Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Easy and Quick Roast Chicken

Roast Chicken on Platter with Broccoli and Roast Potatoes

The High-Heat Method Produces Succulent Chicken with a Crispy Skin

Few dishes are better than a perfectly roasted chicken.  With its crisp, browned skin and juicy, succulent flesh, it’s so simple — yet irresistible.

But some cooks find the idea of roasting a chicken daunting.  Should you truss it or not?  Baste it?  And if so, how often?  How will you know when it’s done?  Decisions, decisions, decisions!

Well, relax.  There’s a way to eliminate most of those worries:  Just use the high-heat method.  It’s the easiest, fastest way to roast a chicken, and it’s practically foolproof. 

The result?  Superb flavor and nicely browned skin.  And a chicken that tastes way better than those supermarket rotisserie birds.



Roast Chicken on Plate with Broccoli and Roast Potatoes

Recipe:  Easy and Quick Roast Chicken

I first read about the high-heat method of roasting poultry in John and Karen Hess’s 1977 book, The Taste of America — which wasn’t a cookbook, but did include a high-heat recipe for roasting turkey. I tried it and found that it produced a perfectly cooked 12-pound bird in 2 hours. I’ve roasted whole poultry that way ever since.

In 1995, Barbara Kafka put high-temperature roasting firmly on the map with her excellent cookbook, Roasting. Last year, Molly Stevens published All About Roasting; her book isn’t strictly about high-temperature roasting, but her recipes certainly lean in that direction. If you want to learn more about roasting, I recommend either or both of those books.

My recipe is a combination of Hess’s and Kafka’s, and it’s as streamlined as any you’ll find: There’s no trussing the chicken, no massaging with olive oil or butter, no stuffing, and no basting. Preparation time is 5 to 10 minutes, plus a half hour to let the chicken lose its refrigerator chill at room temperature. Roasting time is an hour or less, depending on how large a bird you’re roasting (I recommend nothing larger than 5 pounds or so; you’ll get a better result with a bird about 3½ to 4 pounds).

A larger chicken will yield 4 generous servings; a smaller one, 2 to 3. Well-wrapped leftovers keep a few days in the refrigerator.

Ingredients
  • 1 whole chicken (about 3½ to 4 pounds is ideal; the monster “roasting” chickens that weight in at 5 to 6 pounds work, but their flavor isn’t as good and they’ll take longer to cook)
  • 1 lemon cut in half (optional)
  • 1 small onion peeled and roughly chopped (optional)
  • 2 - 4 cloves garlic, peeled and left whole (optional)
  • salt, preferably Kosher (not optional; to taste, but at least ½ teaspoon)
  • freshly ground black pepper (ditto)
  • ~1 cup wine, dry vermouth, chicken stock, or water for deglazing the pan (optional)
Procedure
  1. Preheat oven to 500 degrees F.
  2. Remove chicken from packaging and reserve neck and giblets for another use.  Wash or not (these days I don’t; see Notes) and pat dry. 
  3. If you want to give the chicken a bit of extra flavor, place any or all of the optional lemon, onion, and/or garlic cloves in the cavity of the chicken.  Add a couple of pinches of salt and pepper.
  4. Rub some salt and pepper over the skin of the chicken, paying particular attention to the breast and legs.
  5. Thoroughly wash your hands and any surface the chicken may have touched with soap and hot water (see Notes).
  6. Let the chicken rest for 30 minutes at room temperature before putting it in the oven.  The chicken will cook quicker if you allow it to warm up somewhat.
  7. Place the chicken breast-side-up in a roasting dish that’s just large enough to hold it (the dish should have sides about 1-inch high).
  8. Place the chicken in the oven with the legs pointed towards the back (the back of the oven is hotter, so this helps the legs cook faster).  Set timer for 20 minutes.
  9. At the 20-minute mark, slide a wooden or heatproof plastic spatula under the chicken to loosen its bond to the roasting pan.  By this time, the chicken should be browning nicely, so turn the oven down to 450 degrees.  (If the chicken isn’t brown, wait another ten minutes and then turn the oven down to 450 degrees.)
  10. Continue cooking until done — about 40 to 45 minutes total for a smaller chicken, about an hour for one that’s 5 or more pounds.  The chicken is done when an instant-read thermometer registers 165 degrees F.  (With the legs of the chicken pointed toward you, slide the thermometer’s probe into the chicken thigh, next to the breast, without touching bone).  Or you can prick the thigh with a fork and observe the color of the juices — if they’re clear (the palest pink is OK), the chicken is done.  Overdone chicken can be dry, so you want to start checking for doneness at the 35-minute mark for a smaller bird, 45 minutes for a larger one.
  11. Remove the chicken and place on a plate or carving platter, and tent with foil.  Let rest at least 10 minutes; 15 is better.
  12. If you wish to make a quick pan gravy, remove the grease from the roasting dish and discard.  Place the roasting dish on top of the stove.  Add the wine or other liquid, and bring to a boil.  With a spatula or wooden spoon, scrape any browned bits on the bottom of the roasting dish, and simmer the liquid until it reduces by half.  Taste and adjust seasoning, and pour into a gravy boat or other dish.
  13. For serving, you can either carve the chicken or cut it up into pieces at the table or in the kitchen.  If you don’t know how to carve a chicken (or your skills are rusty), there’s a good video on the Gourmet website.
Roast Chicken on Platter with Broccoli and Roast Potatoes, Overhead View


