To some, a pantsuit means growing up. And by some, I am definitely including myself in that category. But I’d also like to add whole roast chicken to that category. Pantsuits and whole roast chicken. We made roast chicken a few weeks ago, and to be honest this was easier. So why do I feel way more accomplished? I think it’s the feeling of being able to put together one shining masterpiece as opposed to integrating a few small dishes into a cohesive meal.
That time you first tied your shoes all. by. yourself. Going completely across the monkey bars in one full swoop without having to stop. That time when your secured place to crash on the drive from Charlottesville to Miami falls through and you figure out how to desperately book a hotel at 11PM on your own in college. We can discuss later the relevance of each of these in the context of roast chicken.
But seriously, I’m proud of this accomplishment!!! As I have been watching the Olympics lately, it seems appropriate to feature something that requires precision and focus. If you can keep the few key important tips in mind, this comes together quite easily and with little mess. These are the ways to win the Gold medal if you ask me. Think: SALT, meat thermometer, patience. Too simple? Ok you can go study molecular gastronomy.
Salt: You need to be uncomfortable here. Roasting chicken requires a LOT of salt, and to make yourself more comfortable here, just keep massaging it into the skin and into the cavity. It’s really the main way to flavor here, don’t be shy.
Meat thermometer: You don’t want overcooked chicken here, so if you follow the temperature suggested (160 F in the meatiest part of the bird), be WATCHING your chicken towards the end once you’ve stuck in the meat thermometer to check
Patience: One, because it takes about 1 hour and 10 minutes to cook all the way through. Two, because after the chicken comes out of the oven, you need to wait for it to cool before slicing. Slicing too early will let out the juices and thus let out flavor (or so I’ve been told).
No, I am not going all It’s Complicated on you and cooking Alec Baldwin’s favorite feast with mouth-watering cake involved. This is literally the whole dinner in one pan. So great. Especially if you’re into putting rich chicken on your salads, soups, and making leftover chicken sandwiches!
I followed the Amateur Gourmet’s directions for cooking Thomas Keller’s chicken and watched this video to learn how to truss a chicken. It’s worth watching, friends. I was a bit wary of rutabagas, so I replaced them with more red potatoes. I don’t have any kitchen twine so instead used regular white sewing thread that I doubled up around two or three times to make it thick enough.
One thing I did differently was to drain the pain juices after the chicken was done and return the veggies to the oven to get crispier. For me, it took desperate measures of the broiler but for you, it might only take a few extra minutes at 400 ish. Pan juices = yummy gravy.
New fave: CRISPY LEEKS. I can’t tell you how delicious the leeks were after coming out of the oven.
Veggie heaven: Very rough chop of carrots, red potatoes, a large onion, two leeks, and two turnips.