November 2nd, 2003

A Bird In The Oven

I'm roasting a chicken, with my improvised method. I read somewhere a while back that you can get good results by covering the skin with salt -- nothing else -- and cooking it on high heat. When I wanted to try this, however, I couldn't find the recipe. So I made one up.

Since the standard recipe for roasting has you preheat the oven to 450 (degrees Fahrenheit), then turn it down to 350 once you put in the bird, I up the ante.

First, I preheat the oven to 550.

While the oven is warming up, I rinse the chicken and let it dry a bit. Then I stuff it, tightly, with a mixture of balled-up herbs -- sage, thyme, rosemary -- and coat both sides with sea salt. It's important to have the herbs balled up, so that loose bits and pieces don't fall out and catch on fire.

When the oven is ready, I put the chicken at 550 for 5 minutes or so, until the skin is just starting to blister. Then I take it out for a minute, turn the oven down to 450, and put it back in for another 10 minutes or so. Then I remove it again for a minute and cover the top with aluminum foil.

Cooking time is hard to gauge, since the recipes all presume 350 or 375. I just "wing" it. The thermometer stuck in between thigh and body is suppose to read 170, right?

Anyway, I'm not sure how today's incarnation will turn out. But the first time it was awesome. Somehow the excess salt rolls off so the skin isn't too salty. And the inside is very juicy, because the exterior gets so crispy so fast. The balled-up herbs on the inside provide moisture and flavor for the interior.

Today, BTW, I used a little aluminum foil to cover the cavity, since there was a stem or two that kept poking out otherwise.

We'll see how it goes.
  • Current Music
    Nerve Beats - Han Bennink - Nerve Beats