Notes
  • Chicken can carry salmonella, which is incredibly easy to spread through contact. So it’s crucial to clean up properly after preparing your chicken for roasting.  Thoroughly wash your hands, as well as any work surface the chicken may have touched during preparation.  In addition to soap and hot water, I always use a chlorine-based cleaner on both my hands and my work surfaces.
  • It’s because of the salmonella risk that I’ve stopped washing my fowl before roasting. All that rinsing does is spread the germs around; it doesn’t improve the flavor of the cooked bird. So I simply wipe down the cavity of the chicken with paper towels to dry it, then prep the chicken for the oven (Steps 3 and 4).
  • Most supermarket chickens are sold as “fryers” and usually weight 3 to 4 pounds. (They’re called fryers because they’re perfect for cutting up and sautéing, but they’re also perfect for roasting.) 
  • You can also usually find “roasting” chickens, which start at about 5 pounds (some even tip the scales at 7 pounds). As noted above, I prefer the smaller birds. 
  • Bigger birds have more dark meat, which takes longer to cook. That means there’s more risk of overcooking the white meat when the chicken is larger. 
  • If I’m serving a crowd, I just roast 2 (or more) smaller chickens. 
  • If you’re roasting multiple birds, don’t cram them together in the roasting pan — make sure they don’t touch so there’s air circulation around them. 
  • You should use a roasting pan just big enough to hold the chicken so that whatever fat it may render while roasting doesn’t spreading out in a thin layer and burn. 
  • However, if you want Roast Potatoes with your chicken, consider using a pan big enough to just hold the chicken and the potatoes. If you’re cooking a big bird (5 pounds+), add the potatoes to the pan at the 20-minute mark when you turn the oven down to 450 degrees (Step 9). If you’re roasting a smaller bird, just add them to the pan when you put the chicken into the oven. In both cases, I would use only about half the amount of olive oil that I specify in my recipe for Roast Potatoes — the rendering chicken fat will add enough additional fat to cook them nicely. 
  • If I let a chicken sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before putting it in the oven, I usually figure that it takes 10 to 11 minutes per pound to roast (unstuffed) if I start at 500 degrees and then turn the oven down to 450 in 20 or so minutes. But that’s just a rule of thumb; check the bird a bit early to make sure it’s not cooking too quickly. 
  • An instant read thermometer is invaluable for checking the internal temperature of roasts or anything else that you cook. Most of the ones you buy are accurate, although they may take 10 or 15 seconds to accurately record the temperature. My favorite instant read thermometer is the Thermapen. These are accurate to less than 1 degree F, and take a reading in 3 seconds or less. The downside? They’re pricey - $89! But they’re worth it. 
  • I never stuff birds because it increases cooking time. Also, because the chicken flesh insulates the stuffing, the chicken will tend to overcook before the stuffing is done. If you want stuffing, cook it separately. 
  • Because I never stuff my chicken, I have no need to truss the bird. Trussing has two purposes. One, it helps hold the stuffing in. Two, because it holds the chicken legs closer to the body in a more compact package, some people find it aesthetically a bit more pleasing. But when the legs aren’t pressed against the body of the chicken by trussing twine, they’ll actually cook in a bit less time. And you always want to cook the dark meat — the legs and thighs — as quickly as possible so you don’t overcook the white meat. Thus, I never truss. 
  • Some people like to fold the wing tips underneath the rest of the wing to form a tight triangular package, but that’s something I usually don’t bother with. 
  • I also don’t bother with basting. Chickens don’t produce much juice when roasted at high heat, so there’s little or nothing to baste with. Besides, basting makes the skin a bit less crisp, and I really like crispy skin on my chicken. Also, the more often you open the oven door, the more the temperature drops — increasing cooking time. 
  • If you insist on basting, however, use chicken stock, table wine, or a fortified wine like sherry. 
  • Some people maintain that, in order to achieve the “perfect” roast chicken, you need to use a more complicated procedure than I specify here. They insist that you should roast at a lower temperature for a longer time, and that you should cook the chicken on its side, turning every 20 minutes or so. They may (repeat, may) have a point, but a chicken cooked by my high-temperature method is almost as good (it’s a 97 or 98 rather than a perfect 100) and it’s a lot quicker and easier. 
  • With some of the lower temperature methods of roasting chicken, you need to turn the heat up at the end to make sure the skin browns properly. With the high-heat method, the skin browns automatically; no need to worry about it.
Roast Chicken on Plate with Broccoli and Roast Potatoes

