Good old basic roast chicken. Good quality bird, lots of garlic, rosemary, and lemon. Serving with garlic rosemary demi glace, Brussels sprouts(near the last of this years brop), and salad. Nice easy Friday night supper.We've started putting roast chicken into our regular rotation now that grilling season has come to an end. I've been playing with time and temperature to try to get the breast done just right, but I haven't settled on a schedule yet. Low and slow, and hot and fast both have their drawbacks. What temp do you do yours at?
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I was on a kick for awhile about this very question. I had come up with a method where I had started the chicken in a cast iron dutch oven, covered and breast side up on a bed of mirepoix, at 350F for 30 minutes, raised to 400F and flipped over for 30 more minutes, uncovered. I was exposing the dark meat to the highest heat and shielding the breast by doing this. At this point I cranked the oven up to 450F, transferred the bird, breast side up, to a rack on a sheet pan and browned the skin for 15-20 minutes. Meanwhile I turn the mirepoix and juices in the Dutch oven into a stock then sauce. It worked: the breast is tender, the thighs and leg meat falling off the bone, and the skin reasonably crispy. I still do this (well, pre-covid) if my wife and I are eating with others.
But what I almost always do is simpler and based on what we like and how we actually usually eat-we are both crispy skin freaks and like to eat the freshly roasted dark meat and then save the carcass and breast meat for soups and chicken salad or other leftover creations. So now I simply pat the chicken dry, season the skin with coarse salt and freshly ground pepper, throw some seasoning in the cavity (herbs, lemon, garlic, spices etc.) and bake in a preheated 400F oven on a rack in a sheet pan. Rotate in 30 minutes take out in an hour and take thigh and breast temps. Often it’s just short of done in an hour to 70 minutes and I turn the oven off and put back in the oven for ten minutes. While the chicken is roasting I use the neck and giblets, if provided, to make a tiny batch of stock. I strain and season this how I like for the meal I am making and reduce to a demi glacé.
This second method is super simple and results in an insanely delicious and crisp skin and melt in your mouth dark meat. The breast meat is also juicy if the chicken is a nice fresh locally farmed one. A frozen bird or factory bird may have dry breast meat, but that’s what mayonnaise is for.