I've been roasting a chicken every week for about six weeks. One problem persists: the skin does not brown evenly. Instead, I end up with a lot of tan/light-brown skin and then a few spots of brown to dark-brown skin. I'm trying for that uniform medium brown. What I get isn't bad. It's reasonably crispy. But it's not that rich brown I'm looking for. Problem spots tend to be the highest points of the breasts and, when turned over, the back.
See here for an example of the even browning I'm shooting for:
I basically use the Zuni Cafe chicken recipe except for trussing the bird and leaving it in the fridge uncovered for the last day of the brine. The chicken sits out for an hour before going in the oven. The oven itself sits at 460F for a solid 20 minutes before the chicken goes in. I've double-checked it with an oven thermometer.
The chicken is on the lowest rack, on top of a bed of carrots, pearl onions, and parsnips in a 2" deep cast iron skillet. I'm assuming this is a matter of having hot spots in my oven, but I'm not sure. Do you think the vegetables steam enough to really affect the cooking process for the skin? I put them in the oven about 10 minutes before the bird to try and alleviate this, but it's about 2 lbs of vegetables before trimming. It doesn't seem to steam that much.
How do you get even browning of roast chicken skin?