Roast a Chicken to Practice for Your Thanksgiving Turkey

Once you’ve roasted your first chicken using high heat, you’ll probably never use another method — ever.  You’ll get nice crisp skin with great color, not to mention juicy breast meat and perfectly cooked dark meat. 

And if you’re intimidated about roasting a turkey, you’re in luck:  The method for roasting turkey at high heat is the same as for chicken, with just a few adjustments needed because turkeys tend to be larger.  Here are the turkey specifics:  Prepare the turkey just as you would a chicken.  Then leave it out at room temperature for at least an hour before placing it in the oven so it warms properly.  Put the turkey in the oven legs first.  Run a spatula under the turkey after 20 minutes so that its skin doesn’t stick to the pan (Step 9), but don’t turn the oven temperature down to 450 until you’ve been roasting the turkey for 30 or 40 minutes (I wait until the turkey is nicely browned). 

Using this method, my current oven roasts a 12-pound turkey in about an hour and 45 minutes.  But I’ve had ovens that roasted them in as little as an hour and a half, or as long as 2 hours.  So I always start testing for doneness (by taking the bird’s temperature — Step 10) at the hour-and-a-half mark.  A 15-pound turkey takes 2 hours or so (or maybe another 15 minutes, max).  I don’t like roasting really big turkeys for the same reason I don’t like roasting really big chickens.  If I need more turkey than a 15 pounder provides, I’ll roast two 10 pounders.

So this post on Roast Chicken is basically a twofer.  With the chicken, you’ve got your Sunday dinner covered.  And by following essentially the same recipe and extending the roasting time, you’re good to go with your Thanksgiving turkey, too.  Bon appétit!


You may also be interested in reading about:
Roast Potatoes
Roast Sweet Potatoes
Roast Cauliflower/a>
Roast Asparagus
Roast Belgian Endive
Roast Eggplant
Spicy Potatoes with Ginger and Garlic
Roast Pork
Easy Tandoori Chicken
Boeuf Bourguignon

86 comments:

  1. Sunday dinner, Monday supper! Roasting chickens is totally my go-to last-minute supper, almost as fast as a rotisserie chicken. : - )

    Love the tip about the back of the oven, though I must admit my own technique is still simpler, just shower the bird with kosher salt and a little pepper, then pop it into a very hot oven for an hour. Works like a charm! Every so often I'll try some technique with lemons etc in the cavity and to my taste, it's not worth the trouble.

    PS The difference between broilers/fryers and roasters is size alone. Broilers/fryers are the small ones, roasters are the big ones. They're not different kinds of chickens, they're not fed/butchered differently. They're just different sizes. Like medium eggs and large or jumbo eggs. : - ) Learned that from my butcher awhile back, felt really silly asking.

    PPS Oh and my most important chicken tip? There's a huge difference in taste and texture with a never-frozen chicken. Learned this during a fried-chicken craze, when I was playing with one variation of chicken after another. Learned that from Karen Tedesco from FamilyStyle Food, great tip.

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    1. Hi Alanna, thanks for your great comments! You're right that roasting chickens are just more mature fryers - same variety of chicken, just different stages of development. And that's a super tip about the difference between frozen and "fresh" chickens (which can legally reach the markets at a temperature below 32 degrees F, although there's a minimum temperature below which they can't go - someplace around 25 degrees?). Good stuff - thanks for your additions.

