I’m Rull Fancy-Like. I Can Roast a Chicken.

31 08 2009
This is why we eat chickens. If we don't, they will eat our children.

This is why we eat chickens. If we don't, they will eat our children.

Have you ever dealt with a whole chicken before? It is fucking disgusting. I’m not a “farm person” and have no qualms about going to the grocery store and not even giving a thought to where my meat comes from because ALL the cows are like the Happy Cows of California, right? Right. Plus, chickens are vile creatures anyway and deserve to be eaten. BECAUSE THEY ARE DELICIOUS. Anyway. Man, let me tell you about roast chicken. It’s fucking good. You wanna know why mine is so good? BRINING. No, not briny – I don’t have my sea legs. Brining – when you dump some salt and sugar into a big ol’ pot with your chicken and let it hang out in the fridge for awhile (about 30-45 minutes). It’s probably the best decision you will ever make in your life. Not even lying.

Making a roast chicken is pretty disgusting and a little time consuming, but it’s simple. I like to make chicken on Sundays, because I like to have the illusion that we have “family dinners” instead of me cooking elaborate meals while the significant other goes to work and my child will eat nothing but canned green beans, cheese, and a cupcake. Also, I usually have time on Sundays. Saturdays I can often be found just a twee bit hungover, but Sundays are all good. So let’s say I want to eat at around….6:30-7. Then I would start brining at about 4:30. Here’s my process, step by step:

  1. Get all the nasty shit out of your chicken (about 3 1/2-4 lbs., right?), like the gizzard and the liver and whatever the fuck else Tyson is too lazy to remove.  I found that you don’t actually have to touch it. Just lift it up and let the carcass kinda…let go of it. Plop! Don’t look at it, it’s gross.
  2. Have your big pot ready. I put 1/2 cup of salt and 1/2 cup sugar in cold water and stir it all around to let it dissolve before I even touch the chicken to begin with. So maybe this should have been my first step. Oops. Well, I hope you read the whole thing before you begin. Anyway, put the chicken into the fridge with a lid on the giant pot.  Set your timer for at least 30 minutes, but no more than 45. Make sure you wash your hands because HELLO, SALMONELLA.
  3. In the meantime, get out whatever spices you want. I like garlic powder, rosemary, thyme (but no stupid parsley or sage. That shit is for suckers like Art Garfunkel), salt, and pepper. Then you want to mash it up with 2-3 tablespoons of softened butter. If you’re feeling particularly spry, you can get out your roasting pan. You need one of these for this. With a rack [insert joke about my boobs here]. Go hang out til the timer goes off.  When the timer does go off, preheat your oven to 375.
  4. Have bleach handy because you’re about to dump a bunch of salmonella water in your sink. FUCKING GROSS. So after you remove the chicken place it on the rack in the pan and pat it dry with paper towels. This helps it look rull purdy and brown. Then, shove the butter under the skin on the breasts where it’s divided by that weird bone-y, cartilage thing. Squish it all around to it gets all over the breasticles. Then melt some more butter, about a tablespoon or so, and spread it all over the outside of the bird. Dump 1 cup of water into the pan so the drippings don’t set shit on fire in your oven.Think about how weird that Peter Gabriel video was, with the dancing chickens.
  5. Put it in the oven for about 40 minutes and it looks nice and brown. Take it out of the oven, pump the oven temp up to 450, and insert your handy-dandy instant read thermometer into the thickest part of the bird. It is very helpful here. I cook my chicken to the veal setting, which is 165. If you don’t have an instant read thermometer, well, SUCKS TO BE YOU. But you could also cook it for another 30 minutes or so, depending on how your oven cooks.
  6. When it’s finished at 450, take it out and let it rest for about 20 minutes. It’s had a hard day. Let it take a load off, sit in an easy chair, read the paper. Then CUT IT AND EAT IT. And thank me profusely for teaching you how to cook a chicken. Your friends will think that you are supremely talented, and all the while, you’ll just be taking all the credit while I SUFFER FOR MY ART. Wait, what? HAHA, just kidding! Enjoy your food. Really.
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