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  • Serves: 1 Servings

The Hows of Roasted Chicken

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Category: Poultry

 Ingredients List

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Nothing lifts the spirit or tantalizes more than the fragrance of a
roasting chicken. Caramelized and combined with vegetables and herbs,
nothing comforts more. The trick to cultivating great roast chicken flavor
is in the oven temperature. High initial heat of 450 to 500 degrees is
necessary to caramelize the chicken's natural sugars and acids. This is the
basis of that wonderful roast chicken flavor. Cooked at low temperatures,
the chicken becomes poached with far less flavor development. Not only is
chicken cooked this way succulent, but can also be quite healthful. The
white meat or breast meat is the leanest and even if you cook it with the
skin, the fat is negligible once the skin is removed. The skin provides
"protection" for the meat and maintains its moistness. Younger chickens are
sold as fryers, while older more mature birds are marketed as roasters.
Fryers usually weigh less than 2 1/2 pounds while roasters are much larger,
weighing in at 3 to 5 pounds. Choose your chicken based on the portions
needed, but keep in mind the younger birds are the most tender. I sometimes
purchase 2 smaller birds instead of 1 large. THE COOKING STEPS: Wash the
chicken inside and out under cold running water. Place in a roasting pan.
Season the bird inside and out with salt and pepper. Stuff herbs such as
thyme, rosemary, parsley and summer savory into the cavity. You may add
other flavor enhancers such as lemons, apples, limes and pears. Before
roasting, rub the skin with a little softened butter or a few drops of
olive oil to create that golden crispy skin. Place the pan on the lower
rack of a preheated 450-500 degree oven. Cook for 15 minutes the turn the
temperature down to 400 degrees for the rest of the cooking time. Cook
until thigh meat reaches 180 degrees, about 35 to 45 minutes for the fryers
and 1 hour or so for the roasters. Remove from oven and allow to rest about
10 minutes. Recipe follows.

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