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2 -3 lbs free-range chicken kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper 2 teaspoons minced thyme unsalted butter Dijon mustard 1 Preheat oven to 450 degrees. 2 Rinse chicken in cold water, then dry very well with paper towels, inside and out. The less it steams, the drier the heat, the better. 3 Salt and pepper cavity, then truss bird with kitchen twine to help it cook more evenly. (See Note.). 4 Now, salt chicken -- I like to rain salt over the bird so it has a nice uniform coating that will result in crisp, salty, flavorful skin (about 1 tablespoon). When it's cooked, you should still be able to make out salt baked onto the crisp skin. 5 Season to taste with pepper. 6 Place chicken in sauté pan or roasting pan and, when oven is up to temperature, put chicken in oven. I leave it alone -- I don't baste it. I don't add butter. You can if you wish, but I think this creates steam, which I don't want. 7 Roast it until it's done (165 degrees in the thickest part of the thigh), 50 to 60 minutes. 8 Remove from oven and add thyme to pan. Baste chicken with juices and thyme and let it sit for 15 minutes on cutting board. 9 Remove twine. Discard wing tip. Separate middle wing joint and eat that immediately. Remove legs and thighs. 10 I like to take off the backbone and eat one of the oysters, the two succulent morsels of meat embedded there, and give the other to the person I'm cooking with. But I take the chicken butt for myself. I could never understand why my brothers always fought over that triangular tip -- until one day I got the crispy, juicy fat myself. These are the cook's rewards. 11 Cut breast down middle and serve it on the bone, with one wing joint still attached to each. The preparation is not meant to be super elegant. 12 Slather meat with butter. Serve with mustard on the side and, if you wish, a simple green salad.

Source: food.com

Tweet #pin-wrapper > a {background-image:none !important;} From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite... I bought lamb chops for our holiday dinner, but because I was unsure of the number I'd be feeding, I ended up with more chops than guests at the table. I decided to grill the remainder of the chops tonight. Those we had for the holiday were delicious and I wanted to serve these with something that would compliment, rather than overpower, their marvelous flavor. I decided to make an endive and watercress salad and a very cheesy orzo pilaf. I can attribute the salad to Thomas Keller, but identifying the parentage of the orzo is next to impossible. Rachael Ray did a version of this recipe at least five years ago and since that time it has appeared in various guises on numerous cooking sites. I lack the wisdom of Solomon and have no easy test to establish paternity, so I'm just going to move along and pretend the orzo is a new version of rice pilaf. It is very easy to do and can be on the table in 15 minutes. Chances are you have all the ingredients you need to make this in your pantry, and, if not, they can all be found in any large grocery store. It is a perfect dish to serve with grilled meat or poultry and I know you'll enjoy it. Here's the recipe. Cheesy Orzo Pilaf ...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite Ingredients: 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth 3/4 pound orzo 5 minced garlic cloves 1 cup grated Parmesan-Reggiano cheese 2 tablespoons finely minced parsley salt to taste freshly ground pepper to taste Directions: 1) Bring broth to a boil in a large heavy saucepan. Add orzo and garlic and reduce heat to medium high. Simmer, uncovered, for about 7-8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the pasta is tender, and broth is nearly absorbed. 2) Turn heat off, but leave the pan on stove. Add cheese and parsley and mix well. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve warm. Yield: 6 servings. You might also enjoy these recipes: Yangzhou Fried Rice - One Perfect Bite Warm Asian-Style Rice Salad - One Perfect Bite Sticky Rice - One Perfect Bite

