Saturday, June 23, 2012

Monster truck chicken

Not a real giant chicken. Not an
edible one, at any rate.
At almost eight pounds, this whole chicken could almost be a small turkey in disguise. The fact that an abnormally long neck was included with the giblets lends a bit of credence to that possibility.

Frankly, I'm not sure if the end result will be moist roast chicken with a crispy skin or a case of salmonella. Let's just say I'm reeeeeally tired, which never seems to bode well in the kitchen.

The first hint of trouble came when I started to butterfly the chicken. In order to get the moist meat and crispy skin, the bird is butterflied, set directly on the bottom of a roasting pan in which a mix of chicken broth and wine is poured - but not so much liquid that it covers the skin of the chicken.

To do this, you cut out the backbone. After holding the whole bird up with the legs dangling down to check which end was up (Did I ever tell the story about how I cooked my first whole chicken? It made perfect sense to me to put it in the roasting pan the same way it walked in life...moistest breast meat ever. So yes, legs down to check), I started cutting away with my nearly-new kitchen shears.

Note to self: Next time, don't buy cheap kitchen tools.

The second bit of trouble came from the box of chicken broth. Here's where a passel of kids and experience with juice boxes would have come in handy. Lift the tabs, squeeze up the corners of the top, then rip off the strip. But after ripping, the top was still stuck together a bit.

It's a good thing the pan was sitting right next to where I was opening the stock; most of the spill went directly into the pan.

The final bit of trouble was perhaps the most frustrating. I've opened plenty of bottles of wine in my time, but this cheap bottle from Aldi almost defeated me (I know - stop buying cheap wine) Stupid composition corks. The corkscrew didn't want to twist in. When the cork finally came out of the bottle, it wouldn't come off of the corkscrew.

I turned and turned, trying to get it to release...and only succeeded in unscrewing the "screw" part from the rest of the corkscrew.

Monstro the chicken is finally safely in the oven. The remaining wine will shortly be in me. Thankfully, the recipe gives a meat temperature as the guide for doneness, because I don't think they were considering mutant chickens when they listed a cooking time of about forty-five minutes.

I can only hope the results are worth the effort.


melissa said...

Drink enough of the wine, and the condition of the chicken won't matter. But, knowing your way around the'll be wonderful. :)

Diane said...

It's an America's Test Kitchen recipe - follow the directions and it's always perfect.

This was no exception; the liquid basically steams the meat, while the high temp (475) keeps the skin crisp. The bird was fully cooked after 45 minutes and boy, was it good. I've enough leftovers to last for lunches until Wednesday, and that's factoring a bit for lunch tomorrow as well.