Monday, February 2, 2009

Poulet Roti: Mastered

I think I mentioned that I asked for and received Mastering the Art of French Cooking for Christmas. Thus far, I have not made anything, just read through everything. However, tonight post workout, I decided to try the Poulet Roti, or Roast Chicken.

I am not the biggest fan of chicken if I make it typically because I have a tendency to overcook the chicken for fear of salmonella poisoning and because we usually buy chicken breasts. So I bought an organic roaster chicken over the weekend and proceeded with my very first MTAOFC recipe.

Our chicken was 4 lbs, so by the chart on page 240 it would take 1 hour and 15-30 minutes. I warned Nate that we would be eating later than usual due to the cook time and the fact that I did not start any roasting business until after our workout.

An hour and a half later, we carved the chicken and dug in. WOWSA was it DELICIOUS. I'm still a little fearful that I didn't cook it enough, however, I just keep reading, "The French criterion of doneness seems like underdoneness to some American palates" to make myself feel better.

Here it is: Poulet Roti
Julia's wine suggestion: a light red wine, such as a Bordeaux-Medoc, or a rose.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Sprinkle the inside of the chicken with the salt, and smear in half the butter (1 TB). Truss chicken, dry throughougly and rub skin with the rest of the butter (1 TB).

Place the chicken breast up in the roasting pan. Strew 1 cut up carrot and onion around it, and set it on the rackin the middle of the oven. Allow the chicken to brown lightly for 15 minutes, turning it on the left side after 5 minutes, on the right side for the last 5 minutes, and basting it with the following: 2 TB melted butter and 1 TB cooking oil. Baste rapidly so oven does not cool off.

Reduce oven to 350 degrees. Leave the chicken on its side, and baste every 8-10 minutes, using the fat in the roasting pan when the butter and oil are exhausted. Regulate oven heat so chicken is making cooking noises, but fat is not burning.

Halfway through estimated roasting time, salt the chicken and turn it on its other side. Continue basting.

Fifteen minutes before end of estimated roasting time, salt again and turn the chicken breast up. Continue basting.

Indications that the chicken is almost done are: a sudden rain of splutters in the oven, a swelling of the breast and slight puff of the skin, the drumstick is tender when pressed and can be moved in its socket. To check further, prick the thickest part of the drumstick with a fork. Its juices should run clear yellow. As a final check, lift the chicken and drain the juices from its vent. If the last drops are clear yellow, the chicken is definitely done. If not, roast another 5 minutes and test again.

When done, discard trussingn stings and set the chicken on a hot platter. It should sit at room temperature for 5-10 minutes before being carved, so its juices will retreat back into the tissues.


I am in the middle of reading Julie and Julia, after she has cleaned marrow out of a cow bone and tried various aspics. I'm not sure that I will be making EVERY recipe in here, but I enjoyed my first one!

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Old MD Girl said...

WOW that sounds really good. I'm not usually a fan of chicken either due to the dryness factor (though dark meat seems to help this). I'll have to give this a try though.

BCK said...

I am all about making the organ meats but I have to find a willing dining companion! RTC will go for liver, but we'll see what else. :)