Thursday, January 27, 2011

poulet rôti

WARNING: If your oven is not in a well ventilated area do not even attempt this recipe. The oven gets rather smoky due to boiling rendered fat that accumulates in the bottom of the pan. When it boils it starts to spray, hits the sides of the super hot oven and starts to smoke. Sigh. I haven't discovered a way around this. We turn on the fan, open the window and that keeps the apartment clear of smoke.

This is the best roast chicken I've ever had. And it's quite simple. The skin is crispy and the meat is juicy, flavorful and tender. All you need is a little squeeze of lemon to dress it with before eating. If you'd like, you can whisk some butter and water or wine into the remaining rendered fat and juices to make a sauce for serving. As you can see, the wings are missing. The chicken was so tender when I removed it from the pan that they fell right off. Hehe! This is a very impressive dish as a dinner for two or four. I take the remaining meat, which is usually the breast meat, and make chicken salad sandwiches with it. Ahhhhh chicken salad sandwiches!

I adapted this recipe from Saveur magazine.

You'll need:

1 three to five pound roaster chicken
kitchen twine or string
sea salt
4-5 tablespoons of butter at room temperature
lemon wedges for serving
a baster

Preheat the oven to 450°.

Remove the goodies from inside the chicken (if there are any). Discard. Or save them if you want to. You won't be needing them here. Rinse the bird and pat dry with a paper towel. Place on shallow roasting pan or cookie sheet breast side up and tie the "ankles" together. See the photo above? Yeah, tie them just like that.

Rub a few tablespoons of butter all over the chicken with clean dry hands. Have a paper towel at the ready, this gets kind of messy. Lightly sprinkle the entire bird with fine sea salt. That's it! It's ready to go in the oven now.

Roast for about 1 1/2 hours or until a thermometer in a meaty part of the leg reads 160° (you won't get an accurate reading close to the bone) and the juices run clear. Thirty minutes into cooking baste the bird with the rendered fat that has accumulated in the bottom of the pan. You may have to tilt the pan to suck enough liquid up into the baster. You can also do this with a large spoon if you don't have a baster. About an hour in the bird should start to take on a nice golden brown color.

When the bird is done, allow it to rest on the pan for at least 10 minutes. Transfer to platter for serving or cutting board for cutting into pieces. If you'd like to make a sauce with the remaining liquid place your roasting pan or cookie sheet on top of two burners. Turn both burners on medium to medium-high heat. Whisk in a tablespoon or two of butter and three tablespoons of wine or water working to remove any brown bits stuck on the bottom of the pan. When you've made a loose sauce, turn off the burners and carefully pour the sauce into a small bowl for serving on top of chicken. Serve chicken with lemon wedges, a green salad, crusty bread and a nice bottle of red . Bon appetit!

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