Source: oneperfectbite.blogspot.com

From the Kitchen of One Perfect Bite... This recipe is loosely based on one developed by Thomas Keller about a decade ago. The ingredients are readily available, though the cost of Belgian endive and walnut oil may put the salad into the once-in-awhile category for some. I love the way the ingredients in this salad marry; endive adds crunch and texture while the bitter-sweet flavors of watercress and pear play on the tongue. Candied walnuts replace croutons and add a final fillip to this luscious salad. When you are looking for something special or want to pamper yourself, I'd recommend this elegant and easy to prepare salad. Endive, Pear and Watercress Salad ...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite inspired by Thomas Keller Ingredients: 4 Belgian endives, halved lengthwise, cored, cut crosswise into thirds 2 small, firm, ripe Bartlet pears, peeled, cord, thinly sliced, cut crosswise into thirds 1 large bunch watercress or baby arugula, stems removed Salt and freshly cracked pepper 1/4 to 1/2 cup walnut and sherry salad dressing (see below) 3/4 cup candied walnuts (see below) Directions: 1) Pour 3 to 4 tablespoons walnut and sherry salad dressing into a large salad bowl. Add endives, pears and water cress. 2) Toss just before serving. Sprinkle with salt and pepper; top with candied walnuts. Serve extra salad dressing at the table. Yield: 4 servings. Walnut and Sherry Salad Dressing: Combine 3 tablespoons sherry wine vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, 1/2 teaspoon sugar, 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil and 2 tablespoons walnut oil in a shaker jar with lid. Shake to combine. Chill. Yield: 1/2 cup. Candied Walnuts: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spread 3/4 cup walnuts on a cookie sheet. Toast for 8 minutes, or until fragrant. Transfer to a bowl. Sprinkle with 2 teaspoons water. Add a pinch of cayenne and salt. Add 2 tablespoons brown sugar and toss to coat. Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper. Bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes , or until walnuts are brown and crisp. Transfer to a plate and cool in a single layer. Yield 3/4 cup.

Source: oneperfectbite.blogspot.com

Given the number of scone recipes on this blog, you might be fooled into thinking I'm a huge fan. Not true. Don't get me wrong, I like scones, but if you put out a spread of breakfast pastries before me, scones probably wouldn't be a top three selection. That is, unless these cinnamon honey scones were somewhere on that table. I try to refrain from the hyperbole of labeling recipes the "best ever" but sometimes it just can't be helped and such is the case with these scones. Hands down my favorite scones of all time, no doubt about it! The recipe comes from Thomas Keller's Bouchon Bakery , and though I've had the book since Christmas and even flipped through it a few times, I'd never noticed these scones. Luckily Josie put them on my radar a few months ago and I resolved to make them asap. So, what makes these scones so awesome? Butter, and lots of it, of course :) A cinnamon honey butter is made and then cut into tiny cubes which are incorporated into the dough like any other mix-in (think chocolate chips). It's a genius idea, I want to add tiny butter cubes as mix-ins in all my recipes going forward! They give the scones so much flavor, as well as a really neat marbled appearance. Texturally, the scones are impossibly light and tender, thanks to the inclusion of cake flour in the recipe. And in case they weren't already rich enough on their own, the scones are brushed with a honey butter glaze when they emerge from the oven. They're an occasional indulgence for sure, but worth every single calorie! These cinnamon honey scones would be a perfect weekend project. Though they're easy to make, there are quite a few steps and several require hours of chill time. But once they're assembled you can leave them in the freezer for up to a month, allowing you to pull out and bake a few scones at a time as needed. That's my kind of weekend breakfast! One quick note: this recipe calls for creme fraiche, an ingredient I rarely buy or use but I do recommend splurging for it here. That said, I know there's nothing worse than a half-empty container of creme fraiche sitting in the back of your fridge, so I found another recipe to help you use it up. I'll be sharing it with you next week! Cinnamon Honey Scones just barely adapted from Bouchon Bakery by Thomas Keller and Sebastien Rouxel (originally seen on Pink Parsley ) {Note: The recipes in this book are given in both weight and volume measurements. I made the scones using the weight measurements and would urge you to do the same for the best results.} Cinnamon Honey Cubes 30 g (3 tablespoons) all-purpose flour 30 g (2 1/2 tablespoons) sugar 4 g (1 1/2 teaspoons) ground cinnamon 30 g (about 2 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch pieces 20 g (1 tablespoon) honey Scones 152 g (1 cup + 1 1/2 tablespoons) all-purpose flour 304 g (2 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons) cake flour 12.5 g (2 1/2 teaspoons) baking powder 2.5 g (1/2 teaspoons) baking soda 91 g (1/4 cup + 3 1/2 tablespoons) sugar 227 g (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch pieces 135 g (1/2 cup + 1 1/2 tablespoons) heavy cream 135 g (1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons) creme fraiche Honey Butter Glaze 2 oz (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted 20 g (1 tablespoon) honey To make the cinnamon honey cubes: Add the flour, sugar, and cinnamon to a medium bowl and whisk to combine. Add the butter and toss until the pieces are coated in the dry ingredients. Use a pastry cutter to cut the butter into the dry ingredients until no large visible pieces of butter remain. Stir in the honey with a rubber spatula until the mixture forms a smooth paste. Turn the paste out onto a piece of plastic wrap and shape into a 4-inch square. Wrap the mixture and freeze for at least 2 hours (or up to 1 week). To make the scones: Sift both flours, the baking powder, baking soda, and sugar into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on low speed briefly, just until combined. Add the butter pieces, and mix on low speed until no large visible pieces remain, about 3 minutes. With the mixer on low, gradually pour in the heavy cream, then add the creme fraiche, and continue mixing for about 30 seconds, or until the dry ingredients are evenly moistened. A rough dough should form around the paddle. Remove the cinnamon honey butter from the freezer and cut into 1/4-inch pieces. Add them to the bowl with the dough and use a spoon to incorporate them by hand (it's fine if they start to break up a bit). Turn the dough onto a large piece of plastic wrap and press it together to form a cohesive mass. Place a second piece of plastic wrap on top, and shape the dough into a 7 1/2 by 10-inch rectangle, smoothing the top and sides the best you can (if the dough becomes soft and difficult to work with, just pop it in the fridge for a few minutes). Wrap the dough in the plastic wrap, and refrigerate for about 2 hours, or until firm. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and using a sharp knife, cut it lengthwise into thirds and crosswise into quarters so you end up with 12 equally sized scones. Transfer them to the prepared baking sheet, leaving 1/2 to 1-inch of space between them. Cover the baking sheet with plastic wrap and freeze the scones until they are frozen solid - at least 2 hours, but even better if you can leave them in there overnight (the scones can be frozen for up to 1 month at this point). Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Transfer the scones you want to bake from the freezer to the prepared baking sheet, leaving about 1 inch of space between them. Bake for about 28-30 minutes, or until the scones are golden brown and slightly firm. Meanwhile, make the glaze by whisking the butter and honey together until combined. When you remove the scones from the oven, immediately brush the tops with the glaze. The scones are best the day you make them, but can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for 1 day. Makes 12 large scones

