By CIA I mean Culinary Institute of America, not the infamous government Central Intelligence Agency. Sadly. Because if I could make a roast chicken that could hunt down terrorists and single-handedly (wingedly?) preserve and protect our national security, that’d be totally awesome. And I definitely wouldn’t need to be studying for my finals right now.
But I have yet to do that. So instead, I’ll show you how the other CIA does roast chicken. If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, then you’ve probably seen my last version of this delicious Sunday dinner (click here for a reminder).
I had the very exciting joy of receiving a giant bag of food magazines from my dad’s friend and coworker, Joanne. When I got home for Thanksgiving, Dad casually handed me a bag and I opened it to find the mother lode: the CIA’s Kitchen and Cook, Cooking with Paula Deen, and The Food Network Magazine. Literally 50 magazines. I could hardly contain my glee as I sat in the middle of the living room floor, tossing magazines and recipes about willy-nilly until you could barely see the carpet. So, thanks Joanne!
CIA’s Sunday Roast Chicken
- 1 4-6 pound roasting chicken
- 2 stalks celery, chopped
- 1 onion, cut into large chunks
- 2 potatoes, peeled and chopped
- 1 T olive oil
- salt and pepper
- 1/2 t dried rosemary
- 1/2 t dried thyme
- 1 bay leaf
Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees. Remove giblets from the chicken and set aside if you want (I didn’t use ’em), rinse and dry the chicken. Remove the wing tips, and set them aside (or not). Truss the chicken with twine (this involves tying the feet together, and binding the wings down–I didn’t take pictures of this, but use your imagination), and rub with the oil and season generously with salt and pepper, inside and out.
Next, gather up your veggies and potatoes and lay them in the bottom of the pot. If you have a roasting rack, put this on top of the veggies and place the chicken on top of that, otherwise, just lay the chicken on top of the veggies. The CIA says that there should be an inch of space on all sides of the chicken for best browning. I had to work with what I had.
Start the chicken in the hot oven for about 20-30 minutes until the skin is browning and starting to crackle. Then, reduce the heat to 325 degrees and cook until the chicken reaches 165 degrees in the thickest part of the thigh, about an hour, basting twice with juices from the pan. When it’s done, the thighs should feel loose (no springy end feel, fellow PT students), and the juices should be clear, not cloudy. Remove from the pan and cover with a foil tent to rest for 20-30 minutes. Don’t skip this part, or your chicken won’t be juicy!
Take the veggies out of the pan and set aside. Place the pot with all the drippings on the stove and bring to a boil. Skim off most of the fat (you can use a gravy separator if you have one), and make a roux with 2 T of juices and 2 T all-purpose flour. Slowly add the rest of the juices, constantly stirring to prevent lumps. Add chicken stock or water to thin as you need. Finally, add the spices and let the gravy simmer for 15 minutes. Try not to eat it with a spoon. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Drain the gravy through a strainer to remove the big herbs, and carve the chicken. Lay the pieces on a platter and reheat in the oven before serving.
Fritz said this was the best roast chicken I’ve ever made, and I have to agree. The high heat then low heat method seemed to really keep the chicken super juicy, and then the gravy was amazing.
What’s your method for the best roast chicken?
I hope you try it and like it! I’m sure there will be many more recipes coming from these new magazines in the future. I’m watching The Holiday (I told you I have a problem), sitting on the couch wearing my favorite sweater of Fritz’s, and I’ll be paging through these magazines for an hour or so until I’m off to go observe an older adult for class. Have a beautiful day!