Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Revolutionary Roast Chicken

I'm not sure why more bloggers don't blog recipes from Cooks Illustrated. Because seriously, you can never cook a mediocre dish when you follow a recipe of theirs. Foolproof. Godly. Good. Just a few adjectives that come to mind when I think of shelling out $7.95 an issue. Aka, even though that's about 50 cents a recipe, I still find it to be money well spent.

The following recipe is the perfect example of why I love CI so much. Here I was with a free range whole chicken in my fridge and I thought I had roasting a chicken down to a T. Why mess with perfection? My way consistently produced great roast chickens.

Well, I am so glad I trusted my intuition that CI knew something I didn't. Because this way of roasting a chicken, my friends, is REVOLUTIONARY. Like, the BEST (dare I say only), yes the ONLY way to roast a chicken from now until eternity, amen.

Buy a free range whole chicken. Follow the recipe below. And be converted.

Revolutionary Roast Chicken in a Pan

adapted from Bryan Roof of Cooks Illustrated

Use a 3 1/2 to 4 lb chicken. If you must use a larger bird increase the Step 2 time in oven to 35 to 40 minutes. I used an all-clad 12-inch skillet which worked perfectly and was surprisingly a breeze to clean up (no burnt-on bits at all.)

1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 (3 1/2 - 4 lb) whole chicken, giblets discarded
1 tablespoon olive oil

for optional carrot side dish:
about 4 medium carrots, cut into just larger than thumb sized sticks
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon herbes de provence

Adjust oven rack to middle position, place a 12-inch ovenproof skillet on the rack, and turn the oven on to 450 degrees.

Pat chicken dry with paper towels. Rub chicken all over with olive oil, and rub salt in all over. Tie legs together with kitchen twine and tuck wing tips behind back.

Once oven has fully preheated, place chicken, breast side up, on preheated skillet in the oven. Roast chicken until breast registers 120 degrees and thigh registers 135 degrees. Turn oven off and leave chicken in oven until breast registers 160 degrees and thighs register 175 degrees, 25 to 35 minutes.

Transfer chicken to carving board and let rest, uncovered, for 15 minutes. (If you can wait that long.) Carve chicken and serve.

If you want to make the carrot side dish:
Toss together carrots, oil and herbes. Scatter on either side of chicken in pan a few minutes before you turn the oven off. 

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