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  2. Ah, classic roast chicken ... my favorite comfort food! Thanks for all the tips!

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    1. Hi Kimberly, one of those dishes that pretty hard to go wrong with, huh? ;-) Thanks for the comment.

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  3. Yum! There really is nothing like perfectly roasted chicken. Love your simple, no fuss method. I do it similarly, but slather butter over the skin (because I'm indulgent like that), rub garlic over the skin then put a few crushed cloves under the skin and in the cavity. I love to roast veggies alongside the chicken because they soak up the delicious juices but still get crispy and delicious. I'm also a big fan of throwing some homemade croutons into the pan. And I've also been very into not basting it in recent years. Totally unnecessary! Great post, thanks!

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    1. Hi Katherine, I'll definitely have to try adding some croutons to the pan - love the idea. And sometimes I do slather chicken with butter - depends on how decadent I'm feeling! Thanks for the comment.

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  4. Classic chicken roast. I am planning to make chicken roast for Thanksgiving this year. Love you easy breezy method. Even I roast the vegetables along the sides of the chicken as the veggies gets packed with tons of flavor. YUM!

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    1. Hi Vijitha, any kind of fowl for Thanksgiving is great! And the veggies you roast in the same pan taste so good. Yum indeed! Thanks for the comment.

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  5. That is traditional perfection my friend your roast looks stunning :)
    I intend to make it one day!

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

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    1. Hi Uru, it's one of the world's great dishes! Thanks for the comment.

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  6. Wow! Heaps of great tips. That temperature is really high. I will have to try it. When I first went to live in Italy I was au pairing for a family and they had roast chicken and potatoes every Sunday lunch and I have never quite managed to make it as good as she did. This might be the answer.

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    1. Hi Suzanne, I'll be curious to see what you think of the high heat method. It's really simple, and does work. Definitely something worth trying. Thanks for the comment.

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    1. Hi Clare, it was absolutely delicious. All gone now, alas - so I'll just have to roast another one! Thanks for the comment.

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  8. You're right. A well-roasted chicken is irresistible. I've not tried the high-heat method of roasting, though, and will definitely give it a try. Thanks for the lesson.
    The previous poster was right about the difference between freshly dressed poultry and frozen. I've a live poultry store a half-mile from here. My Thanksgiving turkey comes from that place yearly, as does any poultry I may need for special occasions. The downside is that you have to pick your bird(s), watch it weighed, and then slaughtered. It is certainly not for the squeamish as a number of customer orders are filled at once. Still, it's not like chicken is born on styrofoam trays wrapped in cellophane and there's little doubt about your poultry's freshness.

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    1. Hi John, the high heat method is definitely trying. I'll be interested to see how you think it compares to your usual method. How cool to have a live poultry store so close! I'd love to have that! The downside, as you point out, is having to witness the slaughter; but the upside is freshness and, I imagine, quite superior flavor. Thanks for your comment.

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  9. Wow, you make it sound so easy to roast the whole chicken :) I have phobia in regards to dealing with whole chicken...therefore I have not done yet. Now with this post I am starting to have second thoughts...
    Your chicken looks delicious, tender and juicy...perfect for a weaken treat.
    Thanks for the recipe and all the information. Hope you are enjoying your week :)

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    1. Hi Juliana, it actually is pretty simple! The only tricky part is figuring out when it's done, and with an instant read thermometer that's easy. Once your roast your first one, you'll never look back. Thanks for your comment.

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  10. The last time I cooked a chicken like this it took me over an hour to clean the oven. It was tender, juicy and delicious though!

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    1. Hi Maureen, if you keep the oven at 500 degrees F the entire time, you do risk a dirty oven (splattering chicken fat). But if you turn it down to 450 degrees after 20 minutes or so, you eliminate almost all of that problem, in my experience. Alas, no matter what you cook in an oven, it does eventually need cleaning - thank goodness for self-cleaning ovens! Thanks for your comment.

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  11. Great post! This is very similar to how I roast a chicken but I do a slightly lower temp (425F) with an additonal 1/2 hr roasting time. Love it!

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    1. Hi Alyssa, I've cooked chicken that way, too, and it works quite well. I'm just addicted to the speed of the higher heat, plus I do think the skin gets just a bit more crispy. But both work well. Thanks for your comment.

