Saturday, October 3, 2009


I've previously referred to the glory of the oven-roasted chicken and its lofty position on the Mt. Olympus of food. Paired with roasted fingerling potatoes, it is an unassailable dish, hot or cold.

The ways to cook it are as numerous as the stars. Some choose to place a well-punctured lemon in the cavity, some a can of beer, some a handful of herbs, some nothing at all.

Many start the roasting at a high temperature and lower it -- say 450 for 10 minutes, then 350 for the balance. Others reverse that cadence. Still other cooks set it at 350 for the duration, while those using smaller birds (no more than 3 pounds) cook it at 450 or even 500 for the duration.

Most cooks will advise a brining, either wet or dry. I much prefer a two day dry brining, with herbs pushed under the skin (thank you, Judy Rogers!). The skin gets ever so much more crispy that way. And I do like a lemon in the cavity, and to cook it lower for the duration, then crisp it up at the end.

To each their own. And, of course, it's always worth trying it a different way from time to time to keep things interesting...and delicious!

The picture of these three lovely chickens with potatoes is possible because of my friends Peter and Marty. They serve the best version of this dish that it is possible to consume.

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