Today’s edition of cooking with youusedtobealright

I have three cookbooks at home (well, three western cookbooks) – one is Anthony Bourdain’s Les Halles Cookbook , Thomas Keller’s beautiful ad hoc at home (which I’d love to cook through recipe by recipe, if I didn’t live in Shanghai) and *cough* The Naked Chef.

All three of these cookbooks talk about roasting a chicken – further to that, Bourdain maintains that if you cannot roast a chicken, you really shouldn’t call yourself a cook. Well, I’d never roasted a chicken before, but at my local Lianhua, whole chickens are only about 20 rmb, so I bought one and grabbed my Keller and Bourdain.

While both of them highlight roast chicken, they completely disagree on the methods. Keller views crispy skin as the most important part of a roast chicken and emphasizes that you should keep your chicken absolutely dry – no brine, no butter – just put it in the oven. I like my chicken meat with a little bit of moistness, so I opted to use a combination of Oliver and Bourdain’s recipes – and came out with this

Roast Chicken

Roast Chicken

Even without trussing and a butchering mishap (as you can see, I lost the lower part of the drumsticks chopping off the chicken feet) – I was able to turn out a tasty and reasonably moist chicken from my tiny counter top oven the very first time. With the heating elements so close to the tray, I need to be careful as the chicken caramelizes so very fast, so next time I’ll cover loosely with aluminum foil to keep from crisping so fast.

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19 Responses to Today’s edition of cooking with youusedtobealright

  1. Chung says:

    Wow , looks great! taste better than those from Cosco?

  2. Dingle says:

    T, frankly the second picture is obscene, could you not at least censor the relevant bits, I thought this was a family website..

  3. Terence says:

    @Chung – the one from Costco is a bit more moist, but mine is more lemony.

    @Dingle – Frankly, you’re obscene.

  4. bittermelon says:

    Costco brines their chickens.

  5. Dingle says:

    WELL I NEVER!!!!

  6. Dingle says:

    Was there any meat on your chicken T? When I’ve roasted Chinese chickens before they had absolutely no breast meat. I think Chinese chickens are given double mastectomys before going to slaughter..

  7. Jane says:

    You are supposed to cut the rump off before roasting the chicken in the oven!

  8. terence says:

    The pope’s nose? Never. I love having the pope’s nose roasted.

  9. terence says:

    It was thin – but I suspect it’s because we’re used to overseas steroid chickens.

  10. terence says:

    You come here for the porn?

  11. terence says:

    You might never, but you’re still obscene.

  12. Dingle says:

    You mean the parson’s nose? Riff-raff..

  13. Dingle says:

    AAAAAAAAAAHHHHH!! Alien is emerging from it’s neck on the first photo, it’s staring at me with it’s beady eyes saying ‘you’re next dingle, come over here and have a close look inside this ginormous egg that’s opening up’

  14. Terence says:

    Yeah . . . that was a butchering mistake. I should have cleaned out the neck cavity more throughly

  15. Dingle says:

    If you squeeze the parsons nose does the alien pop out a bit further?

  16. Terence says:

    No, when I cut up the chicken, I took the neck out.

  17. Joyce Lau says:

    Here is the quintessential column on roasting a chicken from Molly O’Neill, from whose column I learned to cook Western food when I was an immigrant kid in the States.

    http://www.nytimes.com/1996/10/06/magazine/nothing-tough-about-it.html

    I kept a copy of it taped to my fridge till it disintegrated. Now I just keep the digital version.

  18. terence says:

    Thanks for commenting Joyce! I do like Molly O’Neill’s columns – I read about her from Ruth Reichl’s book

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