Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Roasting Chicken Part Two

So when I left you yesterday, we had a raw chicken on a vertical roaster. Please note that I'm talking about a normal size chicken in the four pound range. My personal preference is for Amish chickens that have been fed a vegetarian diet (where do they find all those vegetarians to feed to them?).

Depending on the height of your vertical roaster, you may need to place the oven rack on the lowest level. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Set the chicken on the vertical roaster and place on a baking pan. Sprinkle salt on the chicken and rub it around the skin with your hand. You can add all sorts of herbs and spices here -- pepper, garlic powder, cumin -- whatever you like. Just sprinkle it on and rub to spread it. But just plain salt is also great.

Tuck the wings behind the bird. No trussing necessary. The wings will loosen a bit as it roasts but that's okay. Slide the bird, baking pan and all into the oven. I usually turn the breast toward the back. Set the timer for one hour. After one hour, remove from the oven and let stand a few minutes before cutting. Eat!

I promised a tip for thawing chicken faster. I haven't tried this with a rock hard frozen chicken. But this will hurry the process along if it has begun to thaw. Put two to three tablespoons of salt in a large bowl (a mixing bowl can work well here), add water, and dissolve. Place the semi-frozen chicken in the bowl, add enough water to cover the chicken and refrigerate. The salt helps the water thaw the chicken and it brines it at the same time. Do not use this process on any chicken that has already been brined or that has any solution added. Check the progress of the chicken after a couple of hours. When sufficiently thawed, pour out the water and rinse the chicken. Leave it in the refrigerator *uncovered* until ready to roast.

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