measure someone skill and it is because, while it seems like a relatively simple thing to do. There a lots and lots of little details involved and it is those little details that can show how a tentative cook really is to the product and how much care they take in doing some thing as simple as the roasted chicken.
This is a standard broiler frier size chicken so it 2 ½, 41/2 pounds generally with rough size, pretty common size to find in any supermarket out there. One thing you remember whenever you are working with chickens is that they are not to know as sanitary of creatures and they are not always raise in a sanitary environment. So if you are working with chicken, keep this as clean as possibly. You want to wash this very scrumptiously inside and out, just to mitigating taste there are things like sin and all or another things like that which we do not want to experience.
This chicken is already been washed and before I roast it, I am going to add a few flavoring s in the inside. A few what they call aromatic flavors and apply a little bit of flavor, a little bit of aroma. This can really run the gamete kind of anything you want to do, would work and be appropriate. I am using fairly traditional ingredients today. We have a couple smashed garlic cloves and maybe a few pieces of onion that are going into the cavity. Some lemon, lemon and chicken is a terrific match. So we do a few place pieces of those in there and also a few fresh herbs. I am going to use thyme and parsley because I like them and because of flavors work well together. But here again really anything you want to use will be completely appropriate. Those are all going to go in there.
Now one of the things that professional chefs hear a lot, when people ask about food is what is the secret ingredient? What do you used that other people do not use? There really is no secret ingredient for lot of professional cooking. A lot of it is simply salt and pepper but use with maybe a little bit more abundance on home cooks with. Salt in particular is easily the most important seasoning we have in the kitchen because it leaps the flavors of everything else around it. It makes them elevated. It makes the food taste better. Most chefs prefer to use kosher salt because we do a lot os seasoning by hand and it is easy to handle than using table salt out of the shaker, but use whatever you have, whatever is available.
I want to make sure the season of both on the inside and the outside. So a little bit of salt and pepper into the cavity. And then on the outside, I do think it is important when you are seasoning specially if using with the fingers to let the salt wring down from on high. If I were to pinch the salt and just sprinkle close to the chicken itself, you get big clamps of salt all over the place and that is not the most pwerful thing in the world. You have rather to have something to spread evenly all over the breast, all over the legs same with the pepper, a good sprinkling kind of all over. We do under side as well.
Before this bird is ready to go in to the roasting pan, I am going to trust it, tie it up so that it is kind of have a nicer shape when it comes out, when it is actually done, I am talking to wing tips underneath the bird. The twine goes over the legs, underneath the cross, makes small x. Pull the drumsticks together nice and snag. Take your twine around the side under the shoulder over the neck, under the other shoulder. We will tie here on the side, looping around three times. What nice and snag and then one knot for good measure. So that when the bird comes out of the oven, we will have a nice real looking shape, nice.
Other flavorings, other added things with maybe a touch of butters smear it around in the skin or over the skin, could be good little sort of option of flavoring. It is certainly doing not have to use them and your child use to speak a lot about giving the bird butter a massage. I would not argue with your child. She knew it she is doing for a long time before any of the rest of us did. So maybe a little bit of rub down a butter will be kind of nice, certainly you do not have to add it if you are watching your weight, if you are health conscious.
When it comes to actually the roasting part of roasted chicken, as you going to hear lots of different opinions and different ideas about what’s good and what’s not good for roasted chickens. I give you my take on the few of them and try to give you the differences opinions that are out there. I would recommend you try them all, try as many as you like, see which one is work for you and which one is don’t.
The first will be oven temperature, I tenderize my chicken to the same temperature all the way through it and I tenderize it fairly high about 400 degrees and do it all the way through. There are those people who would tell you it might be a better idea to start with the hotter oven 425 to 450 for the first 15 or 20 minutes and then turn the oven down to a lower range 350 to 375 farenheight for the remainder of the cooking time. The fear behind that is to really high at glass of heat at the very beginning will promote browning around the skin of the chicken, around the bird. I never worried about that much 400 is suitable for me so that is what I attempted.
The pan that we are going to use actually roast the bird, we have a lot of different options out there. I tent to recommend anything that can go both in the oven and on top of the stove. So this is a standard roasting pan that can go on top of the stove, so that we can make a pan sauce later on with the bird afterwards. It could be a skillet, cast iron skillet, stainless steel skillet. It could really be anything, as long as it can go on top of the stove that I think is generally a better.
Some people also rack put a roasting lock inside the roasting pan, a rack that elevate the bird up, the thinking behind that is that the hotter the oven that can get underneath and it can crisp the skin all over the place. My self personally, I do not worry about that all that much, I just take the bird and put it right into the pan itself, right on the bottom of the pan. The thinking for me behind this is that if you get a lot of contact between the bird and the pan, then you get a lot of nice brown bits on the bottom of the pan and that could be very tasty if you making a sauce later on. Plus the oven rack is one extra thing to clean and why clean more if you do not have to.
So 400 degree oven, the bird goes in. We have got the aromatic stuff in there, well-seasoned, a little bit of butter or oil something like that and it is going to go in there. Now the way we know it is done, there is lot of different schools I have taught about this. Cooked for so many minutes per pound, that sort of thing, really a lot of those are kind of inexact. Generally speaking the chicken and it is size in the fine degree oven is got to be about an hour, but really the safest way to make sure that it is cooked all the way thru is to check the internal temperature with an instant read thermometer and we will talk more about that once the bird is out.
