Roast a Chicken
for tomorrow, unless that’s suddenly today
things you’ll need: cast iron skillet or dish deemed suitable for roasting, a chicken, salt, butter, herbs/spices, more salt, also pepper, a vegetable to cook under the chicken, a liquid to add to the bottom of the pan, and a meat thermometer (invest in a good quality digital one and thank yourself later).
Everyone has an opinion on how to roast a chicken and they are all correct (mostly). I love the Roast Chicken with Schmaltzy Cabbage recipe on Smitten Kitchen. I put a lot of things under a chicken to roast and all of them are correct (mostly). Salt brining for 30min is good for seasoning and crispy skin, but 24 hours is way better.
incidentally gluten-free. For vegetarians or vegans, make this cauliflower and chickpea curry.
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There are many things that you must remember to do every day. You don’t always get them all done. Then, they show up the next day, which is how today sometimes becomes yesterday or tomorrow.
Do you remember when you used to sit down to watch a certain show on the same day every week because that’s how TV worked? That was helpful.
Now, you have no idea what day of the week it is, but you know you have a chicken and that you want to eat it tomorrow. Take it out of the fridge, pat it dry, then sprinkle a lot of salt into every corner and crevasse. Finishing with salt is a delicate process of adding and tasting until you find the right balance. Salt brining is a chaos of salt. Go a little nuts. Leave it (uncovered) in the fridge until tomorrow.
Did tomorrow accidentally become today? Then salt the bird and let it sit for 15-30 minutes while you preheat the oven (425ish) and do whatever you forgot to do when you thought it was yesterday.
Shove things into the cavity of the bird, like lemon and some fresh herbs. Melt half a stick of butter. Mix the melted butter with seasonings like thyme, paprika, and onion/garlic powder or some masala or whatever “Poultry Seasoning” you have in the cabinet. Brush your butter mix over the entire surface of the bird.
Halve some potatoes or thick slice some cabbage or find some big carrots to fill the bottom of the skillet/roasting vessel. Season that stuff too. Pour a little wine or stock on the veggies.
Place the bird on the stuff, truss the legs together if you remember, then put the whole thing in the oven. Cook for 45-60 minutes (depending on the size of the bird), until the thickest part of the breast reaches 160. Take it out to rest and ogle the crispy skin. It will come up to 165 while you get plates and open a bag of salad.
Carve and eat the bird. Pack the leftovers into lunch containers to eat tomorrow and whatever comes after that.
As always, thank you for reading!
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