Source: traceysculinaryadventures.blogspot.com

1/4 teaspoon curry powder 1 cinnamon stick (1-inch) 1 clove 1/2 lemon, zest of , cut into 2 two inch strips 1/2 orange, zest of , cut into 2 two inch strips 8 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 1/4 cup shallot , minced 1 cup Tomato , peeled, seeded, finely chopped 1/2 cup red wine 1 tablespoon sugar 1 tablespoon lemon juice 2 tablespoons orange juice 3 cups eggplants , finely diced 1 1/2 cups zucchini , finely diced 1 1/2 cups yellow squash, finely diced 3 tablespoons butter , unsalted, cut into small pieces (optional) 1/4 cup roasted sweet peppers , finely diced 1/4 cup roasted yellow pepper, finely diced 1 teaspoon parsley , chopped kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper 1 In a small skillet, combine curry powder, cinnamon stick and clove and place over medium heat, toasting until aromatic; removed from the heat and wrap the spices in cheesecloth with the lemon and orange zest and tie the cheesecloth to make a sachet. 2 In a medium saucepan, combine 2 tablespoons of olive oil and the shallots and saute over low heat until the shallots have softened--about 4 minutes. 3 Add the tomatoes, red wine, sugar, lemon and orange juices, and the sachet. 4 Simmer until the liquid has reduced and the mixture resembles a marmalade--about 20 to 25 minutes. 5 Remove from heat and discard sachet. 6 In a large skillet over medium heat, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil and then add the eggplant and saute until tender--about 5 minutes. 7 Drain eggplant on paper towels set on a rack. 8 Return the skillet to the medium heat, add two more tablespoons of oil and, when the oil is warm, add the zucchini and yellow squash and saute that until tender--4 to 5 minutes. 9 Drain the zucchini and squash. 10 Note: Dish can be prepared in advance to here and chilled for several hours; if it is chilled, bring to room temperature before proceeding. 11 Reheat the tomato mixture and whisk in the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. 12 Add butter, one piece at a time, whisking to emulsify the sauce. (this step can be omitted to "veganize" the recipe). 13 Add the eggplant, zucchini and yellow squash. 14 Fold in red and yellow peppers and parsley. 15 Serve warm. 16 If served as a base for skate (as at The French Laundry), this serves six; as a condiment or as part of an appetizer plate, it will serve more--the yield is roughly 6 cups.

