Our mom was a terrific cook, of everything from the simple to the elaborate. On weekday nights, meals would be more simple: grilled meats and fish, salad, a vegetable, a starch. Once or twice a week she roasted a plump whole chicken in a countertop rotisserie, similar to this one but bigger, and without today’s multi-tasking options. It grilled meat on a spit, period.
She gave it to us one year, when she upgraded to a new model. But as much as we loved roasting a juicy Bell & Adams chicken, taking up two feet of counter space was a hardship in a typical New York City kitchen. So one day, we passed it on to someone with enviable counter space.
It’s easy to pick up a roasted chicken in a supermarket these days, and some markets use quality birds with a quite satisfactory result. But it’s not in our DNA to buy a pre-cooked chicken. We tried a vertical roaster from Cuisinart which saved us eight inches of footprint—but that was still too much forfeited counter space for us.
More recently, we came across a simple broiler-and-oven roasting technique from GFF Magazine. If you have a butcher who can debone the chicken for you—or you like to do it yourself (here’s a video tutorial)—you’ll find that the roasting technique delivers the most delicious chicken: very crisp skin and very moist meat.
Chef Daniel finished the dish with fried herbs and an herb vinaigrette. We took a shortcut and sprinkled the cooked chicken with fresh herbs.
It’s not Mom’s beloved rotisserie chicken, seasoned with paprika and garlic salt that scented the air, but it’s time to move on.
RECIPE: CHEF DANIEL PATTERSON’S ROAST CHICKEN
Ingredients For 4 to 6 Servings
This recipe was made in an oven with a top broiler element. If your broiler is in a separate unit, preheat your oven to 250°F.
1. SALT the chicken 1 to 3 hours prior to cooking and place it in the fridge. Remove it 10 minutes before cooking and place it in a rimmed pan, skin side up.
2. ADJUST the oven rack to 3 inches from the broiler heating element, and preheat the broiler. Place the pan under the heat for 10 minutes. This browns and crisps the skin. Rotate the pan a few times for even browning.
3. TURN the oven temperature down to 250°F and cook for an additional 25 minutes. Remove from the oven, let rest for 5-10 minutes, cut the chicken into pieces and serve.
There’s much more beyond breast, drumstick, thigh and wing. Check out the parts of a chicken in our Chicken Glossary. Cluck, cluck, cluck.
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