Sunday, August 16, 2009

Sunday Supper: Julia's Roast Chicken

Welcome to Sunday Supper at Cayenne & Carob…on the menu tonight is ROAST CHICKEN!

I should probably explain that I don’t cook meat often (read: only a few times a year). TEB normally cooks the meat and if I do venture into the carnivorous cooking zone it is likely something I’m more familiar with like moose meat, moose liver or salmon. But I was looking for a challenge so here we go.

I could not find the original Julia Child’s recipe for roasting a chicken so of course I next turn to my RSS feeder, which is where I found The Amateur Gourmet’s variation of roasting chicken.

Sunday Supper Roast Chicken Twitter Feed:


2:30p – back from local grocery store w/ organic 4.5 lb roasting chicken, fresh herbs, cheddar & baking potatoes: time to wash dishes!

3:20p – Wow, only 5 min prepping: baking potatoes & corn + husks are ready after getting advice from mom, holding off on chicken since oven is full

4:30p – corn and potatoes are done & only 1 more call to mom- procrastinating on prepping chicken so making herb butter rub (2x recipe)

5:30p – 3rd call to mom @AKnightingail, NO don’t put le cresset lid in the oven, YES do the foil tent: chicken finally in the oven

5:40p – consultation w/ H&G cookbook/Joy of Cooking via JLR: NO don’t cover roasting chicken, DO use a low-sided pan. Uh yeah, maybe next time!?!

6p – working on making baked potato shells & yummy, cheesy potatoe filling. Thanks to @TillamookCheese extra sharp cheddar

6:40p – Ahh, where do you check to see if chicken done? Pls RT! no browning but smells good. Wonky oven, wonky cook at it again…

7:30p – meat thermometer declares the bird DONE! Finally: Stove off, door open, sandals on…down to the beach for sunset

8:20p – twice-baked potatoes in the oven. Caution broiling is dangerous – almost smoked us out of the apt

8:45p – eating roast chicken, a la Julia Child, inspired by Julie&Julia with roast corn on the cob & (very) golden brown twice-baked potatoes


What I really loved about roasting chicken was being able to take all the meat off the bones as a lunchtime salad garnish and then to use the leftovers to make chicken stock. What I really objected to was spending some 4 hours cooking at home, when I’m not normally at home. Roasting a chicken was a challenge in many aspects so I’m glad it was my first Sunday Supper at Cayenne & Carob. Guaranteed next weeks Sunday Supper is going to be a lot easier and require a lot less time.

The River Cottage Roast Chicken by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall
Adapted by The Amateur Gourmet
Recipe meticulously followed slightly altered by Cayenne

1. Pat ~4 lb chicken with paper towels (remove giblets), mine was 4.5 lb

2. Soften 7 tbsp of butter by filling a bowl with hot tab water and plopping in the sticks, wrappers and all

3. Finely chop rosemary, garlic, sage, and thyme

4. Mix the herb chop into the softened butter adding some pepper

5. Now I cannot paraphrase this step from The Amateur Gourmet so I quote:

“Now shmear that all over the chicken, getting it on the back side, the legs, the thighs, in the cavity, and ESPECIALLY all over and under the breast. When I say under the breast, I mean make a little flap in the breast skin using your finger and shove some of the butter under there.”

In all honesty this step was so gross then I just skipped it, explains a lot about how dry the chicken turned out.

6. Mash some kosher salt and freshly ground pepper into the skin.

7. Throw into 400° oven for 20 minutes.

8. Cook another 30 to 40 minutes at 350°, or in my case 60 to 80 minutes

9. When the chicken is dark golden brown, turn off the heat. Open the oven door and leave it for another 20 minutes.

photo credit: Cayenne 08.09.09

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