I roast a chicken every other week on average. I’ve tried many different techniques and many different combinations and it’s hard for me to choose one method over another. Sous vide equipment aside (which yields the juiciest of chickens, sous vide cooking is almost cheating, seriously), the oven can do a pretty good job as well and it’s simply convenient. Chicken goes in, and about an hour later, chicken is ready. I love chicken and there are so many classic cooking skills involved in roasting one that it’s a great way to fine tune cooking intuition and technique.
For this recipe, I opted for the cold oven approach which is nothing more than simply throwing the chicken in the oven right before starting it. I really like it, maybe it’s all in my head, but the chicken seems to be extra juicy and the skin extra crispy. I’ve also cured the chicken overnight with salt, garlic, and rosemary (I’m addicted to this combo of flavors if you haven’t noticed). Curing the chicken overnight imparts flavor into the meat not just on the surface. It also dries out the skin which helps tremendously in getting that awesome golden brown crispy finish. The other thing that I’ve tried here is placing the chicken in my cast iron skillet and adding some vegetable oil. This ensures that the chicken side in contact with the skillet cooks well (fries basically). Otherwise, it seems to simply stew away and never develop the proper color. We’ll use this skillet, chicken drippings and brown butter to cook the crispy home fries. Read on!
1 whole organic happy chicken
The cure mix:
1 Tbsp kosher salt
1 Tbsp Chopped Rosemary leafs
1 Tbsp Garlic Paste
1 cup San Marzano tomatoes, blended
2-3 Tbsp of white wine vinegar. Champagne vinegar works really well
1 Tbsp Sugar (sure, brown, why not)
1 whole russet potato, chopped in wedges
The chicken. Mix the cure ingredients. Place the chicken in a large bowl and add the mix. Distribute the mix evenly over the surface of the chicken. Add some to the chicken’s cavity. Place the bowl uncovered in the fridge (of course, make sure it sits at the bottom of your fridge where nothing else is underneath it. Leave to cure overnight. If you cover it, the skin won’t dry out as efficiently. When you’re ready to roast it the next day, you can remove it from the fridge. But only then. Tie the chicken’s legs, we don’t want this chicken to escape. Add some vegetable oil to a cast iron skillet and place the chicken in it, breast side up.
Place the skillet in the oven in the middle tray. Set the temperature to 375F. I like to baste the chicken a couple of times with butter towards the end of the cooking time to get the skin golden and nicely caramelized. I don’t have a cooking time here It’s about 60 min, to 90 min. The core temperature of the chicken should be around 155F. Remove the chicken from the oven and allow to rest for a good 15 mins before serving.
The home ketchup. Add the tomatoes to a small saucepan on medium-high heat. And cook and reduce until bright deep red. Add the vinegar and the sugar and reduce again until it gets to the consistency of a thick sauce. Stir constantly, don’t let the bottom burn. Remove from the heat. Store in the fridge.
The home fries. Once the chicken is ready. Remove from the skillet, we need it for the fries now. Place the chicken on the cutting board. Place the skillet over medium-high heat. This skillet contains vegetable oil, chicken drippings and brown butter (from the butter basting step above on the chicken section). Allow to heat up for about 5 mins. Add the potatoes all in one layer. Fry for about 5 min. The best way is to lift one and check for color. Once you’re happy, turn the potatoes over and cook for about 5 more mins or until you’re happy with the color. Remove from the oil and place on a tray lined with paper towels to remove excess oil. Cover them with another layer of paper towels and get ready to serve them.
The rest is pretty much self-explanatory 🙂 enjoy!!!
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Paul, I love this post. I always roast a chicken for Friday night dinner. My favorite flavor combination is rosemary, garlic (and lemon). In France, friends often dipped their roast chicken in nice mustard… I love that. However, my oldest, Naomi, *loves* catsup on *everything*. Your recipe looks tastier than even the best USDA organic store-bought version. I’ll use the brown sugar for the nice molasses note. Thanks for sharing! Oh, and check out Patricia Well’s fries, super yummy: http://food52.com/recipes/33343-patricia-wells-fake-frites. Gorgeous photos, as always.
