A good roast is always the center of a cozy meal. I love roast chicken, as the dish is very versatile and easy to make. Here are some of the tips I gleaned from the internet for the perfect roast chicken.
Keep The Skin
The skin must be kept on throughout roasting, because skin that holds the moisture in the meat and keeps the fat out of the meat. If the skin is removed beforehand, then the meat, when it is cooked, will be very dry and probably quite tough as well.
To Brine Or Not To Brine
One secret to really flavorful, juicy roast chicken is brining, which mean soaking in salt water. To brine a chicken:
- dissolve 1/2 cup kosher salt in 1/2 gallon of water, immerse the chicken in the solution and place immediately in the refrigerator.
- You should let it soak for at least 3 hours, but overnight is great too.
- When you're ready to cook the chicken, pour out the brine, rinse the chicken cold running water so it won't taste excessively salty, then pat it dry with paper towels.
- For Chinese style roast, soaking chicken in a mixture of light and dark soy sauce works as well.
You can still achieve a delicious roast chicken even without brining, but do give it a try sometime. You'll love the results.
Dress it Up
A chicken roasted with nothing but salt, pepper, and butter is very tasty indeed, but it's also easy to build on top of these simple flavors. Herbs are always a good idea. You can chop them up and tuck them under the chicken's skin along with a few pats of butter, or you can simply stuff handfuls of them into the chicken cavity.
Wedges of aromatic fruits such as lemons or oranges, and aromatic vegetables such as onions and garlic are great to stuff in with the herbs as well. Filling the cavity with good-smelling things will perfume the bird as it roasts, infusing the meat with incomparable flavor.
Another approach you can use is to make a blend of dried or fresh ground spices and rub them under the chicken's skin and inside the cavity.
On the Rack
Choose the smallest roasting pan that will fit the chicken. A roasting pan that's too big will allow all the juices from the bird to spread out, evaporate, and burn. You don't want to lose the drippings; they are delicious. However, if you'd like to roast some vegetables alongside the chicken for an easy one-pan meal, remember to choose a bigger pan to accommodate the veggies.
Basting the chicken
Every 20 minutes you should remove the chicken from the oven and close the oven door to keep the heat in. With a spoon or a brush, pour or brush the fat and juices that have accumulated in the roasting tin, over the bird.
Basting will keep the meat moist, stop the skin from burning and give the chicken a really crispy skin. But its up to you, really.
Roasting the chicken
If you find that the chicken is browning too quickly during cooking, then loosely cover the breast of the bird with a large piece of aluminium foil until it is done. Covering the breast of the chicken will also keep the meat from drying out.
Roast the chicken for the correct amount of time and then remove it from the oven when done.
Is the chicken properly cooked?
If you do not possess a meat thermometer, then you can check that the meat has been properly cooked in two ways:
- The drumstick should move about freely when wiggled.
- The juices of the chicken run clear upon inserting a skewer into the leg.