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Roast Chicken - tough around the bones

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

Hi all

 

The roast chicken... master it and you will feed yourself and others for a lifetime.

 

But how to make it always perfect?

 

Today I tried Thomas Keller's ad-hoc at home recipe with mixed results.

 

Flavor was perfect. I seasoned it well. Skin was well browned, probably from the butter. Breast was a little bit dry but not too bad. 

 

However... the main complaint was that the meat around the thigh bones was tough...  not inedible tough but tough to separate from the bones, i.e. requiring too much knife and fork action. 

 

I cook everything in my outdoor gas grill, so when recipes (like this one) call for oven, I use it as such. I put the lid down and open it rarely, watching the temperature. I also use cast iron skillets. 

 

My chicken stood outside the fridge for about two hours. I left it inside the grill at 400deg for about an hour, roughly following ad-hoc's instructions. 

 

What else could I have done/can be done to make it "fall off the bone" around the thighs? 

 

thanks

 

J

post #2 of 4

By the time you get thigh meat to fall off the bone, your breast meat is going to be inedible from overcooking if you're talking about roasting. When I think "fall off the bone tender" for thighs, I think of braising.

 

Smaller chickens are a bit easier to roast well, in my opinion. Around 3 or 3 1/2 lbs, tops. Otherwise it's just about impossible not to overcook the breast while you're waiting for the thighs to reach the proper temperature.

post #3 of 4
I don't think there's anything wrong with the meat around the bones to be a little tough, and I would never use a fork and knife to eat it anyway, I just .... gnaw on the bone, that's part of the pleasure.

If you're more into "fall off the bone" kind of tenderness then Thomas Kellers' hot & fast roasting method may not be the solution for you. Instead, try roasting the bird low and slow, for example 300F to 350F for a couple of hours. That way you can get a wonderful roast where the skin will still be crispy and golden brown, the meat still moist, but fall off the bones.
post #4 of 4
Butterfly or spatchcock the bird. The legs cook faster and finish with the breast.
Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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