The Humble Chicken

chicken_mise

Within the last couple of years, I have been fortunate enough to have tried roasted chicken thigh. Up until that time, I would only eat the breast, discarding the rest. In addition to finding that I like much more of the chicken than I thought, I also see the benefit of purchasing bone-in and cooking with skin on. And that goes for any part of the bird. I am not saying that there is not a time and place for plain chicken breast, but rather that I now have more options–moist, juicy, flavorful options that take no more than a few ingredients. Chicken. Butter (or oil). Salt. Pepper. That’s it. More…

Within the last couple of years, I have been fortunate enough to have tried roasted chicken thigh. Up until that time, I would only eat the breast, discarding the rest. In addition to finding that I like much more of the chicken than I thought, I also see the benefit of purchasing bone-in and cooking with skin on. And that goes for any part of the bird. I am not saying that there is not a time and place for plain chicken breast, but rather that I now have more options–moist, juicy, flavorful options that take no more than a few ingredients. Chicken. Butter (or oil). Salt. Pepper. That’s it.

Unit 18: Poultry is all about the beloved chicken. From breaking down the bird and butchering it to trussing and roasting it. It makes me what to buy whole birds from now on. I have a hard time finding parts for stock anyway so it might actually work in my favor. I even bought a boning knife after watching the How to Butcher a Chicken video. I’m hooked!

The graded assignment for this unit involved roasting and sectioning a whole bird. It was really lots of fun and eating the assignment was a nice bonus!

The first thing I did to make the roasted chicken was to preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. I then moved on to preparing my mise en place. I gathered 1 whole organic, certified non-gmo, free range chicken along with room-temp butter, Himalayan sea salt, and fresh ground pepper. In addition, I got out my roasting pan, roasting rack, thermometer, boning knife, twine, and scissors—and set it all on top of my cutting board.

chicken_mise

I then patted the chicken dry and coated the entire surface of the chicken with much of the butter. I then seasoned the entire bird with salt and pepper; including the inside cavity. I then trussed the bird as I thought it would be a good learning opportunity….which it was. I found that the bird was a bit slippery and wondered if I would have been more successful trussing it before rubbing with butter and seasoning. I might try that next time.

Once I was done with the trussing, I put the whole chicken on the roasting rack and popped it in the oven for 30 minutes after having adjusted the oven rack so that the chicken was in the center. At the 30-minute mark, I took the chicken out—taking care not to leave the oven door open—and basted and turned it. I also added a bit of broth in the bottom of the roasting pan so that the sucs did not burn.

chicken_inprocess

I continued cooking for another 20 minutes before checking the temp. The bird was not done so I basted again and returned it to the oven for 10 more minutes. It was still not done, so basted once again and roasted for another 10 minutes. It was done at that point, so I took it out of the roasting pan, tented it, and let it rest for about 15 minutes before beginning the carving process.

While the roasted chicken was resting, I popped some tri-colored carrots from my garden in the oven with just some salt, pepper, and olive oil to coat. I also drained off the extra fat in the roasting pan, put on the stove top, and added some stock to deglaze. Once it reduced by about half, I strained into a small cup to pour over the chicken. I then started the process of breaking down the roasted chicken. I started with the legs; separating the drumstick from the thigh. I then removed the wings. And lastly, the breast from the bone. I arranged the meat on a platter, adding the roasted carrots and spooning the pan sauce over the meat. I tried a few pieces of the meat and they were tender and succulent with a nice flavor (that did not need any additional salt or seasoning). Once the carcass had cooled, I bagged it and stuck in in the freezer for stock later. Unit 18 done!

roasted chicken