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Tips for Perfect Roast Chicken

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Category: Poultry

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Here are several techniques that help to add flavor to roast chicken.

Before roasting, lift the skin of the breast and leg sections by
sliding your fingers under it, then seasoning the meat underneath.
This accomplishes several things. First. it puts the flavorings
directly on the meat where they will do the most good. Second, for
diners who remove the skin before eating, this ensures that the
seasoning will not be stripped away with the skin. Finally, it gives
easily scorched ingredients, such as fresh herbs or minced garlic,
protection from the drying heat of the oven. In addition to
seasonings, rub a bit of oil under and over the skin. This helps to
flavor and moisten the meat, and insures that the skin will crisp
well during roasting.

Start roasting chickens breast-side down in a hot oven (at least
400F). This crisps the back and gives the thickest part of the thighs
a head start in cooking. Then after 30 minutes or so, reduce the oven
temperature, turn the chicken over, and stuff, baste or sauce it, the
continue roasting until done. The roasting times may seem a bit long
by recent cookbook standards.

Of course. doneness is a personal choice, but I don't want to ever
carve into a chicken with a rosy pink breast and jiggling thighs. I
prefer chickens roasted to between 170F and 175F. At this
temperature, the breast may be a bit dry (white meat begins to lose
moisture after 165F), but the dark meat will be cooked through.

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