Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Fowl. Trussed and Roasted.

Yesterday we ate the most perfect roasted chicken.  Perfection I tell you.  I cannot get over how delicious it was.  And how simple.  So awesome that I'm going to detail how easy it is to create.

We get our birds from our CSA.  (that's Community Supported Agriculture to those of you who aren't in the know)  They raise their chickens out on the farm, where they forage, roam, sun themselves, and eat whatever falls in front of them.  They're organic and as free range as one can get.  We even visit them each week at pick-up.  Talk about knowing your food source!  Well, we are gearing up for our final bird pick-up of the season by eating the last of the ones in the freezer, and last night I wanted the most simple way to roast a chicken, as I was feeling a bit under the weather.  I've roasted chickens about one million and one ways under the sun.  In white wine, with butter sauce, stuffed with 40 cloves of garlic, over root vegetables, lemon butter and thyme, basted with beer...I could go on and on.  Each variation is good in its own right.  However this one takes the cake on taste, simplicity, and idiot-proofness.  First you must learn how to properly truss your bird.  This is something I've never taken the time to learn.  (smacks forehead)  I looked up videos and now I know.  Thank the interwebs for You Tube.  Here's the video I used:

See?  Easy-peasy.  Now, on the the actual roasting of the bird.  I couldn't tell you exactly what mine weighed.  Probably 6-7 pounds.  It was one of our larger birds though.  I found the recipe on Epicurious (which, by the way, is my favorite iPad/iPhone app for cooking!).  It is titled, My Favorite Simple Roast Chicken.  Here are the basics for you:

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees.
Line roasting pan with heavy duty foil.
Wash and thoroughly dry your bird.  Dry. Dry. Then dry some more. You want no moisture so you have no steam. I used lots of paper towels.
Liberally salt and pepper the cavity with freshly ground pepper and kosher salt.
Truss your bird. (I did this backwards and it worked just fine)
Rain salt over your bird.  The recipe recommends about one tablespoon of kosher salt.  I did not measure, I salted until it sparkled.  It freaked me out, but in the end was perfection.
Place into roasting pan you have lined with heavy duty foil.
Put bird into oven once it is up to temperature and roast 50-60 minutes (until it is done cooking...use your meat thermometer!)
Remove from oven, placing bird on cutting board.  Baste with pan juices.  I also basted with butter I melted with some sage and thyme.  Allow bird to rest 15 minutes.  Then carve and enjoy.

This will be the most tender and delicious chicken you've ever eaten.  We devoured it.  I don't know that I'll ever make one another way.  The skin was crispy and golden.  The meat was tasty and moist.  And the best part was it was very little work!  I only am sorry I didn't get any photographs for you.  I was too busy cleaning up the mess I made when I burned a batch of roasted butternut squash and ruined my favorite sheet pan.  Stupid juicy squash and maple syrup. 

At least we had chicken!

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