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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