Source: food.com

Last month, I finally fulfilled my long-time dream of traveling to New York City. Talk about a foodie's paradise! I got to eat at Bar Boulud, Cafe Boulud, Eataly, and Schnipper's Deli, all of which were absolutely fantastic. But, if you've been following my blog, you know I'm all about the sweets. And from hearing what other people have said about NYC, that meant it was time to go hunt down those chocolate chip cookies, namely Jacques Torres, Levain Bakery, and Thomas Keller. To my disappointment, however, I found out that Levain Bakery's famous chocolate chip cookie is made with walnuts (I'm allergic) and they don't make a nut-free version. My mom who came with me, on the other hand, has no such problem, and she gladly devoured the cookie we bought from there and proclaimed it the best out of the three places above. She then went back into the bakery and promptly bought five more to take home. Ha! Cookie from Levain Bakery Well, this just wouldn't do. The "best" cookie in NYC and I can't even taste it for myself? Oh no! So, I had no choice but to hunt down a copycat recipe and make them myself, this time with no walnuts. I came across this recipe on the blog, Parsley Sage & Sweet . Since a lot of other bloggers commented on how close this one was to the real thing, I figured I couldn't go wrong. The only thing I changed was to add 1 1/2 tsp. of vanilla. Whether that made the cookie taste less Levain-esque, I don't know, but I simply have to have vanilla in my chocolate chip cookies. I then followed a couple of recommendations on her blog and added 1 Tbsp. cornstarch and also froze the large cookie dough balls before baking them. The result? I got ooey, gooey centers in my cookies surrounded by a lovely crispy shell. Then, there was all that chocolatey goodness melting in the middle. Oooohhh! I can't even describe how good that was. My sister, who sampled one of the actual Levain cookies my mom brought back, took a taste too. Unfortunately, she couldn't for the life of her remember what the original one tasted like, so she couldn't say whether or not this one came close. And, since I hadn't tasted it either, I guess we'll never know. But, what I do know was that these cookies tasted awesome! My sister also loved the thick, chewy texture of the cookies. She then proceeded to take a lot of them home with her to eat later on. This one is truly a keeper! Levain Bakery Copycat Chocolate Chip Cookies (adapted from Parsley Sage & Sweet ) 1 c. 'cold and cubed' unsalted butter ( I used salted ) 3/4 c. sugar 3/4 c. brown sugar 2 eggs 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla ( I added this ) 3 1/4 c. all-purpose flour 1 Tbsp. cornstarch 3/4 tsp. kosher salt ( I omitted this ) 3/4 tsp. baking powder 1/4 tsp. baking soda 1 c. semisweet chocolate chips 1 c. milk chocolate chips Cream the butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs and vanilla. Stir in the flour, cornstarch, salt (if using), baking powder, and baking soda until combined. Mix in the chocolate chips. Form into large balls, about 4 oz. each. ( I did about three of my cookies like this and made the rest of them into small, regular-sized cookies ). Freeze the dough balls for at least 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350F. Bake the large cookie dough balls for 15-20 minutes ( mine took 23 minutes ). Bake the smaller, regular-sized dough balls for 12 minutes .