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  12. That's a perfect looking bird. I love roasting a whole chicken for all the leftovers it gives you. Plus, the bones for making stock.

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    1. Hi Carolyn, leftover chicken is wonderful! And I always make stock out of the bones. If I don't have time to do it right away, I freeze the bones and make it later. Thanks for your comment.

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  13. To heck with the meat, I just want to eat the crispy skin off this chicken! I've heard of the high heat method, but have never done it. After seeing this, I'm convinced. Bobby's favorite meal is a roast chicken and anything else, but because I slow cook them, it takes a long time. I love the shorter cooking time for this recipe! Thanks for this post! Now I need to go buy a whole chicken.

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    1. Hi MJ, it's great tasting chicken! And the skin is really good. There are some virtues to slow cooking chicken, but crispy skin isn't one of them, alas. Let me know how your high heat chicken turns out! Thanks for the comment.

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  14. I love how detailed your notes are! browned skin and juicy - now that sounds like a perfectly cooked bird! I make sure some of my roast is leftover for sandwiches the next day :)

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    1. Hi Baker Street, it's really an excellent tasting bird. And leftovers are always welcome! Thanks for the comment.

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  15. I love roast chicken, but don't make it nearly enough! I have never heard of this method, and I'm keen to try it. Looks like perfect practice for your Thanksgiving turkey ;)

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    1. Hi Ali, the high heat method is definitely worth a try. And it's great practice for anyone who has a turkey to roast! Thanks for the comment.

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  16. Great tips John. I usually roast mine at 375 but I think I will pick one up today and make it for dinner tonight. Sounds delicious, quick and makes it nice and golden brown. Dorie's Greenspoon has a recipe in Around My French Table that I love where it calls for setting the chicken on top of bread. It acts as a rack and collect the juices making for an incredible side. I think I will try your high heat with her bread./garlic rack. Tonight.

    As always lots of great tips. By the way, leaving the meat out just long enough for the chill to go away helps for the foods to cook evenly when popped in the oven. It's always a great idea to do so long as someone doesn't forget and leave it out too long.

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    1. Hi Vicki, one of these days I should really get some of Dorie Greenspoon's cookbooks. The things I've read by her are good; but for some reason I've never felt motivated to buy one of her cookbooks (or even check it out of the library). Weird. One of the downsides to using bread (or garlic) as a rack is if you want to make a pan sauce, the bread will prevent the juices browning on the bottom of the roasting pan, so they'll be little or nothing to deglaze - hence no way to make a pan sauce. Great extra info about why you let the bird sit for a bit at room temperature before popping it into the oven - it is indeed to help it cook more evenly. Thanks for the comment.

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  17. This is a great post. I'm generally happy with the way I roast my turkeys and chicken, but I'd love to try your high -temperature method. I haven't stuffed my turkey in years - in addition to what you mentioned, I find it crisper and better-tasting when cooked separately. (Plus, it just seems cleaner.) Interesting tips on trussing and basting too. Thanks again for this really useful information!

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    1. Hi Beth, an awful lot of people get really good results with the medium heat method, which probably is the most common method of roasting fowl. But this is worth a try - you get great skin, and it takes relatively little time. Thanks for the comment.

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  18. That's a beautiful bird! Would love to try this!

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    1. Hi Asmita, it's really good stuff! Definitely worth trying. Thanks for your comment.

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  19. I love a good roast chicken but I've always bought them outside since it's so much easier, this recipe looks doable and delicious too! Great post. :)

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    1. Hi Jenny, trust me, it's the rare store-bought that has this flavor. And when you roast it yourself, you get all the wonderful aroma! Thanks for the kind words, and the comment.

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  20. On my way to the store...if I can stop salivating long enough...to buy a chicken!

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    1. Hi toosdae, hope you enjoy your chicken! Thanks for the comment.

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  21. Perfectly done! Crispy, brown skin is a must...and yours looks divine! Thanks for all the tips...they will be especially helpful on Thanksgiving :)

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    1. Hi Lizzy, isn't the skin almost the best part? And if you haven't done a turkey this way, it's really worth trying - you'll be amazed at how quickly it gets done! Thanks for your comment.

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  22. I love you. That is all.

    Okay seriously you know me better than that. Is that ever all? I just placed an order for roasters and I pick it up tomorrow. 2 whole cases for winter. That is how much I love roast chicken.

    And you.

