Thursday, March 1, 2012

Roast Chicken

So, rotisserie chickens are delicious, and at $5.99 a bird at the supermarket, why do people even bother roasting their own chickens? I roast my chicken because it tastes better, and I like my chicken with crispy skin. Also, and more importantly, doing it myself is healthier and cheaper. Today, I bought a whole chicken for $0.99/lb - on sale, of course, and its a 6+ pound bird, not a tiny game hen.

I don't know where I got the recipe for this roast chicken from. Well, recipe is not the right word, I never follow recipes. A better word should be 'concept' or 'idea'. Anyway, there is a lot to this chicken roasting business, and part of it came to me while watching people learn how to roast peking duck - the idea drying out of the skin before roasting is definitely from the 'peking duck method'. Also, I give my chicken a massage and scrub before doing anything to it, so the skin is really really smooth. It's really one of my more original recipes, and tastes like a million dollars too. Try it!


  • 1 whole chicken (mine was about 6 pounds)
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon basil flakes or rosemary flakes
  • a pinch of cumin

All prepped! Took all but 30mins~

Method for Chicken preparation (to be done the night before roasting):
  • Wash the chicken under a running tap until it seems clean. (Pluck off any feathers if it was not cleaned properly.)
  • With a pair of kitchen shears, cut off the neck (keep - good for making chicken stock) and butt (throw away). 
  • Put your entire hand under the skin of the chicken, move it around, and detach the entire chicken skin from the chicken meat. At the end of this step, the only skin that is attached to the meat would be the skin on the chicken wings. Everywhere else, the skin covers the chicken meat, but is not attached to it. This step is very important for getting nice crispy chicken.
  • Trim off all the fat you can find. Leave as little fat as possible on the chicken. (For the some people who think fat is skin, well, it isn't.)
  • Give the chicken a thorough massage, making sure there are no 'stiff' muscles in the chicken.
  • Generously pour coarse salt over every inch of chicken skin and rub vigorously, like you are giving the chicken a salt scrub. (Except, you are giving the chicken a salt scrub.) With this salt scrub, you are removing the remaining feather bits on the chicken, and the thin yellow-ish layer of old skin on the chicken.
  • Wash the salt off the chicken. (The chicken skin should now be smoother than a baby's butt.)
  • Put the chicken on a chicken roaster, and put the entire roaster into the fridge for a night. Tomorrow, the chicken skin should be completely dry.

  • The next day, take the chicken out of the fridge and drain the chicken roaster pan of any chicken liquids. 
  • Mix the garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper, cumin and basil/rosemary flakes in a small bowl.

  • Spread the dry marinade onto the chicken everywhere, both under the skin and on the skin. 

marinated chicken!
  • Roast the chicken in the oven for 45min to 55min at 375F. 
  • When the chicken is done, take it out, let it rest for 5-10min for the juices to redistribute, then cut and serve. 
Perfectly cooked!

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