Source: sweet-as-sugar-cookies.blogspot.com

Here was the deal: my favorite roast chicken recipe is this one from Thomas Keller. (Sidebar: I’m currently in San Francisco and last night I ate at Zuni, and as I was leaving the bathroom who did I lock eyes with? Thomas Keller. Turns out he goes to the bathroom too; food gods are just like us!) The problem, though, is that the Thomas Keller roast chicken with root vegetables is an event. It requires that you use your roasting pan; it involves a shopping-cart full of turnips, rutabaga, carrots, onions, and potatoes. It’s not really practical for a weeknight. As for my usual weeknight roast chicken, I’d normally wind up putting the chicken in my All-Clad metal skillet so that I could make a sauce in there afterwards (see here), roasting the vegetables separately. That was OK. Then I remembered my trusty friend the cast iron skillet. What if I did the Keller thing in there? What happened next will astound you (how’s that for an UpWorthy paragraph ender?). It was awesome; a new favorite weeknight dinner. You get all of the caramelized, chicken-fatty vegetables you get in the roasting pan version with so much less to clean up. Plus it’s a perfect amount for two. Oh and the cast iron skillet retains its heat so the chicken gets nice and brown. I bought a container of mini Yukon Gold potatoes and I put that in the cast iron skillet along with a few miniature carrots that came in my CSA, plus an onion cut into quarters and a few garlic cloves still in their skin, tossing everything with a little vegetable oil, salt, and pepper. Then I took a 4 pound chicken, patted it dry, rubbed it with vegetable oil, put salt and pepper over everything (and in the cavity), stuffed it with a head of garlic and some rosemary, and then trussed it in that easy method where you wrap the butcher’s twine around the back end of the breast (where the wings are) and then tie the legs together. See? At this point, I remembered what makes Keller’s chicken so exemplary: butter on the breast. (Once Ludo Lefebvre posted a roast chicken he was making at home on Instagram and the whole thing was caked in butter). So I took some softened butter and did the same thing: Butter makes all the difference. Start that at 475, then after 20 minutes lower to 425 and cook for another hour or so until a thermometer placed between the leg and thigh reads 165. Your whole house will smell like the most comforting place on earth; and then you can eat that comfort. Lift the chicken out of the pan and let it rest on a plate for 10 minutes or so. Meanwhile, check out those vegetables: You may have to pour out some of the fat; then, before serving, crank up the heat on a burner and reheat them, scraping up all the brown bits on the bottom of the pan with a metal spatula. That’s the best part. Carve up the chicken–cut off the legs, wings, breast, etc.–and serve with the vegetables on the side. If there’s any liquid left in the pan, drizzle that on top and sprinkle everything with some chopped parsley (or, in my case, chives because that’s what I had). If you’re looking to impress, this dinner does the trick every time. And it’s such an important thing to have in your repertoire; so let this be your inspiration. You got this.

Source: amateurgourmet.com

Let us all acknowledge the truth about roast chicken: it’s not about the chicken, it’s about the vegetables. That truth dawned on me long ago when I used to line a roasting pan with red potatoes sliced in half, all surrounding a well-seasoned chicken; the rendered chicken fat would coat the potatoes, they’d get all crispy, and when it was time to eat, the actual roast chicken was an afterthought. It only got better when I discovered Thomas Keller’s roast chicken: in with the potatoes went leeks, carrots, parsnips, rutabaga, turnips, and suddenly next to that pretty little bird would be vegetables as beautiful as the crown jewels. Now imagine turning those salty, schmaltzy vegetables into soup, a soup that takes about 5 minutes. Riffing on something I saw The Barefoot Contessa do on TV at my gym (trays of roasted vegetables placed in a blender with chicken stock), I looked at this roast chicken that I had made for dinner last week and saw a world of possibility: [Note: Craig’s sister Kristin got me a huge cast iron skillet for Christmas and I’ve been loving it; especially for the Thomas Keller roast chicken. So much easier to deal with than a roasting pan.] From this one meal, two more meals hatched: first, a chicken salad made with the diced chicken breast (skin included), mayonnaise, mustard, preserved lemons, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Second, the aforementioned soup that gives this post its title. Start with as many vegetables as you’re willing to leave behind: Place them in a pot and cover with water. Turn the heat to a simmer and when it gets there, add a big handful of spinach, plus some salt: Make your chicken salad while the spinach wilts. Now take out your hand blender and blend that soup! [Sorry for the blurry pic, but everything was whirrrrrring.] And behold: Chickened Vegetable Soup. You won’t believe how flavorful this is, especially if you add a splash of white wine vinegar. All that salty savoriness of the vegetables is now in the soup; sort of like a reverse-engineered chicken soup, because instead of infusing a broth with slowly rendered chicken fat, you worked that fat into the water via the vegetables. Or something like that, I’m not Harold McGee. I’m just Adam Roberts and this is a very good soup. Go make it.

