Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Crisp High Roast Chicken with Potatoes ~ 5.20.11

Maybe you've figure this out about me, but maybe not. I love cooking shows. I'm a visual learner and when  I see someone make something- it brings the recipe to life and gives me the confidence to approach the recipe! Maybe that's why Ree is so popular? She shows you step by step. Well, that and her amazing recipes.

I digress.

I've always been a fan of Cook's Illustrated and more specifically the PBS show America's Test Kitchen. I find it fascinating to hear all the trial and error they put into testing these recipes. Makes me really believe that this is the best way to cook/bake something.

I thought this recipe for cooking a whole chicken was brilliant and doable. And the first time I made this recipe was back in 2006, right before I left for a week's vacation in California! Why do I find it necessary to try new things 24 hours before a big event? I dunno. It was my VERY FIRST time cooking a whole chicken! seriously! And I'm glad I started with this recipe because it was amazingly moist and those potatoes- WOW!

This time around, I skipped the brining and just split my chicken according to my How to Cook Everything cookbook. Not too difficult, made easier with kitchen shears. As with most of their recipes, there are many steps, but the result is well worth it. Just a lot of explaining. I promise it's not that difficult to prepare. I made this on a soccer night!
Here's the recipe:

Crisp-Skin High Roast Chicken and Potatoes
from America's Test Kitchen

For the brine (optional- but give it a go sometime so you can say, (Oh, yeah, I've brined a chicken")
1 cup kosher salt
1/2 cup sugar
1 whole chicken, 3 1/2-4 lbs; giblets removed and reserved for another use, fat around cavity removed and discarded

Dissolve the salt in the sugar in 2 qts cold water in a large container. Immerse chicken and refrigerate until fully seasoned, about 1 hour.

2 1/2 lbs russet potatoes or Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and sliced 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick (use a food processor or a nice, sharp knife)
1 1/2 Tbs olive oil
3/4 tsp salt

Compound butter- place in a bowl to schmear your chicken!-- OPTIONAL, but AMAZING addition
2 Tbs softened butter
1 med garlic clove, minced
1 Tbs Dijon mustard
1 tsp minced fresh thyme leaves
black pepper

1. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 500 degrees! HOT, HOT, HOT
Line the bottom of your broiler pan with heavy duty foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Remove chicken from brine (if you brined), and rinse thoroughly under cold running water (be sure to clean out your sink!). Butterfly chicken, flatten breastbone and apply the flavored butter (if using) under the skin of the chicken- all over! Thoroughly pat the chicken dry.
 And place on the top part of your broiler pan.

Toss the potatoes with 1 Tbs oil, slat and pepper in a medium bowl. Spread the potatoes in an even layer on the foil lined broiler pan. Place the top of the broiler pan over the potatoes- See picture above. Rub the chicken with the remaining olive oil and season with S&P. Put into the oven.

Cook until the chicken is spotty brown, about 20 minutes. Rotate the pan and continue to roast until skin has crisped and turned a deep brown and an thermometer registers 160 degrees in the thickest part of the breast, 20-25 minutes longer.
Transfer chicken to a cutting board and with pot holders, remove top of broiler pan. Using paper towels, soak up the excess grease from potatoes. Remove foil liner with potatoes and invert foil and potatoes onto a cookie sheet. Peel back foil and scrape off remaining potatoes with a spatula. Pat off remaining grease with paper towels.
Cut chicken, arrange pieces on a serving platter and transfer potatoes right beside them. Voila- dinner is ready.
Serve with fresh steamed green beans or a crisp garden salad!

1 comment:

  1. I love roasting a chicken. Love it. I also love rotissere, but I just pick those up at giant eagle.

    Anways, I've never butterflied the chicken before roasting it so I will have to try this yummy looking method! :)