Thursday, February 17, 2011

roast chicken

Unwrap the package and remove the string holding the legs together. Refrigerate uncovered so it can dry a bit.
Remove your bird from the fridge long enough before cooking so that it comes to room temperature (an hour or so should suffice).
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Make sure that the bird is dry inside and out.  You can season the inside of the bird with salt and pepper, but with kosher birds being salted, it's probably not necessary. 

With the legs facing you, stuff the cavity with;
  • a head of garlic with the top sliced off exposing the cloves, 
  • a few sprigs of fresh thyme, and
  • a half or large piece of onion
so that the ribcage is well supported and the breast meat is plumped up.

Truss the chicken as shown in the video, "preparing chicken for roasting".  This is very important, as creating the compact shape for the chicken when it is raw makes everything cook better - more moist, more even and more attractive.  Remember to remove the wishbone.

Rub a little oil, salt and pepper all over the skin.  This helps with the crisping.
Set your chicken on the tray and create a 'circle of salt and oil', if you like, to contain the juices from flowing.

Roast the bird for about 55-60 minutes or until nicely browned. If you are adding vegetables to the
chicken, remove the tray from the oven during the last 15-20 minutes of cooking.  Scatter the vegetables around the chicken and return it to the oven for the final roasting. 
(Preparing the carrots and potatoes will be discussed in an upcoming blog.)  Remove from the oven and let it rest for a good 15-20 minutes.  This resting period allows the chicken to finish cooking.  It also lets the juice settle back into the meat. 
Follow the videos to improve your carving skills; 

You can make a lovely finish to the chicken, after it is carved, by serving with a citrusy grapefruit sauce.  It's simple.
Segment 1 red grapefruit by cutting in between the membranes after removing the peels.  (This technique was taught in the Shabbat class.)  Save the juice.  Boil the juice with 1 teaspoon soya sauce and 1 teaspoon mustard until it is slightly reduced and syrupy.  Add the grapefruit sections back in to warm.  Spoon the fruit and syrup over the chicken pieces and serve. 


  1. I dont eat meat..but I love this blog post.

  2. Hi Nancy,

    I really enjoyed the chicken video you posted. I learned so much by way of technique. I knew I should have attended!
    If I could now ask you one question about meat-- what type of meat do the kosher chinese restaurants use that makes their stir fries so tender? Pepper steak is always chewier than what Ive eaten.
    Is the meat more tender because it is tenderized with MSG? I would love to stay away from MSG whenever possible.
    Denise Levin

  3. great question,'s such a good question and there's so much confusion out there, that i'm going to have to make a new blog entry...

  4. hi!! so i made the chicken but my butcher didnt keep the skin intact so nicely like you had on ur chicken on the video? is that something you think needs to be specified!? (besides cutting out the wishbone for me which they did) i had a hard time wrapping the chicken because of it. i ended up stealing a piece of skin from the bottom of the chicken and placing it on top but it didnt cover the chicken the whole time (it shrinks) any other ideas if this happens another time!?!?!
    thanks though, it was delish!
    any tips on preparing this kind of dish especailly for friday night dinner would be helpful! do you cook a full hour and then rewarm? covered? what temperature?

  5. such a great blog. makes me wish i lived in toronto so i could come to the classes.