Sunday, January 31, 2010

How to roast a chicken

So this turns out perfect. No seriously EVERY TIME! It's super moist and juicy and looks like it could be on the cover of a magazine! No matter who cooks this it looks stunning and although a bit of work most of it can be (and needs to be) done in advance so you can just pop it in the oven when you get home! You need a bowl or pot that can fit a whole chicken. Try this especially if you can't cook it will impress everyone who eats it!

There are 3 components to this don't be scared! The hardest part of this is boiling water and if you don't have fresh herbs use dried! The water will look like gross tea but it'll be fine trust me! So your 3 components are The Brine, The Chicken and The Gravy this gravy is really, Really easy. So if you got a gal or dude to impress make this for dinner they will think you are a domestic Goddess/God!


The Brine;
You can make this days before or in the morning. If you are making it in the morning just make sure you have ice on hand too cool it down!

4 cups water
1/4 cup sea/kosher salt (I like sel gris because it's very salty. It also has an almost chicken broth flavour when mixed with the other ingredients of the brine)
1 small onion or large shallot
2-3 sprigs thyme
1 sprig rosemary
handful of parsley
2 smashed cloves garlic
2-3 bay leaves
5-6 peppercorns
2 tbsp sugar
4 cups cold water (or ice)

Now I know that looks like a lot of ingredients but don't be afrais. I often if I don't have fresh herbs use a handful of herb de provence or whatever herbs I have around. As long as they are green you will probably be okay!
(note; as you can see there is no rosemary in here, I don't care I do what I want! :)
So boil all of the above until the salt is dissolved remove from heat add cold water or ice and it's done! Just make sure your water is a little cold when you put in the chicken you don't want salmonella! Ew...
(hello little peppercorn)

Wash your chicken and put it in breast down. make sure it is covered in the brine. Cover and refrigerate for at least 6 hours.

Cut up 4 small or 2 large carrots, enough for the chicken to sit on. We are making a tasty roasting rack!
(You can do this ahead of time just store them in water in a sealed container. I also usually use cute smaller carrots and leave the tops on they look prettier but Little Miss Pants ate them all)

Now for the chicken
2 tbsp butter (or margarine)
More thyme (like 2 tbsp roughly chopped)
1 lemon
the goodies from the brine
salt and pepper to taste

Now haul out your chicken and pat it dry. Rub it down with the butter. Sprinkle your thyme and salt and pepper over top.

Fill the cavity with your lemon and all the solid bits of the brine. Then I like to tie it up. I'm kinky like that.

Place it on your roasting pan on top of the carrots. Roast in the oven at 375f for about an hour and a half of until your internal temp reaches 165f.
Yummies. Now you could eat it like this or you could make gravy. I like gravy. Now I don't have any pictures of it. It got eaten but here is what you do, to start you have ready;
3/4 cup of chicken broth
1/4 cup of wine (or more if you are like me and really like wine!
Pan drippings
1 tbsp water
1 tbsp cornstarch

Mix water and cornstarch and set aside.
Deglaze pan with wine. Deglazing is a fancy word for scraping the heck out of a pan with a wooden spoon assisted by hot liquid to get all the yummy bits!
add the deglazed yumminess to the chicken stock in a small pot. you will see fat float to the top skim off as much as you can with a spoon.
let that reduce down to aout a 1/2 or 1/3 if you are like me and use too much wine!
whisk in your cornstarch miture and let simmer for about 5 minutes.
if you are really fancy you can strain the gravy into a gravy boat.
Now carve and serve!!
I like it with garlic mashed potatoes for some ultimate comfort food awesomeness!!!!

(also save the carcass and put it in the freezer for chicken stock!!!!)

Now feel the homey yummy warmth!!!