Thursday, October 14, 2010

Jeffrey's Roast Chicken: What the Cluck!

After watching Jeffrey salivate over Ina's roasted birds all these years, I decided to give the Barefoot Contessa's roast chicken a try. 

Within the past few weeks I have made it twice.  The first time I screwed up the vegetables and burned them to an inedible crisp, going beyond caramelized to something that resembled scorched earth.  Then I watched the show, which was replayed yet AGAIN, and Ina mentioned in a quick aside that the pan shouldn't be too large or the veggies will burn.  Well, she's right!  But that didn't affect the moist and flavorful bird, so I couldn't wait to try it again. 

This week, instead of using my large roaster, I filled the bottom of a 9- X 11-inch baking dish with the vegetables and placed that clucker on top.  Success! 

Keep the vegetables close to the bird to prevent burning.
I followed most of the steps and ingredients closely, with the exception of stuffing the cavity with fresh thyme, which has long since met its demise in our garden.  I sprinkled dried thyme over the chicken and the veggies and crammed in some fresh Italian parsley. 

The verdict is in:  this chicken is exceptional.  Its juicy and tender interior is enveloped by a crispy, buttery skin that you know you should discard but you just can't.  I recommend purchasing a good-quality chicken, not the crappy grocery store fryer.  I am not a freak about organic food, but when it comes to chicken, there is a difference in both taste and consistency.   

The vegetables are delicious as well, although the discriminating testers in The Best of America's Test Kitchen cookbook dislike cooking the vegetables in the same pot with the chicken.  Because the chicken fat drains into the vegetables, the experts found them greasy and unappealing.  I brought this up to Hubmeister, who stated flatly, "But that's what makes them good."   Some may not like this method, and I admit I was skeptical, but we shoveled in parsnips like there was no tomorrow.  I didn't have fennel on hand, so my veg assortment included red potatoes, carrots, parsnips and a gigantic sliced onion.  I love fennel and will try that next time.

So there you have it.  This is what keeps Jeffrey returning to the Hamptons each weekend.  Oh yeah, and Ina and her gang of merry men. 

Here's Ina and the play-by-play video:

1 comment:

  1. This review/blog of the recipe hit the nail squarely on the head. I can't wait to roast this for my hubby this week!