I was roasting a chicken the other night, and I realized that I’ve never posted a roast chicken recipe on my blog, which I really should. It’s my go to Sunday night supper, one we have at least once or twice a month. It’s elegant enough for company dinner, but simple and casual enough for a kitchen supper (if you had an eat in kitchen, which we don’t. Say it’s casual enough to eat while curled up on a couch, with a glass of $4/bottle Tempranillo and a DVD of Mamma Mia. Don’t judge.) It appeals to kids, picky eaters, those who don’t eat red meat. It doesn’t require fancy ingredients. And it creates wonderful leftovers which can be repurposed into all sorts of great things — chicken salads, chicken curry, and chicken stock (more on all of those, later). In short, roast chicken might just be the perfect meal. And as such, it’s my duty to share a recipe with you.
I’ve tried many different roast chicken recipes — Martha Stewart’s Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic, Thomas Keller’s Roast chicken (which, incidentally is almost identical to my family roast chicken recipe, which was given to us by the Moroccan cook at my godmother’s in-laws’ villa on the Cote D’Azur), and the standard rub with butter and roast at 350 until it’s done recipes, but I always come back to this one, which I found in Judy Rodger’s marvellous Zuni Cafe Cookbook (incidentally, this is one cookbook I think every serious cook should own. The techniques are amazing, the recipes flawless, and the dishes wonderful). Judy Rodgers has converted me to dry brining — sprinkling the chicken with salt well before you want to cook it — which yields a tender and juicy chicken with a crisp, salty skin that is seasoned all the way to the bone. Dry brining can yield great results in any meat (even the Thanksgiving turkey), but a dry brined chicken is a thing of beauty and should be in everyone’s repertoire.
Continue reading How to Roast a Chicken, the Zuni Cafe Way