Source: amateurgourmet.com

  (First published in Finesse, Thomas Keller’s superb magazine, earlier this year.) In the 1970s, the egg was bad-for-you food in America. After being a mainstay of the human diet for millennia, doctors here decreed that the cholesterol-laden yolk clogged arteries and resulted in heart attacks. Eat an egg if you must, nutritionists warned, but only in limited quantities. And after 30 years of telling us to avoid eggs and order up those egg white omelettes, the American Heart Association changed its mind—oops!—and declared that eggs, like an unjustly punished child, could once again return to the dining table. As I began to write about the egg, I realized the egg fatwa was no isolated event. Indeed, it came to symbolize for me what was wrong with the way we think about food and how we let others decide what we eat. Read On »

Source: ruhlman.com

Reposting this method because, well, just the name of the dish is inspiring: butter-poached shrimp. Butter-poached shrimp and grits. Mmmm. Butter-poached lobster, not uncommon in French haute cuisine, was popularized in America by Thomas Keller in The French Laundry Cookbook and at that restaurant. “Lobster loves gentle heat,” he told me then. It’s not much of a leap for the thrifty-minded cook to reason that shrimp, too, love gentle heat. That’s why, in the butter chapter of my book Ruhlman’s Twenty, I showed how to use butter as a cooking medium (one of the many amazing ways butter can be used as a tool). This dish is absolutely killer. The shrimp stay very tender, rich and tasty with the butter; the grits are then enriched with the shrimp butter. Leftover butter can be used to saute shrimp Read On »

