Sunday, February 8, 2009

When a good recipe becomes even better....

I've long been a fan of Thomas Keller's method for roasting chicken.... throw a salted up bird in a cast iron skillet in a hot oven, no basting, and let it for 45 minutes to an hour. Some people call it "high roasting" since it's cooked at a high temperature. You get moist, juicy meat, crispy skin, and as someone who had many, many chicken-roasting disasters, it's nice to have a fool-proof recipe.

And it's great when it gets even better.

The one problem with Keller's recipe is there is sometime smoke from all the fat cooking out of the chicken. Ok, sometimes, a LOT of smoke. I've set off smoke detectors using the recipe. But it's so good, I don't care.

I've read on the internets that a lot of people have started putting some veg in the bottom of the skillet to help with the smoke problem.

But.... but... the original recipe works so well. Why would you change it?

I get nervous, sometimes, when veering off such a tried and true recipe. Sometimes, you'll wonder what someone was thinking. But sometimes, it's a thing of beauty.

Ooops... sorry for the chicken butt.

Always more appropriate to flash a breast. The butt is just vulgar.

Chicken, dried off and sprinkled with some pepper and my go-to salt... Penzey's Sandwich Sprinkle.

I usually go for a big chicken, and since the produce mart now carries Amish chicken, I usually go for the biggest Amish chicken I can find in the meat case.

At the bottom, some lightly oiled and seasoned fingerling potatoes. Deep breaths. This will all work out well in the end. If not, there are frozen pizzas in the freezer downstairs.

One hour in a 450 degree oven.....

Thanks to my crappy camera you can't really see the lovely brown color... but again, this recipe rocks.

Beautiful bird... roasted, crispy potatoes on the bottom...

Protein and starch one pan, in one hour of Uninterrupted Cooking Time. Oh yeah.

Some lovely zucchini and tomatoes as the veg in tonight's dinner. Also nice as a back-up in case you make some huge mistake and your chicken does turn out dry, a lot of moisture in this veg.

A nice, easy dinner. And happy tummies and clean plates when it's all over.

1 comment:

Marilyn said...

Makes me wish I could eat chicken. Looks so yummy.