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Free Range Chicken Roast Question.

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

I was able to find a free range chicken to cook at a local market and i want to do a very simple roast in a 12" skillet.

 

1)Unfortunately i do not own a 12" cast iron skillet but i do own a 12" stainless steel skillet that was given to me after my grandmothers death. The thing has plastic on part of the handle. I don't think it would melt off during the oven roast if i cook around 350 degrees but i am not 100% sure so i think i might wrap the plastic part in tin foil. Has anyone ever heard of this? I made skewers out of rosemary one time and i covered the end with tin foil to protect is from the heat and that is where my idea came from. I know, cooking on skewers is diff. than cooking an oven roast but have you guys tried something similar before?

 

2) I am going to melt some clarified butter in a skillet toss in my veggies and toss to coat the veggies (carrots, Celery, Onions and maybe garlic, trying to keep it simple as possible). Add dry white wine and chicken stock and place the chicken breast side down with a bit of S&P and a bit oven lemon juice on top. Cook, flip and repeat untill chicken is to temp.

 

Sound like a bad idea? I don't want to take away from the flavor of the chicken.

post #2 of 15

oy.

You should get a lot of helpful feedback on this.

For now, though....

"Please step away from the chicken."

 

350F?  Really??  This from a "line cook"?

post #3 of 15

Understanding that everybody may do this differently I personally would sear the chicken in the pan and finish in the oven (in a different pan of course). While the chicken is finishing off in the oven I would proceed to cook my vegetables in the same pan that you first seared the chicken in and deglaze with white wine and chicken stock and make a nice sauce to go with that chicken ;-) yum. Simple but effective!

post #4 of 15

Some sute type pans with a plastic composite handle can take up to 400 others cant. By putting foil you would only concentrate more heat to the plastic and assure melting if not ovenproof. For a good roast chicken , the drier the bird when it goes into oven the better. If you like you can baste later. You want the bird golden brown and crisp. starting with a liquid will steam instead of roast, and it will not be crispy.

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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post #5 of 15
Quote:

Originally Posted by chefedb View Post

 

If you like you can baste later.

 

Wouldn't that only hinder the crispiness?

post #6 of 15

I would agree that 350 F is too low, I usually roast my chickens up around 425 F to get a crisp on the skin.

 

mjb.

Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
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Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
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post #7 of 15

1) Spend the 40 bucks and get a 12" cast skillet, it's invaluable. Or troll thrift stores until you find one.  You don't have to have it for this recipe...but you should have one anyways.  

 

2) Save the white wine and chicken stock (and lemon juice) for your sauce later.  As Chef Ed alluded to, adding these to your pan at the beginning of cooking will create a moist, steamy environment which will prevent maximum crispy goodness.  Save the liquids to deglaze with after roasting so you can make your gravy while the bird rests.

 

3) Mirepoix is well and good but why not do something more seasonal, in keeping with the free range theme?.  How about local summer squash?  Or green beans and baby onions?  or baby potatoes and peppers?  all peak season right now.  

 

4)  Consider breaking the chicken down first; it will cook faster so your veggies don't mush, and you can pull the breasts when they temp and let the thighs finish if needed.  

 

5)  Melt a little of that clarified and rub the chicken skin with it before roasting, then season well.  Or use olive oil, then top each piece with a pat of butter.   

 

6)  Try going high-low.  The high heat will help develop color initially while the low finish temp will help the sub cutaneous fat to render out for max crispy skin.  Try 450 for 15 minutes, then drop the temp to 375 (keep the oven door shut) and let er ride until it temps out.

 

7) Rest your chicken pieces on a rack above a plate so you can trap the juices.  Using a wire rack minimizes surface tension for more juice retention.  Pour everything else in the pan through a strainer set over a bowl so you reserve those juices as well.  Return the pan to heat and deglaze with wine first.  Allow this to reduce by more than half.  Meanwhile skim the fat off the top of the reserved juices.  Add this, plus what's collected under the chicken, plus a little chicken stock and again reduce by more than half.  You don't need much, maybe a half cup each of wine & stock.  Mount with cold butter or finish with cream.  This is a "stratified" sauce - it doesn't get much simpler, doesn't need a roux, and will allow the flavors of your chicken/veg to shine thru.  

 

8)  In a pinch, you could do a lot worse than looking up grant achatz's roast chicken with garlic/thyme recipe.

 

9)  I could do this all day, but I won't.  Good luck and enjoy your dinner!  

post #8 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by modchef View Post

...

7) Rest your chicken pieces on a rack above a plate so you can trap the juices.  Using a wire rack minimizes surface tension for more juice retention.  Pour everything else in the pan through a strainer set over a bowl so you reserve those juices as well....

 

Please clarify what is meant by "...Using a wire rack minimizes surface tension for more juice retention..."

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Best and I'm a foodie.   I know very little but the little that I know I want to know very well.

 

-T

Brot und Wein
(1 photos)
 
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post #9 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by kokopuffs View Post

 

Please clarify what is meant by "...Using a wire rack minimizes surface tension for more juice retention..."

 

Without going into too much detail, the cooking process causes the protein strands in meat to contract, expelling liquid (or more accurately, causing it to move to an area of lower pressure/temperature.  This is why we rest proteins; it gives the moisture a chance to redistribute.  

