Monday, February 6, 2012

Whole Chicken Ideas and final product of Brick Chicken

I have passed up on a whole chicken at great prices more times than I can count.  I made a resolution to get the next one that was on super sale which here is $0.90 per pound.  I went to Harris Teeter last week and they had a few on clearance.  I picked one that was $3.74.  I put it off all week and didn't do anything with it.  Since there was nothing planned for tonight, I decided that I better do it.  I have watched my favorite cooking show, America's Test Kitchen, a few times where they are making a whole chicken so I felt like I could do this.  I got a book out of the library that had two whole chicken recipes.  The first called for a brine soak and sort of complicated directions so I thought that it might be better for a second try.  I looked at the second one called Chicken Under a Brick.  If you are like me, you don't really want to see the raw chicken so I skipped those pictures but here is what is looked like out of the oven.

The recipe called for roasted potatoes but I still haven't located a great price for potatoes other than at Wegman's so I haven't been to get any this month yet.  I decided on a box of herb chicken cous cous since it is super easy and only takes a few minutes while the chicken was resting.  This seems to be an important part of the instructions that we usually skip and start eating way to fast but I was determined to follow the recipe so I started super early at 4:30 to make dinner.  Here is the final product on the plate.  This was my plate and my husband ate one of the white meat and ones of the dark meat pieces.  I think that we are going to be laying on the couch complaining that we ate too much tonight but it was really yummy.  I highly recommend that you try it if you see a deal on a whole chicken (recipe to follow).  It was a yummy Monday night treat that tasted like the fancy cooked chickens you get at the store but with crispier skin and yummy flavoring!!  I hope that you and your family enjoy as well.

America's Test Kitchen Chicken Under a Brick (modified while in the kitchen- original recipe in ())

Whole Chicken about 3 pounds
Ground Pepper
2 tbsp and 1 tsp vegetable oil
1 tsp minced garlic (or 3 medium garlic cloves)
1 1/2 tsp dried thyme- I used 1 tsp because they asked for fresh and I wasn't sure if we liked the flavor
1/8 tsp red pepper flakes or more to taste
4 tsp lemon juice and lemon zest

1. Wash and pat dry the chicken, removing all excess fat, giblets, and extra chicken junk in the chicken.

2.  With breast side down, cut along the length of the backbone on both sides and remove backbone.

3.  Turn chicken breast side up and use the palm of your hand to flatten the chicken which makes the bone in the center crack... if you are not strong enough or if you are too short like me, move the chicken back and forth to flex the chicken until it cracks and lays a little flatter.  Pound the chicken with the flat side of a mallet to an even thickness (this step did not work for me very well but I pounded all the same :))

4.  Season the chicken with salt and pepper to taste.

5.  Adjust the oven rack to the lowest setting and preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

6.  Heat 1 tsp of oil in 12 inch oven proof nonstick skillet over medium high heat until it begins to smoke.  Swirl the skillet to coast evenly.  Place the chicken, ski side down, in the hot pan.  Reduce to medium.  Place the weight on the chicken and cook, checking every 5 minutes or so, until evenly browned, about 25 minutes.  If the chicken is not crisp after 20 minutes, turn the heat up to medium high.

7.  Mix 2 tbsp oil, garlic, 1 1/2 tsp thyme (I used 1 tsp because I wasn't sure we liked the flavor so I didnt' want to overwhelm anything the first time), 1/8 tsp pepper flakes, lemon juice, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp black pepper in a small bowl and set aside.

8.  Using tongs, carefully transfer the chicken, skin side up, to a clean plate.  Pour off any accumulated fat in the pan (this is where they add the diced red bliss potatoes to the pan with 1/4 tsp salt, 1/8 tsp black pepper, and 1 1/2 tsp thyme).  Place the chicken skin side up in the pan (on top of the potatoes if you are making them).  Brush the skin with the thyme-lemon mixture from the bowl made in previous step.

9.  Transfer pan to the oven and roast until the thickest part of the breast registers 160 degrees.  I think that this took 25-30 minutes.  Then bake 10-15 minutes longer.  Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and let it rest for 10-15 minutes.

10.  If making potatoes, return the skillet with the potatoes to the oven and roast until browned and cooked through, about 10 minutes.  Using a slotted spoon, transfer potatoes to a large bowl leaving the fat behind.  Toss the potatoes with the parsley.

11.  Cut chicken into pieces- 2 breast pieces and 2 thigh pieces.  Serve with extra sauce for dipping which was super yummy (or with lemon wedge, as recipe calls for).

For more details or pictures, go to the following two places:

The recipe can be found on the website or through the America's Test Kitchen Live 2005 book on page 70

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