+
Home Cooking

America's Test Kitchen roast chicken - the best! (long)

cheryl_h | Jul 27, 200601:52 PM     31

On a recent episode of ATK I watched their revised technique for high-temperature roasted chicken with pan-roasted potatoes. Don't leave the potatoes out, their purpose is to soak up the chicken fat so you don't smoke up the kitchen.

The link is here (requires registration):
http://americastestkitchen.com/recipe...

If you're not a member, here's my paraphrased version, with my variations below it.

Ingredients:
1 roasting chicken, 3.5-4 lbs
1 cup kosher salt or 1/2 cup table salt
1/2 cup sugar
1.5 Ts olive oil

2.5 pounds roasting potatoes, russets or Yukon Golds
3/4 ts salt
ground black pepper
1 Tb olive oil

Compound butter:
2 Tb butter
1 clove garlic, mashed
1 Tb dijon mustard
1 ts minced fresh thyme
ground black pepper

Brine chicken in solution of 1 cup kosher salt (or 1/2 cup table salt) and 1/2 cup sugar to 1/2 gallon water for 1 hour.

Pat chicken dry. Cut out backbone (their website has illustrations) to butterfly chicken. Flatten breastbone (just push down firmly).

Mix up compound butter - the website has some other compound butter recipes. With your fingers, loosen skin across breast and as far down drumsticks as you can, do not tear skin. Spoon butter under skin and work across as much of the chicken as possible. Rub 1.5 Ts olive oil over chicken.

Slice potatoes 1/8" to 1/4" inch thickness. Salt and pepper lightly, toss with 1 Tb oil.

Line bottom of grilling pan with heavy-duty aluminium foil. Spread potato slices across pan evenly.

Place grilling rack over potatoes. Arrange butterflied chicken on top, folding drumsticks inward so they cover part of the breast. Roast at 500 degrees for 20 minutes, turn pan around, roast for another 20 minutes or until internal temperature in breast is 160.

Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly. Take grilling rack off, pat potatoes which will have a fair amount of oil on them. Potatoes may stick to foil, peel as much off as possible. Cut chicken up and serve with potatoes. That's it.

I made this over the weekend and it is absolutely the best roast chicken I've ever tasted. It may be heresy on this board, but it beat the Zuni chicken by a mile. The skin is crispy, meat is juicy and loaded with flavor. The potatoes are simply fabulous, roasted in butter and chicken fat and juice how could they not be? Choosing between the potatoes and Zuni's bread salad is a toss-up. I'm thinking of ways to do this with bread as well.

My variations:
I brined for about 6 hours, after putting the butter under the chicken skin, I put the chicken in the fridge overnight.

I zested a lemon and used this instead of the garlic/thyme in the compound butter. In the TV episode they used 4 oz of butter so I did the same.

I took the chicken out at 150 degrees because I loathe dried-out meat. This reduced my roasting time to about 30 minutes, not 40. Because of this the potatoes weren't as crisp as they should have been - I think I'll let them cook a few minutes longer next time.

Last note: We had leftover chicken last night. It's so hot I didn't want to turn on the oven but I wanted the crispiness of the chicken skin. So we used our blowtorch to char the skin, it did an excellent job of recrisping it and improved the flavor by adding a bit of smokiness. Altogether this is a WINNAH!

Want to stay up to date with this post? Sign Up Now ›

More from Chowhound

Everything You Need to Know About Hosting a Fall Wine Tasting Party
Entertaining

Everything You Need to Know About Hosting a Fall Wine Tasting Party

by Kelsey Butler | Just because rosé season is on its way out doesn’t mean it’s time to stop sipping vino. You already...

How to Host a Fall Dinner Party
Entertaining

How to Host a Fall Dinner Party

by Amy Sowder and Jen Wheeler | Hosting a fall dinner party? We got some autumn entertaining tips from an expert and scoured the web...

Instagram-Worthy Halloween Party Decorations
Entertaining

Instagram-Worthy Halloween Party Decorations

by Amy Sowder | The best Halloween party decorations are elegant yet still atmospheric, and often have a vintage vibe...

Fridge Organizing Photos That Will (Almost) Make You Want to Clean Your Own
How To

Fridge Organizing Photos That Will (Almost) Make You Want to Clean Your Own

by Simone Paget | A quick search on Instagram reveals that there are over 40,000 posts tagged #fridgegoals. Fridge inspiration...

Get fresh food news delivered to your inbox

Sign up for our newsletter to receive the latest tips, tricks, recipes and more, sent twice a week.