 

I may be misusing the term "surface tension" from a physics standpoint, but we'll leave that up to a physics forum.  Basically, using a wire rack means pressure (the weight of the meat) is exerted on a smaller surface area than from a flat surface.  While mathematically the pressure is normalized, anecdotally more juices are retained because force is being exerted on a smaller amount of the protein's surface.  

 

Resting on a wire rack has other benefits.  Allowing air movement below the meat allows it to rest somewhat faster, as well as more evenly.  As I mentioned before, during cooking juices will move to an area of lower pressure, in this case the middle of the piece of meat because the temperature there is lower.  When resting the opposite occurs - the internal temperature continues to rise while the outside begins to cool, so juices will redistribute back toward the outside of the meat.  Resting on a flat surface will cause more heat to be trapped against the bottom, so the top will cool more quickly.  A wire rack also allows the escaping juices to either collect on the plate or evaporate as steam, rather than pooling around/under the meat making the bottom "soggy," especially important when talking about something like a pan seared steak.   

post #10 of 15

I usually just put carrots, and onion, no celery on the bottom of the baking dish.  I then rub the chicken with some butter inside and out, add some lemon, thyme, and garlic.  Put it in the oven at 425 degrees for 15 minutes and then turn it down to 375 and let it finish cooking.  Then I make a sauce by reducing the chicken juices with some white wine and chicken stock.  Serve it with roasted potatoes and because it is summer maybe some sauteed green beans with tomatoes.  

post #11 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex N View Post

I usually just put carrots, and onion, no celery on the bottom of the baking dish.  I then rub the chicken with some butter inside and out, add some lemon, thyme, and garlic.  Put it in the oven at 425 degrees for 15 minutes and then turn it down to 375 and let it finish cooking.  Then I make a sauce by reducing the chicken juices with some white wine and chicken stock.  Serve it with roasted potatoes and because it is summer maybe some sauteed green beans with tomatoes.  

I do much the same Alex.  I make the veg nice big and chunky, so the air can circulate (I do add celery though for the sake of the sauce).

 

Do you season the skin?  I tend to put a  lot of sweet paprika and dried oregano on the skin.  Breast side down first for 3/4 of the cooking time, then flip her over for the last 1/4 with the heat going back up, spicing and seasoning again so it browns and crisps.  Then rest for a bit out of the oven while I make the sauce.

 

I think everyone has a different way :)

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 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
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post #12 of 15

I season the chicken with smoked paprika, szechuan pepper, and salt. Then I sear it in the pan until golden brown. Then I pop it in the oven at 450-500 (depends what kind of oven you have) for about 7-9 minutes. In the meantime, I take the pan I cooked the chicken with and add in mushrooms and asparagus. After I saute them until the pan is almost dry, I deglaze it with a smooth Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnay. After deglazing my pan, I add chicken stock (I use stock made from the carcass, you can use a good pre made base) and pull the crispy chicken out of the oven and add it into the pan to finish cooking until the stock thickens. The I take the chicken out, let it rest and put a little bit of butter in the pan with some garlic. After it's plated, I like to sprinkle fresh lavender over top of the mushrooms and asparagus.

 

When I say 7-9 minutes, it just depends on what your oven runs at. I usually take out the breast and add it into the sauce before the leg/thigh as I do not want to over cook it since they have different cooking times. If you don't want to finish your chicken in the sauce, keep it in longer until it reaches 165 degrees 

post #13 of 15

For a nice chicken like that I would season liberally with salt and pepper inside and out.  Then put a quartered apple, or onion in the cavity and truss it up.  The tighter the package the more even the cooking will be.  If you can, cook it on a rack with a drip pan under it.  I do this on the grill and it's phenomenal.  For a great side saute some fingerling potatoes in some of that rendered fat while the bird is resting. 
 

post #14 of 15

Under those condtions, I'd rather slow bake the chicken at 300F, after cutting it up into pieces.  I'd leave a small part of the breast attached to the wing while separating the tip from the wing. The wing tips, gizzards, and heart, would be placed into my gravy along with the rib bones from the deboned breasts. I'd used fresh garlic, onions, and celery for my seasoning vegetables. Season both sides of each piece with garlic powder, salt, red, and black pepper. Lay the veggies at the bottom of your oiled stainless steel pan. Place seasoned chicken neatly on top of veggies. Cover and cook for 2 hours.

 

At 300F, there's absolutely no worries about melting anything.

 

 Chicken should slide off the bone....

post #15 of 15

Personally I would not put a pan with a plastic handle in the oven under any circumstances.  Melted plastic releases toxins and I don't want that in my home or in my food.  You don't need a very expensive piece of equipment to roast a chicken, you can buy a cast iron or alum skillet for under $20 anywhere. 

 

How to roast a chicken, let me count the ways!  IMO I don't think there is a wrong way, basically you turn on the oven, throw the bird in and leave it in there until it cooks.  But what kind of results do you want?  That's the key.  For me I get good results when I truss the chicken.  In the cavity I put a small onion, a quartered lemon, some oil, seasoning and herbs.  Then I rub the whole bird with olive oil, seasonings, and dried herbs like thyme.  I put the bird on a bed of mirepoix and garlic that has been seasoned and oiled and stick it in a 425F oven.  I add about a quarter cup of liquid to the mirepoix so that the drippings don't burn and let it cook roughly about an hour.  I really enjoy the results of that process.

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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