Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Crispy Roast Chicken and Potatoes

I absolutely love the magazine Cook's Country. It is from the creators of America's Test Kitchen and Cook's Illustrated magazine. They test out different recipes and different ways to make those recipes. They find the results that turn out the best and then share it in the magazine.

In a recent issue I came across an article written to help answer a reader's question: "I love the idea of roasting a chicken together with potatoes, but how do you get the chicken really crispy while keeping the potatoes from getting really greasy?"

In the Test Kitchen they found a way to roast a whole chicken without the breast meat overcooking. Preheating the oven to 475 degrees they placed the chicken on its side with one wing facing up on a rack over a roasting pan and roasted it for 15 minutes. Then they turned the chicken to its other side and roasted it for another 15 minutes. Then for the last 20 minutes or so they turned the chicken so the legs were on top and finished roasting. This caused the breast meat to come out perfectly and the skin to turn out crispy. But for the chicken to come out extra crispy one of the chefs decided to poke holes all over the uncooked chicken then make a mixture of salt and cornstarch. This was then rubbed all over the chicken evenly. Then the chicken was roasted in the exact same way as before. The cornstarch caused the fat under the skin to render and created an extra-crispy coating and the meat was moist and tender.

Instead of just throwing the potatoes in the bottom of the roasting pan they tried a different method. They lined the roasting pan with foil and for the first two-fifteen minute sessions of cooking they allowed the juices from the chicken to fall into the foil. Then they pulled out the chicken and pulled out the foil and then added the potatoes to the pan. This made it so the potatoes didn't get all soggy and greasy from the chicken fat.

I decided to try this recipe. I have only roasted one whole chicken since we have been married and I really wanted to continue practicing. The chicken came out so crispy and the meat was so moist and tender. Even the breast meat was so juicy. The potatoes were so scrumptious. I thought I would need to add seasoning to them even though the recipe did not call for it. They did not need any extra seasoning. I also included some steamed broccoli to add a nice healthy vegetable to the meal. I can tell you this meal was an A+ with my little family! Here is the recipe!

Crispy Roast Chicken
and Potatoes

Serves 4

If you have it, a nonstick roasting pan works best here. If using a chicken larger than 4 pounds, the oven time will need to be lengthened slightly.

2 teaspoons cornstarch

1 whole chicken (3 1/2 to 4 pounds), giblets discarded, skin patted dry with paper towels
2 pounds small red potatoes , scrubbed and halved
2 teaspoons vegetable oil

1. Line roasting pan with foil, letting foil come up sides of pan. Adjust oven rack to middle position (8 to 10 inches from broiler element), place roasting pan on rack, and heat oven to 475 degrees. Coat V-rack with cooking spray.

2. Combine cornstarch and 2 teaspoons salt in small bowl. Use skewer to poke holes all over chicken skin. Rub cornstarch mixture evenly over chicken.

3. Remove roasting pan from oven. Place chicken, wing side up, in V-rack, then place V-rack in roasting pan . Roast chicken 15 minutes. Remove roasting pan from oven and, using wad of paper towels, flip chicken so that other wing is facing up. Roast 15 minutes.

4. Meanwhile toss potatoes, oil, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in medium bowl. Remove roasting pan from oven and, with potholder, carefully transfer V-rack with chicken to rimmed baking sheet. Gather up foil by its corners, capturing any fat and juices, and discard. Arrange potatoes, cut side down, in roasting pan. Using wad of paper towels, flip chicken breast side up in V-rack. Place V-rack back in roasting pan and roast chicken until instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of thigh registers 170 degrees, about 20 minutes.

5. Using wad of paper towels, remove chicken from V-rack and pour juices from cavity into roasting pan with potatoes. Place chicken on angel-food-cake pan insert or empty soda can to rest upright for 10 to 15 minutes. Meanwhile, toss potatoes in chicken juices , return to oven, and cook until well browned and crisp, 10 to 15 minutes. Carve chicken and serve with potatoes.

*I didn't have a V-rack so I just used a regular one and it worked just fine. The chicken stayed on it's side without any help. :)


mom said...

It sounds scrumptious. (You'll have to try it out on your extended family sometime.) :)

rachd said...

Just reading that made my mouth water! I can't wait to try it =).

Kathy, thanks for visiting my blog the other day, it was nice to see you there =).

Georgia said...

I think I'll try this recipe tonight - I'm not expert with roast chicken, but this sounds too delicious not to try!