Tuesday, April 8, 2008

High Roast Chicken Pt. II

Part I of the recipe can be found here, if you missed it.

So for the actual "roast the chicken day", the ingredients are rather minimal (and listed in the previous section):
  • 2.5 lbs of russet potatoes (4 or 5 medium), scrubbed and peeled
  • Vegetable cooking spray
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil (for the potatoes)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil (for the chicken)
  • Fresh ground black pepper
Starting with the potatoes:
  1. Adjust an Oven rack to the lower middle position and preheat the oven to 500 degrees.
  2. Slice the peeled potatoes a 1/4 to 1/8 inch thick.
  3. Toss the potato slices with the oil, salt, and pepper to taste.
  4. Line the broiler pan with foil (heavy duty if you have it) and spray the foil with the vegetable cooking spray.
  5. Spread the potatoes in an even layer on the foil.

Now, to slice the potatoes, the absolute best and easiest thing is a food processor with one of those slicer attachments. If you have a food processor, be sure to look for potatoes that are long and skinny so you don't have to trim too much off to fit them into the feeder. The non food processor option (they are expensive after all) is a v-slicer or mandoline such as this, which will make short work of those potatoes (and are awesome if you ever need to julienne something). You can obviously cut them by hand as well... but I prefer my time in the kitchen to not be tedious... YMMV.

Another thing to be sure and remember is the vegetable cooking spray (you don't have to buy Pam - you can put olive/vegetable oil in a regular spay bottle for the same effect). I actually forgot that step, so I can attest to its importance... forgetting it doesn't ruin the potatoes, but it makes it much harder to peel off the crispiest potatoes (the best part!) at the end... so learn from my mistakes and don't forget!

On to the chicken:
  1. Place the broiler pan top with the air dried chicken back on top of the broiler pan with the potatoes.
  2. Rub the chicken with the 1/2 tablespoon of oil.
  3. Season the chicken liberally with pepper like so:
  4. Roast the chicken until spotty brown, about 20 minutes, then rotate then rotate the pan 180 degrees.
  5. Continue to roast until an instant read thermometer put in the thickest part of the breast reads 160 degrees; 20-25 minutes more.
  6. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board.
  7. With pot holders remove the broiler pan top, and soak up some of the excess grease with some wadded up paper towels.
  8. Remove the foil liner from the broiler pan and invert it over a large plate or second cutting board.
  9. Carefully peel of the foil from the potatoes, using a spatula to help pry off the crispy bits, and voilà:
  10. Cut the chicken into 4 pieces (breast + wing and leg + thigh) and serve with the potatoes.
There is plenty of time while the chicken is roasting to prepare something green (I did steamed asparagus with a lime-ginger vinaigrette), but even without such a thing I say that this High Roast Chicken is, in fact, the best chicken dinner you will ever taste. Well, maybe not, but it's really really good.Now, as far as the 13 dollar chicken... was it worth it? Well, I was actually shocked at how juicy and flavorful the chicken was... most certainly the best chicken I've ever cooked, and I've cooked everything from a generic Purdue roaster to an organic Whole Foods chicken in the exact same manner. However, I'm not sure it's worth it as an everyday expense... worth trying to be sure, and great for relatively special occasions. I can't see myself picking up this kind of chicken when I'm cooking just for myself, but I would if I was cooking for my Mom or something and wanted to seem like a better cook.