So into the pan, already go and were up. So after your chicken is currently on the oven the area that you want to test if you are using an instant read thermometer is on the thickest part of the thigh and you want to make sure that when you put thermometer in that it does not touch the bone because if you touch this bone conduct differently in the muscle tissue and it will give you a false reading and it actually make the, chicken seem like it is cooked when it is not. The magic number for all poultry out there is 165 degrees internal cooked temperature, at that temperature we know it is safe to eat if these things in there bacteria or other things like that, that will going to cause illness.
Some old cooked that for older numbers 170, a 180 that is quite high, 165 is plenty and the chicken will not be dried out. So we test in the thickest part of the thigh because that is the part that takes longest to cook. The breast meat we totally cook by then the dark need what it takes longer, when it range 165 out it comes from the oven. This chicken was roasted on a half sheet pan, a baking sheet and you can see here on the baking sheet we have a lot of brown bits left underneath from where the chicken was sitting on the metal itself. Those brown bits are very-very valuable as far as recapturing flavor in some sort of sauce later on. So I just want to show you quick pan sauces out here.
In order that we capture the flavor of the roast chicken, take your baking sheet, roasted pan whatever you have put it right on the stove. Now some home baking sheets might not be appropriate for this cause they are this and intent to work. This one is a little bit thicker. We know we can get away with it here. a roasting pan like I did earlier will be ideal because it is nice and heavy and there is no worry if the metal was going to work it all.
In order to solve all this bits, all I need to do is add some sort of liquid. I have here chicken stock and a little bit of white wine, it could usually be water, it could easily be beer, it could be easily be red wine anything you have lying around the house. If you are using commercial stocks, stocks that you purchased rather than make, which we do here at the school, you do want to be careful, some of them have a great deal of salt added to them which can be difficult if you are trying to cook them down or thicken them at all. So I always recommend buy low-sodium versions if you can, if there is available. Deglazing is the term that we used for actually dissolving all of these little brown bits up and you do not need to great deal of liquid if the pan is really-really hot, just a little bit and it is great with the wooden spoon and all those brown bits will start to come up and release and that can actually go into our sauce eventually when it is done. All those brown bits everything like that is just getting added in and here in this pan I have a little bit of other brown deglazed liquid from earlier from another chicken, gives a great, rich color to the actual sauce itself. All you want to do with this is cook it down, reduce it a little bit. You can thicken it if you want by having some flour added into the pan before the liquid goes in there. I am also going to add to a little bit of chop shallot just for extra flavor. You let this all come together, kind of simmer and then at the very end you give a little bit of richness to the sauce. All we are going to add is a little bit of whole butter.
Again, for those of you that are health conscious and do not want to add this, there is no reason and you have to. You do not have to add the butter if you do not want to, but it is nice addition as far as rounding the flavors out, giving a little bit more richness. You want to be careful with the heat when you decide to add your butter in to your sauce. You do not want the sauce to be boiling, because in the butter will separate and the sauce will taste oily and taste greasy. So just barely in heat at all, this affects the heats almost off on this and that is fine, the heat of the sauce is enough. It actually melts the butter without the butter breaking, without the butter separating.
It give a little taste if you want to adjust, you can add a little bit of salt, a little bit of pepper, I think a little bit of lemon will be nice because we have lemon in the chicken. So just squirt the lemon juice and it is really a simple as that. Takes almost of no time at all, provide if you have the right equipment. Now if you try to do this for something Pyrex things like that, that would not work because you cannot put right on top of the stove so you have to be aware of that.
This can go right here on our sauce, put on the side. It is important when the chicken comes out of the oven. That it rest for a while before you cut into it. You never want to cut into anything out of the oven right away because the juice of it will run all over the place. You need to get a time to rest, good 15 to 20 minutes particularly if it is a larger roast like a turkey or a big rib roast those kinds of things.
So our chickens are rested here enough, but know if I cut into it I am not worried about juices running all over the place. I am just going to take my knife cut the legs down, take the leg and the drumstick right off, here on the side also. And come right off. The breast meat itself, we just want to carve right down the center of the bird. We can turn the bird slightly—and just use the tip of your knife and follow the natural line of the bones that is there. The ones that are inside the bird give you a great guide as to where to go. Use the tip of your knife, you can always go back and cut in and more deeply. You do not need to try and get along one full shot.
We will take this breast of here with the wings attached that would be nice. The leg if it fills like a big portion you can take this and split it, so that we have thigh, we have drumstick, place here. The breast meat right on top, a little bit of our natural dew just add a little bit of butter, pour it around it. And you want a sauce just clod to serve this as possible, because the whole joy of chicken is the nice crispy skin. You do not want the sauce to be on top of the skin and letting the skin go and it is simple as that. That could go on to the table. The guest can enjoy it. Roast chicken is not hard but it is something that requires a little bit of attention to detail. Try the different varieties that we talked about find the one that works for you and you will have a great roast chicken every time.
Classic Roast Chicken
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