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Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Chronicles of Roast Chicken

I am pretty sure I hold the Guinness record for Most Blogs Created by a Single Human Being.  I seem to start a new blog every hour or so.  My most recent blog is a Roast Chicken Blog.  I started this blog because I have become obsessed with roasting chicken.

I am often criticized by friends (read: a friend) that I should cease creating new blogs and just keep all of my content on one internet web site.  My friend is usually not right, but I've decided he has a point.  So I am going to publish all my content here, on my original blog, Food and Pants.

Chronicles of Roast Chicken will take the place of Roast Chicken Blog.  Here is the newest update on all things roast chicken:

Recently, I wrote this e-mail to a friend:

Dearest Blank:

Hello.  It has come to my attention that you "know your way around a roast chicken."  Forgive me for being so bold, but I was hoping you could share your experiences concerning the roasting of a chicken.  For instance, is there a particular recipe that you use?  Do you often rub the breasts of the chicken in a supple way with spices and oils? 

Thank you so much for reading this e-mail, and I hope to hear from you soon.

Warmest regards,

My friend responded thusly:

Hi Blank,

Very bold indeed. You should know by now that all of my "knowledge," involving the kitchen comes from one source.

There are two roast chicken recipes in two of TK's books --
Ad Hoc and Bouchon. My dad cooks the one out of Ad Hoc once a week. It's a roast chicken on top of a bed of root vegetables.

In my experience:

1. Taking the wish bone out is a neat trick
2. Sliding butter under the breast skin is a cheap trick
3. Learning to truss the chicken properly is necessary for even cooking throughout the bird
4. After throwing in your favorite spices and herbs in the chicken, rub them around on the inside vigorously (I usually roll up and smash inside a piece of cheesecloth: 4 sprigs of thyme, 2 garlic cloves, 8 peppercorns. I tie the ends of the cheesecloth with twine so the contents do not spill out everywhere and rub it around the inside of the chicken then apply liberal salt.)
5. There is no substitute for quality - Starting will a smaller organic/free range chicken (under 3 lbs.), fresh herbs, quality kosher salt, quality butter, etc.

Let me know how it goes.

I have been thinking deeply about this e-mail all week. Upon returning from work, I put on my frock coat and slippers and sit in my chair, sipping cognac.  I have watched countless YouTube videos of Thomas Keller, a man you can tell truly enjoys a good roast chicken.  It's so refreshing to see that -- not many in these times of moral decay and meaninglessness appreciate the luxury of a simple roast chicken. I replay the videos of Thomas Keller, looking at his boyish face as he speaks simply and gleefully about roast chicken, and I feel butterflies when he takes a bite of his finished product and smiles. Sometimes, I want to roast Thomas Keller. 

Ahem, anway, the next time I make a roast chicken, probably this weekend, I will be using some of my friend's and Thomas Keller's techniques.