Since I’ve been enjoying watching America’s Test Kitchen lately, and we really enjoyed the juicy and delicious French Chicken in a Pot, I thought I would snoop around and see if I couldn’t find an ATK recipe for a roast chicken with crispy skin that also stays juicy. The only problem is that ATK only gives their recipes away for free for the current season. For past seasons, you have to pay for a registration, which I’m not really interested in doing right now. Thankfully, there are plenty of people on the internet who post recipes, so I was able to find this one, and we had it for dinner on Saturday night. It was really good, though I wasn’t terribly impressed with the crispyness of the skin. I’ll definitely try it again, and see if I can get the color and crispness on the skin that I want, without drying out the chicken. The skin was definitely much crisper than the French Chicken version, just not quite as crispy as I would have liked.
The key with this recipe is almost the opposite from the French Chicken. With that one you cooked the chicken for a longer period of time at a lower temperature. With this one, you cook it in a very hot oven for much less time. I read that you should not omit the potatoes, as they keep the chicken fat that drips down from burning and smoking up your house.
The chicken meat was very juicy and had wonderful flavor. I might try it without brining the chicken next time as well. I know that makes it very juicy and gives flavor, but I’m concerned it might be too much salt, which we are watching somewhat around here. Anyone know if brining is worse than adding salt to the chicken before cooking?
Anyway, here is a very yummy recipe for roast chicken.
CRISP-SKIN HIGH-ROAST BUTTERFLIED CHICKEN WITH POTATOES
Chicken and brine
1 cup kosher salt (or 1/2 cup table salt), for brine
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 whole chicken , 3 1/2 to 4 lbs
2 1/2 pounds russet or Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and sliced 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick
Vegetable cooking spray (nonstick)
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
3/4 teaspoon table salt (for potatoes)
Ground black pepper
Mustard-Garlic Butter with Thyme
2 tablespoons unsalted butter , softened
1 medium clove garlic , pressed through garlic press
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves
Ground black pepper
1. Dissolve salt and sugar in 2 quarts cold water in large container. Immerse chicken and refrigerate until fully seasoned, about 1 hour.
Meanwhile, adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 500 degrees. Line bottom of broiler pan with foil and spray with nonstick vegetable cooking spray. Remove chicken from brine and rinse thoroughly under cold running water. Pat dry with paper towels. Cut out backbone to butterfly chicken, and flatten breastbone by pushing down. With your fingers, loosen skin across breast and as far down drumsticks as you can without tearing skin. Combine all ingredients for Mustard-Garlic Butter with Thyme. Spoon butter mixture under skin and work across as much of the chicken as possible. Rub 1.5 Ts olive oil over chicken.
2. Toss potatoes with 1 tablespoon oil, salt, and pepper to taste in medium bowl. Spread potatoes in even layer in foil-lined broiler pan bottom. Place broiler pan rack with chicken on top. Rub chicken with remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons oil and sprinkle with pepper.
3. Roast chicken until spotty brown, about 20 minutes. Rotate pan and continue to roast until skin has crisped and turned a deep brown and an instant-read thermometer registers 160 degrees in thickest part of breast, 20 to 25 minutes longer. Transfer chicken to cutting board. With potholders, remove broiler pan rack; soak up excess grease from potatoes with several sheets paper towels. Remove foil liner with potatoes from broiler pan bottom and invert foil and potatoes onto cookie sheet or second cutting board. Carefully peel back foil, using a metal spatula to help scrape potatoes off foil as needed. With additional paper towels, pat off remaining grease. Cut chicken into serving pieces and serve with potatoes.
Yield: 4 servings