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Roasted Farm Chicken Recipe
Updated: Friday, August 2 2013, 08:32 PM EDT
Get ready for Father's Day with a great, and surprisingly simple, recipe for a classic favorite, roasted chicken. Bagby Restaurant Group's Chris Becker cooks one up in the FOX45 kitchen.
Roasted Farm Chicken
One 3-pound farm-raised chicken
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 sprigs or thyme, parsley, and rosemary
2 teaspoons finely chopped thyme
The night before, rinse chicken and pat dry. Place the bird on a plate and leave uncovered until needed the following day; this will dry out the surface and give you a crispier golden skin.
Remove the bird from refrigerator and let warm up to room temperature; this is called tempering, it will ensure even cooking, a crispier golden skin, and an accurate oven temperature is maintained, it will also speed up the cooking time as well.
Preheat the oven to 450°F.
Salt and pepper the cavity, then truss the bird (see video). Trussing is not hard at all, and if you roast chicken often, it's a good technique to get to know. When you truss a bird, the wings and legs stay close to the body; the ends of the drumsticks cover the top of the breast and keep it from drying out. This technique keeps the chicken tight and compacted together, promoting even cooking throughout, and it also makes for a beautiful presentation.
Now, salt the chicken liberally (about 1-1.5 tablespoons total)— Salt from about 12-18 inches above the bird to ensure even distribution of salt. When it's cooked, you should still be able to make out the salt baked onto the crisp skin. Season to taste with pepper (tellicherry peppercorn if possible).
Using some of the herbs, arrange them as needed, flat in the middle of the pan. Place the chicken back side down on the herbs in the center of a cast iron skillet (this will add aromatics and ensure the skin doesn’t stick to the pan) or roasting pan and, when the oven is up to temperature, put the chicken in the oven. Leave it alone— don’t add butter (this will cause steam which you do not want), and leave it be for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes, you may baste it 5 or 6 times then return it to the oven for another 20-30 minutes or until it is done (or when a calibrated thermometer shows the internal temperature of 155-160 degrees). Remove it from the oven and add the finely chopped thyme, if using, to the pan. Baste the chicken with the juices and thyme and let it rest for 15 minutes on a cutting board.
Remove the twine. Separate the middle wing joint and eat that immediately. Remove the legs and thighs. Serve with some beautiful vegetables from the farmers market. Oh, and don't forget to remove the backbone and save the oyster meat for yourself; this is the most flavorful, tender, and succulent meat on the bird.