Friday, June 10, 2011

Slow-Roasted Perfection.

This is pretty much all you'll need. And the chicken, of course.

We've been teasing you all week--but now, the moment has finally arrived. Today, we reveal our super secret, slow-roasted chicken recipe!

First off, here's what you'll need to actually prepare the chicken:

*4-6 lb. whole chicken.
*A roasting pan. We prefer this one.
*Canola/olive oil spray.
*Kosher salt.
*Olive oil (optional).
*Spices (optional). This method uses dried spices: rosemary, marjoram, thyme.

And here's what you'll need to clean yourself (and the chicken):

*Hand soap (preferably with a push-top)
*Trash can/compost bin (keep this close)
*3 or 4 paper towels.

Give your chicken a nice, little rinse--inside and out.

Step 1. The Prep.

Get everything you'll need within arm's reach. Start by spraying the bottom of your roasting pan with the canola spray. This typically makes cleanup a bit easier. Next, remove the chicken from the packaging, discard the innards, and rinse your chicken--inside and out. Pat chicken dry with the paper towels. Place chicken in roasting pan, breast side up. Wash your hands. Preheat your oven to 300 F.

Let spices (and a slow-cooking oven) do all the work.

Step 2. The Spices.

Now it's time for the fun part--the spices! Sprinkle your bird with the kosher salt. Your goal here is to cover as much of the bird's surface area as you can. It may seem like a lot of salt, but remember, it's a lot of meat--so it needs to be flavored. Crack some pepper in the same manner. And if you're using spices, sprinkle of bit of each all over the bird. The best part? If your extra spices miss the bird and end up in the pan, you're simply adding more flavor to the natural juices (more on that later). Oh yeah, one last thing, drizzle a bit of olive oil over the chicken. Put the lid on and pop that bird in the oven.

Step 3. Wait.

Watch a movie, read a book and mentally prepare yourself for an amazing dining experience. As a general rule, cooking time is about 20 minutes per pound. My oven isn't that reliable, so for me, a 5 lb. chicken takes about 2 hours and 15 minutes at 300 F. Chances are, your oven is a bit more modern--if so, you may want to sneak a peek at the 2-hour mark.

Step 4. Salivate.

You've waited and waited...and by now, you're most likely detecting an amazing smell throughout your home. That means it's time to get that bird out! Remove from the oven, pop off the lid and allow the bird to cool for 15-20 minutes. To check for doneness, give a tug on one of the legs. After 2 hours of slow-cooking, the leg/thigh should feel like it's about to fall off (if it hasn't already). And if you're impatient (like me), go ahead and rip the wings off and snack on them. Yummy!

Need we say more?

Step 5. Enjoy.

Once your chicken has rested a bit, transfer to a serving plate. You may want to recruit a friend to help you accomplish this task. Generally speaking, the chicken is usually so moist and tender that the legs, thighs and wings may just slide off. This is a good thing. Plate your tender pieces of slow-roasted chicken and enjoy to the fullest!

Ah, the juices...

But wait! What to do with all of those leftover juices? Well, if you're planning to eat right away, you can spoon some of the juice over the chicken--it'll make it that much yummier! Trust me though, you'll want to save the rest. So pour the remaining juices in to a plastic container and stick in the fridge.

By the next day, the fat will have risen to the top and solidified. The lower level of juicy goodness will look something like chicken stock jello. Sounds gross, but it's delicious. Use it to saute greens, asparagus, broccoli or even add it to some warm pasta. Yum!

And there you have it...slow-roasted perfection! We hope you've enjoyed our "Bon Appetit" series. And remember, cooking (and eating) should be an enjoyable experience. Have fun, experiment and most importantly, use those spices! Have a great weekend!

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