Shanna! hope you are doing well! I still have extra ground chili, the one you got me 🙂 I’ve used it in a few occasions, and I love it. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a thoughtful comment! I didn’t know who patricia wells was until now, so thank you for that as well! 🙂 Those fries look super pro! I like the steam and roasting approach as well, I’m gonna have to give that a go. Enjoy your weekend! great to hear from you!
Patricia Wells is like a contemporary Julia Child 🙂 I had no idea
I wish I could eat this every other week 🙂 Miss you!
haha, come visit BC then Lotis! how was Utah?
So pretty. I love a simple roasted chicken. I was thinking of you the other day actually because I was living out of a hotel room in Mexico for a bit (for work) and fear I’m going back again soon. I cannot eat out every night. I remember how gorgeous your photos were even from a hotel room.
Amanda, it’s been a while! Thank you 🙂 really thoughtful comment. I hope you’ve been doing well. How is mexico? I’ve never been. Do you have a kitchen in your hotel room?
Simply damn delicious and comforting garlicky roasted chicken…
can’t get enough with chicken, fy fave method of cooking is sousvide plus deep frying !!!
thank you for your wonderful comment! When you do your chicken sous, you do the whole chicken? if so, what temperature and how do you deep fry a whole bird? 🙂 I looked at your blog btw, following! really great content!
yes, whole spring or baby chicken, on 58-60 C for 6 hours then deep fry it the entire bird in a very hot oil until the skin is crispy….
but trust me, the meat is totally moist and tender
yeah, I’ve sous vide entire chickens (and then grilled) but never deep fried them, I don’t have a safe place to deepfry a whole one 🙂 Do you find that when you cook it this way, some of chicken liquids are still pinkish? Like they need higher temperature to really go clear?
yup pinkish (especialy near the bone), but i assure you it’s save too eat because the internal temperature and the period of cooking reach the lethal state of all germs and bacteria
yeah, I know is pasteurized, but just wondering if you had the same results. I tried looking for it online and couldn’t find any information. It’s just tough to convince anyone to eat a chicken with pinkish juices hahaha. I don’t have a problem tho, but ask my girlfriend! 🙂
no worry phal, it’s a ‘chicks’ things, lol
my mom, my girlfriend and my older sister felt the same way, even we all had medical background and i think they understand the savety about pasteurisation and yet, they do what they want about what ever they though, lol
once i made yukhoe (korean beef steak tartare) using sousvide pasteurisation method, once it cooked and i do my photography session, my mom popped it out in the microwave and cooked it
She don’t bother if it’s a A5 wagyu tenderloin that cost me 78 USD, hahaha
hahaha! oh my god! But I could see my mom doing the same thing… even if it were just a medium rare steak… my girlfriend is a bit more easy going and super understanding, she trusts that I would never get her something to eat that isn’t safe but the fear is there for sure hhaha. The tension is in the air 🙂 I haven’t used wagyu steak yet, but I would be careful who I feed it too, I don’t think I could see that wonderful meat going into a microwave without me totally freaking out about it for sure hahaha
Hi Paul! Missed some nice posts from you. Sometimes I make a whole roast chicken for a weekend dinner, stuffed with buckwheat or chickpeas or whatever I have at the moment.. I don’t eat store-bought ketchup, it’s too sweet and I don’t understand how people could eat it and deep almost everything in it. 😀 May be I shell try you ketchup recipe, it seems not sugary?
Hi Mila! thanks for stopping by and for leaving me a comment 🙂 The only thing I could say about ketchup is… if you make it at home, you have absolute control over the final result. The ingredients I suggest here is just my rough approximation to what I like, but try cutting the sugar amount by half or even 2/3s and see if you like it better? Sugar and vinegar are natural preservatives, and probably the only reason they were added to tomatoes in the old days, to preserve them. Today we just eat it because it’s tasty, and the preservation idea isn’t really that relevant. I suggest experimenting with the seasoning of it, actually, the seasoning of anything. Recipes are just guidelines with a huge margin for tasty errors 🙂