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    1. Hi Kim, gosh, I love you too! And I do know you better than that, so I know you're never that brief. ;-) But the burning question is, do you love me or those 2 cases of roasters better? Yeah, I thought so. ;-) Thanks for the comment.

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  23. I love how the skin was perfectly browned. I feels like I am looking right out of magazine page. Beautifully presented, John! Have a good weekend!

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    1. Hi Ray, this is really good stuff. Thanks for all those kind words, and the comment.

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  24. I didn't know about the high heat method, but I for sure need to try this. I am picky when it comes to chicken, and hate when chicken is dry. This sounds wonderful, and perfect dinner for my crazy life:-) Looks fantastic, Take care, Terra

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    1. Hi Terra, it's really worth trying sometime, and with your schedule you'll find it a real time saver. Thanks for your comment.

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  25. This chicken looks phenomenal, John - love the extra crispy skin! I'm a big fan of roasting my own birds and I do roast at a fairly high temp (425 typically) but I've never tried it at 500! I also typically select 7-8 lb birds (if I take the time to roast a bird, I want leftovers) so I might need to adjust baking temp a little... Thanks so much for sharing and I'm featuring this post as part of Food Fetish Friday (with a link-back and attribution). Thanks for making me drool!

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    1. Hi JW, this will work with a 8 pound bird, too. I start at 500F (it helps crisp the skin) but then turn it down to 450F in 20 minutes (with an 8 pound bird, I'd probably turn it down in 30 minutes) - pretty close to your 425. Glad you like the post, and thanks for featuring this in your Food Fetish Friday! And thanks for the comment.

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  26. This looks fabulous, KR!! And taking photos of a whole chicken is no easy task, either. Great post - roasting a chicken is far more challenging without any instruction and you've given some great advice here.

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    1. Hi Kristy, whole fowl photography is indeed harder than one might think. ;-) Some of the outtakes aren't a pretty sight! Thanks for all the kind words, and the comment.

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  27. Oh my gosh, you got me so excited to try this recipe and it's going to be my bible when I roast chicken. I've never roasted turkey either so you know why I got so excited by trying your high heat method and practice it with chicken! Your chicken looks absolutely perfect. I cannot say any more word to describe because it's exactly how I want my roast chicken to look! Thank you so much for this recipe. Better print out now. :D

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    1. Hi Nami, this recipe produces a really great tasting (and looking!) chicken. It's really easy, too, once you do it. Have fun! Thanks for your comment.

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  28. This is the perfect way to make chicken, your chicken looks delicious. I love how golden brown it looks.

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    1. Hi Dawn, isn't it nice looking? Juicy, too. Thanks for the comment.

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  29. The chicken looks unbelievably crispy... i have to stop looking at your photos when i'm hungry... it's getting dangerous :)

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    1. Hi bigFATcook, sorry to get you so hungry. ;-) Thanks for the comment.

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  30. I love a roast chicken. It's a never-fail great family favourite that I pull out quite often because once it's in the oven you're free to get on with all your other chores xx

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    1. Hi Charlie, I agree that roast chicken is a pretty easy dish, and almost everyone likes it. Such good stuff! Thanks for the comment.

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  31. I normally cook two birds each week. It's my daughter's favorite meat and I use the extra meat to make all kinds of dishes...but mostly soups.

    I grew up in the south and am a huge fried chicken fan. However, in all my 35 years living in Texas, I failed to ever learn how to cut up a bird. I'm terribly embarassed. I prefer to remain ignorant because I'd much rather feed my girl roasted bird instead of fried.

    Thanks for all the good tips! Just as any good home chef should do, I shall combine some of your ideas with my own and proceed from there!

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    1. Hi Tracee, I like using leftover chicken for soup too. Fried chicken is great, and cutting up a bird is easy once you learn how - but roast chicken is so good, I totally understand why you don't want to learn! Thanks for your comment.

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  32. I love a good roast chicken! It makes me feel like making one tonight - however I already have my Italian pasta sauce simmering on the stove! Maybe next weekend :)

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    1. Hi Amanda, pasta is good too! As a matter of fact last night we had Pasta alla Norma again - a great pasta dish is hard to beat. But this chicken might be the one thing that can beat pasta! Thanks for the comment.

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  33. Thanks for those notes, definitely most of them are so helpful.

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    1. Hi Raymund, glad you found the notes helpful! Thanks for the comment.

