The Versatility of Roasted Chicken

21 Oct

IMG_0901There are many basic techniques that can aid one in their quest for ultimate kitchen enlightenment, however, I think that the technique for roasting a chicken is the secret key to conquest.

There are 3 main components to the perfect roasted chicken.

1. Chicken

2. Heat

3. Time

First, the chicken. What size you need is determined by how many people you are planning on feeding. If you assume that each person will eat between 1/4 and 1/2 pounds of chicken, you would want to buy a bird accordingly. If you are only feeding 2 people you might want to consider purchasing cornish game hens. The hens tend to be a bit gamier in flavor, but the roasting technique is the same. For the sake of an example I’ll use a 5 pound bird. Make sure that you note the packaging so that you know if you should be looking for a paper treasure in the chicken. It’s not a crisis if you leave the giblet in the chicken during roasting, but you are losing some of the tastiest bits to make gravy with.

Element 2: the heat. Heat is a bit relative depending on the size of the bird and if you want the skin crispy. Crispy skin is a great debate in my house. No one really eats it, but it does look beautiful when it comes out of the oven. So, the question to me in not so much about skin, but about moist delicious meat. Oh yes, I’d love both and I most certainly strive for both, but I’ll take great moist chicken meat over crispy skin any day.

With my chicken I start with the oven at 400 degrees and let it cook for 45 minutes. Then I turn the temperature down to 350 and allow it to cook for another 30 minutes. This addresses the third element, time. This is a relative cooking time as every chicken is different. For the 5 pound chicken tis would be approximately the right time, but the only way to know if you chicken is cooked through is to use a thermometer and make sure that it has reached 165 degrees. You can take it out of the oven at 155 degrees if you want since there will be some carry over cooking.

So know you have this delicious, freshly cooked chicken (or rotisserie chicken from the grocery store) what do you do with it? Well eating it with a side of mashed potatoes and green beans is a good start, but the possibilities are endless. Chicken tacos, chicken salad, stir fried chicken, BBQ chicken pizza are on the top of my list. Here’s my recipe for chicken salad:

Chicken Salad
serves 2

1/2 pound diced chicken
3 tablespoons light mayo
1/4 cup red grapes, quartered
1/8 cup celery, small diced
2 tablespoons chopped toasted walnuts
salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients and serve on toasted wheat bread with romaine lettuce and sliced tomatoes

Always thinking of the next meal



One Response to “The Versatility of Roasted Chicken”

  1. Rachel October 22, 2009 at 2:18 pm #

    I need to stop reading your blog at work because I’m quite sure that my students don’t appreciate my drooling! YUM – I’m now super hungry and craving roasted chicken!

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