We're big fans of chicken around here, and I have it on the weekly menu in some shape or fashion at least once a week. I'm always in search of ways to make chicken just a little more exciting. I love the idea of roasting a whole chicken – it's cheaper per pound than chicken breast, and I can always stretch it into another meal or two.
I know it's supposed to be easy, but for some reason I've never had a lot of luck with roasting chickens. Maybe it's the kind of chicken I've purchased, maybe it's my recipe, maybe I don't use the proper roasting equipment, but it's always turned out just okay. Edible, for sure, but nothing to get excited about.
You bet your booty I clicked on that link. To be quite honest, I'd be interested in The Naughty Way to do just about anything. This is a family kind of blog, though, so we'll just stick to the chicken.
I was intrigued. I had everything I needed, including a very fine fowl: free-range, antibiotic-free happy chickens were on sale at The Fresh Market. And so one fine Sunday, not long after saying my prayers in church, I went about violating a chicken.
Yes, friends, much like the infamous beer can chicken(which I've never tried because, frankly, I'd much rather drink the beer), this chicken is vertically roasted by way of sticking the inner cone of a bundt pan right where the sun don't shine. I kind of felt bad for the chicken, but then realized that not once, but twice, I pushed things proportionally larger than the diameter of bundt pan's central spike out of my lady bits. So while the chicken and I had the drug-free bit in common, I was entirely alive during the process. The chicken was most decidedly dead. Aren't you so ready to eat now?
I brined the chicken before hand, because I always do what Christopher Kimball tells me. I scattered a few red potatoes underneath the bird, and rubbed the skin with some olive oil, salt, pepper and thyme. That was it, and a little over an hour later we ate the most delicious roast chicken I've ever made. I'm not entirely sure if it was the method, the quality of the bird, or both, but we will definitely be violating more chickens in the cold months to come.
My only complaint was a certain messy factor. While the chicken was roasting, some of the juices dripped through the open portion of the central spike and thus made a mess of my oven. Next time I would cover the opening with some foil to minimize the mess and the excessive smoke it caused.
So go ahead and be naughty. Chicken (and life) are much more exciting that way.
- 3 to 4 pound chicken
- Salt, pepper and spices to season
- Potatoes and/or onions to prop
Prepare brine for chicken by mixing 2 quarts of cold water with a 1/2 cup of salt and a 1/2 cup of sugar in a container or bowl large enough for both the brine and the chicken. Submerge chicken completely in the brine. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Remove chicken from brine, rinse, and pat dry.
Season chicken as desired.
Preheat oven to 450°F and adjust oven rack low enough to accommodate the bundt pan plus an extra few inches.
Scatter a layer of potatoes and/or onions on the bottom of the pan. Turn the chicken upright (legs on the bottom, wings on the top) and plunge the body onto the bundt pan's central spike. Place the bundt pan on a baking sheet to catch any dripping grease from the inside of the bird.
Roast for 15 minutes, then turn the oven down to 350°F and roast another 40-45 minutes, or until an instant-read meat thermometer inserted into the breast registers 155°F. Turn the oven back up to 450°F and roast another five minutes, or until thermometer registers 160°F.
Remove the chicken from its throne with tongs. Set it on its back and allow the meat to rest 10 minutes before carving. Remember to call the chicken in the morning, or at least send it flowers.