Source: ruhlman.com

Want the most golden, most crispy skin on anything from your Sunday roast Chicken to your Thanksgiving turkey? We tested four different methods to find the very best one. Photography Credit: Summer Miller I’ve been wrist deep in the business end of chickens all week. I’m on a quest to determine the best way to achieve perfect deep, golden, crispy skin, both for our everyday roast chickens and also for that bird of all birds — the Thanksgiving turkey. Why? A well-roasted bird makes an undeniably beautiful presentation on your holiday table. Also, of course, the snap of salty, crisp skin with each tender morsel of meat is a little bite of heaven. In the end, we want a bird with tender, flavorful meat, and deeply golden, crispy skin. The goal is to inject the meat with moisture while eliminating it from the skin. DRY SKIN = CRISPY SKIN Ultimately, you want dry skin. The drier your skin to start, the crispier it will be after roasting. Different cooks and chefs have varying techniques for doing this. Some leave the chicken uncovered in the refrigerator (a technique I support), others use salt and or baking powder to draw the moisture out of the skin, and some simply pat the bird dry with paper towels, pop it in the oven and hope for the best. I tested four different techniques to evaluate their effectiveness at creating golden, crispy skin. I tested with chickens rather than turkeys to save time, money, and limit the amount of poultry my family had to eat in a single week. (As it is, they’ve made me promise not to serve chicken for a least a month.) What works for one bird will likely work for another, so you can apply any of the techniques outlined below to any kind of poultry – including, yes, your Thanksgiving turkey. TESTING METHOD I tested four different methods for achieving crispy, golden skin: Dry the bird with paper towels, then roast Rub with baking powder mixture Air-dry for 24 hours Air-dry and baste during roasting To ensure accurate results, I applied a few standards to all the chickens. First, all the chickens were between 5 and 6 pounds. Two were from the supermarket, and two were from a farmer down the street from my house. All chickens were trussed and set on the counter to come up to room temp for 30 minutes before I popped them in the oven. For this test, I was most concerned with the crispness and color of the skin, so I didn’t worry about the flavor of the chicken until the end, adding herbs, or stuffing the cavity. However, I still wanted the chicken to taste good, so except for Chicken No. 2 (see below), I seasoned each one with 2 teaspoons of kosher salt, 1 teaspoon of freshly cracked pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon of dried thyme. All the birds were roasted in on a sheet pan lined with parchment with a wire cooling rack placed on top. This allows air to circulate under and around the chicken, similar to roasting a turkey in a roasting pan with a roasting rack. I roasted the chickens on the second lowest rack in the oven and used Ina Garten’s recommendation for cooking time: 1hr and 30min at 425-degrees Fahrenheit for each bird. THE RUNDOWN Each method produced at least some color and a bit of crispness, so even on your least motivated day in the kitchen, you can make a decently crispy, golden chicken. The exact method you use depends on how much time you have and how loyal you are to crispy skin. Chicken No. 1: The Quick Pat Down This first chicken served as my control. It required the least amount of effort and still provided some level of crisp skin. I simply patted this chicken dry with paper towels, then rubbed it with two tablespoons of olive oil on the outside of the skin, under the skin, and inside the cavity of the bird. I combined the salt, pepper, and thyme together then rubbed the spice blend in all the same places. The result after roasting was lightly golden, slightly crisp skin. Basically, consider this bird the “I don’t have any time, but it’s cool, I can still pull off dinner” bird. You aren’t going to win any awards for this one, but it still gets the job done. Chicken No. 2: Baking Powder Rub This was a technique I pulled from Serious Eats, and the author swears by using baking powder to achieve a super crispy chicken. This chicken was rubbed down in a mixture of 1 tablespoon of salt, 1 teaspoon of baking powder, and 1/2 teaspoon of cracked pepper, then left uncovered in the fridge for 18 hours. This chicken definitely had some crackling skin, but some parts looked a bit leathery and the color was actually lighter than the first bird. The meat was tender and flavorful, but there was a very slight, subtle metallic flavor from the baking powder. Chicken No. 3: The 24-Hour Chill I left Bird Number 3 uncovered in the fridge to air-dry for 24 hours, following the technique espoused by Thomas Keller and several other chefs. Then I used the same combination of oil, salt, pepper and thyme I used for Chicken Number 1 to season and assist crisping the skin just before putting it in the oven. This attempt yielded a beautiful golden color and a nice, crispy skin. The flavor of this bird was the best of those I’d tested so far. The meat was tender and not dry, but trying to season the bird under the skin after air drying proved difficult. More on that later. Chicken No. 4: Because I’m All About that Baste, about that Baste. To baste or not to baste, that is the question! My editor and I both read various accounts debating the merits of basting, so we felt it was worth the time to put this method to the test. I prepared Chicken Number 4 exactly as I prepared Chicken Number 3. The only difference was that I basted the chicken during roasting using the pan drippings. I don’t even have a proper baster, I just used a large spoon to scoop up and drizzle that chicken in all the fat it was working so hard to burn off. I didn’t want this one to win because I don’t like things that require more work, but Grandma knew what she was doing. I basted the chicken every 20 minutes during the 1 1/2 hour roasting time, and it was gorgeous. This bird had a deep brown color, and the skin was nice and crisp. It was the obvious winner. Chicken No. 5: Bonus Bird! I now knew that air-drying and basting created a beautiful bird, but trying to season a bird under the skin after drying it for 24 hours wasn’t the easiest. I took the time to test one more chicken, this time seasoning it before air-drying instead of after. For Bird Number 5, I created a paste of salt, pepper, thyme and one tablespoon of olive oil, and rubbed it on top of and underneath the skin. Then I left it uncovered in the fridge to dry for 24 hours. Just before roasting, I rubbed the outside of the skin with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. I then basted it every 20 minutes as it cooked. The result was a chicken that was easy to season, had deep richly colored, crisp skin, and tender flavorful meat. Visually, it looked exactly the same as Bird Number 4, but the flavor was much better. CONCLUSION I’m a big believer in the “less is more” philosophy in the kitchen, so if I could make a perfectly beautiful, and delicious bird without too much fuss, then that’s a win for me. Unfortunately, that’s not exactly how this test turned out. In conclusion, if you want the crispiest, most golden skin on your bird this holiday season, or your next Sunday night chicken, the best way is to rub it with oil and spices under and over the skin, then leave it uncovered in the refrigerator for 24 hours. Rub it down with one more tablespoon of oil just before putting it in the oven, sprinkle with a bit more salt and pepper. Roast and baste the chicken every 20 minutes. Sometimes a little bit of planning and extra effort is well worth the payout. Follow me on Pinterest If you make this recipe, snap a pic and hashtag it #simplyrecipes β€” We love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, & Twitter! Summer Miller Summer Miller is a freelance writer, recipe developer and author based in Nebraska. Her work has appeared in Bon Appetit, Eating Well, Grit, SAVEUR, and Every Day with Rachel Ray, among others. Her first book is New Prairie Kitchen (Agate Publishing, 2015). More from Summer

Source: simplyrecipes.com

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