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  34. A good chicken roast can beat any fancy meal. I agree with your cooking method of roasting in the high temperature without much hassle trying to adorn the bird. Thanks for the wonderful explanation on the information about proper cooking of poultry and the cooking technique. I admire your knowledge and the effort. Thanks.

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    1. Hi Holly, isn't the high heat method for roasting fowl (or any meat) really nice? So simple, and the results are fantastic. Thanks for the kind words, and the comment.

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  35. It seems that a roast chicken is just universally appealing and yours looks fantastic. I agree that high heat is the way to go! Thanks for all the great tips, I'm bookmarking this! :)

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    1. Hi Café Sucré Farine, there are few carnivores that don't like chicken! And a great chicken has so much flavor. Thanks for the comment.

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  36. I love high heat roasting, and the crispy skin! Your chicken looks delicious and so do the potatoes and broccoli.

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    1. Hi Lisa, the crispy skin alone makes the high heat method worth it! Thanks for your comment.

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  37. Wow John....this chicken looks scrumptious! I've heard of a high heat method used to cook steaks. I've never tried it. But if it produces this golden, perfect, crispy crust...I'm on it!!! I bet that chicken was moist and juicy and I think I will try this first in preparation for Thanksgiving! Beautiful photos! : )

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    1. Hi Anne, the high heat method is both easy and effective - and it takes relatively little time. Thanks for the kind words, and the comment.

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  38. Wow, this is incredibly impressive! I could never make a roasted chicken - its so intimidating...yet, you make it look so easy! :) Bravo!

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    1. Hi Kristi, it really is easy - trust me. ;-) And so tasty, too! Thanks for the comment.

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  39. Thanks for all these tips Kitchen Riffs! I think there's certainly an art to the perfect roast bird and I'm sure I'll get some success with all your help :)

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    1. Hi Christine, roast a chicken is actually pretty easy, or at least I find it so. And the high heat method helps out a lot - no worrying about whether the bird will brown. It will do so automatically! Thanks for the comment.

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  40. I only like chicken skin when its nice crisp with herbal flavores and when I was a kid I would go nuts for that stuff. My mum would always make that for sunday. To get the skin crispy she would pour some oily sauce on top eveyr now and then, that used to work and the chicken was nice and perfect as we love it! Thanks fro sharing all the information here, very useful!

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    1. Hi Helene, I sometimes like adding herbs to my roast chicken, too - they add such great flavor. Thanks for the comment.

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  41. Oh I'll definitely have to give this a shot! I do a method where I cook it at 350 until the thermometer reads 140 and then I crank it up to 450 to finish but I love the idea of doing it all at high heat. I'm a crispy skin fanatic :P so I'm always on the hunt.

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    1. Hi Food Jaunts, the skin usually does get pretty crispy if you do it your way, I've found, but it's virtually guaranteed to do so when using the high heat method. Thanks for your comment.

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  42. Brine overnight (60 grams of salt per litre water). Smoother it with butter and cook low and slow. About 90 degrees celsius, but you can go a bit higher. Since cooking times are inaccurate, use a temperature probe. Let it rest for 45 minutes.
    Crank up the temperature as high as possible. Baste and roast until skin is browned and crispy.

    I personally don't think a whole chicken or turkey is suitable for a high temperature method. The meat will contract and squeeze the juices out.
    Your chicken does unfortunatley look a bit dry and stringy...
    Don't get me wrong, I read your blog and enjoy it. But I am kind of picky when it comes to chicken :-).
    All the best /John from sweden

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    1. Hi John, actually the chicken was pretty juicy and tender - alas although the pictures do a pretty good job of showing the crispy skin, they don't do as good of a job showing how juicy the meat was. At any rate, I'm familiar with the low heat method of cooking a chicken. Adelle Davis in the 1960s wrote Let's Cook it Right, which advocated this. 90 degrees C (just under 200 degrees F) is pretty low, but as I recall she recommended something similar. I should try this method again to see it it produces a superior chicken. As I recall the meat was indeed quite juicy, but of course it took significantly longer to cook than the high heat method. It will be a recipe for another day, but the high heat method works even better when you spatchcock the chicken (cut out its backbone and flatten the chicken before cooking). Really informative comment - thanks for that, and I'm glad you enjoy the blog.

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  43. My favorite food; chicken! This looks incredible : )

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    1. Hi petit4chocolatier, isn't chicken great? This is really nice. Thanks for the comment.

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