First, You Bake a Chicken by joec3
November 11, 2013, 2:14 am
Filed under: Uncategorized
From Flickr user adashofsass

From Flickr user adashofsass

First, You Bake a Chicken
by Andrew Welleford

When it comes to cooking, you have to start somewhere. But where? Whether you’re a novice wanting to learn how to feed yourself well or an old pro returning from an exam-time hiatus, the first step into the kitchen can be the most difficult. Choosing just one meal among the infinite options in world cuisine can leave you paralyzed with indecision. The solution? Start simple. Bake a chicken.

Baking a chicken leaves you with 2-5 servings of meat that goes well with anything. Whole chickens are cheap; I buy mine for $1 a pound. And done right, a roasted chicken looks and tastes amazing.

This video features one of the greatest chefs in the world explaining my favorite method of baking a chicken:

To summarize:

  • Preheat oven to 450 °F
  • Wash bird
  • Dry bird well with paper towels
  • Remove wishbone (optional in my opinion)
  • Salt/season inside of bird
  • Truss bird* (detailed instructions in video)
  • Salt/season outside of bird
  • Place on frying pan, cast-iron skillet, cookie sheet; anything that’s oven-safe
  • Bake until center of breast is 155 °F, or until skin is uniform golden brown, or about 1 hour
  • Allow to cool a bit before carving/serving or it will leak juice

That’s it! You just made a delicious main dish for hardly any effort. I usually cook mine seasoned only with kosher salt, plus a couple sprigs of thyme in the bird’s cavity when it comes out of the oven. Be sure to save the drippings and carcass in the freezer for chicken stock (Editor’s note: definitely do this)!

*Trussing can be tricky the first time you do it, if you want to skip that step the chicken will still turn out ok.


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