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as before; plus my brine is:

1/2 cup kosher salt or sel marin, any salt as long as it isn't iodized

1/4 cup honey

64oz of water

an American supermarket sized bunch of Italian parsley, like the 50 cent bunch

a small palmful of fresh thyme

a little less than that of fresh rosemary

a head of garlic or equal to that, skins on, just crushed under a knife quickly

a smattering of whole peppercorns, 10-30

12 or 15 dry bay leaves

a whole lemon, chop all the zest off in chunks and then squeeze the juice in by hand from two halves

You can speed this process up by bringing all of the above + 2 cups of water to a boil really quick to dissolve the salt and honey (takes less than a minute) then cooling it down with the remaining 48 oz's of cold water and stir til saturated and relatively cool (use ice cubes if you need to adjust the temperature and just adjust the amount of water you're adding). Brine can be done in 5 mins or less this way. You could even do that in a microwave but you want to have the bay leaves and herbs in there as the heat will dissolve the seasoning and open up the herbs.

take a big gallon size zipper bag (double bag for safety if you like), fish out the aromatic tangle and put in the bottom of the bag, put the whole raw chicken in, and then dump/ladle the rest of the well saturated brine into the bag until you can close it. You'll end up sacrificing less than a cup of brine liquid this way, just wing it. Refrigerate for 4-6 hours, 8 if you like well-seasoned, saltier meat.

Take out, truss the chicken up or chop it down as I do, rub a few TBsps of veggie oil on the whole thing, sprinkle in fleur de sel and black pepper, sit it in a rack or on root veggies or mushrooms if you like, and then roast it at about 400, rotating your roasting pan regularly (this is why i use a round skillet rather than a squared pan) until everything is uniformly brown, and then I let a bit of heat out of the oven after that (it only takes about 15 minutes of blast) and then crank it back to 300 and let it cook through til it reads about 140-145 on my thermometer at the bone or the inside of the roulade.

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I've been going the Thomas Keller route (simpler the better), but decided to make a few changes to the one I roasted the other night to good effect (I never liked how one full side wouldn't brown at all, and essentially steamed on top of all those vegetables).

I still started it at 475 and brought it down to 425 after about 20 minutes in, but this time I skipped the root veg in the pan and placed the chicken in a skillet instead. I had the skillet preheating in the oven -- dried the chicken inside and out, rubbed it with vegetable oil, rained salt/pepper over the whole bird and put it in the preheated skillet, breast-side up, to the comforting sound of that sizzle. About halfway in, I flipped the chicken around (wooden spoon stuck in the cavity made it a quick move), which allowed the breasts to cook the rest of the way drenched in the pool of rendered-off chicken fat. Cranked the heat back up for the last 10 minutes to brown and crisp up the top, then took it out to rest. Perfect, and served on a mashed potato/celeriac with a gravy made from broth and the pan drippings.

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also, I've decided that trussing is a huge waste of time for me, and counterproductive considering my method. The goal is to keep hot air from circulating in the cavity in order to ensure that breast meat doesn't overcook/dry out before the rest of the bird is done? It never played out this way for me. My guess is that the higher heat/shorter length makes this irrelevant. I get a better bird when I let it lay flat and brown more evenly, so don't take trussing as a hard-and-fast rule. Try it both ways and see what you prefer.

But removing the wishbone before it goes in the oven -- that's actually a huge help come time to dismantle the thing, and it's worth practicing.

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bird on a rack breast-side down at first, the juices flow into the breasts while cooking, flip over and turn up the heat for the last 15-20 minutes to crisp the breast skin and ensure doneness. easy and pretty reliable.

or: open a can of less-flavorful beer (eg budweiser), drink/pour out half, drop some herbs or seasonings in the can, and then put it in the center of a roasting pan. rub the chicken with oil/salt/pep and place it on the can (can in the cavity, looks like the chicken is sitting up in the pan), roast.

recommended the beer method to a friend and he took pictures. he also added a cajun rub.

sitting up in the oven

4trd5j.jpg

carving, juices

4zz3oz.jpg

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peasant status salad with raspberry vinaigrette, fresh bacon bits, almond slices, crushed walnut, peaches, mandarins, and some honeycomb because i forgot to buy croutons lol

saladin.jpg

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yea i find keller's simple roast chicken is really good as a basis for roast chicken.

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bird on a rack breast-side down at first, the juices flow into the breasts while cooking, flip over and turn up the heat for the last 15-20 minutes to crisp the breast skin and ensure doneness. easy and pretty reliable.

or: open a can of less-flavorful beer (eg budweiser), drink/pour out half, drop some herbs or seasonings in the can, and then put it in the center of a roasting pan. rub the chicken with oil/salt/pep and place it on the can (can in the cavity, looks like the chicken is sitting up in the pan), roast.

recommended the beer method to a friend and he took pictures. he also added a cajun rub.

sitting up in the oven

4trd5j.jpg

carving, juices

4zz3oz.jpg

never tried the beer can method because I have neither a BBQ or a big enough oven, but I'm excited to someday. I might fuck around with it, skip the beer and just use an empty can and fill it with more brine.

Staub makes a really nice chicken roasting stand for cooking like this, I want to kop.

ps your friend's chicken looks good but he needs to rest that fucker for 10 minutes or more, the flavor is all over the cutting board. I get virtually no juice runoff when i carve at all, yet my chicken is really moist.

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I've been going the Thomas Keller route (simpler the better), but decided to make a few changes to the one I roasted the other night to good effect (I never liked how one full side wouldn't brown at all, and essentially steamed on top of all those vegetables).

I still started it at 475 and brought it down to 425 after about 20 minutes in, but this time I skipped the root veg in the pan and placed the chicken in a skillet instead. I had the skillet preheating in the oven -- dried the chicken inside and out, rubbed it with vegetable oil, rained salt/pepper over the whole bird and put it in the preheated skillet, breast-side up, to the comforting sound of that sizzle. About halfway in, I flipped the chicken around (wooden spoon stuck in the cavity made it a quick move), which allowed the breasts to cook the rest of the way drenched in the pool of rendered-off chicken fat. Cranked the heat back up for the last 10 minutes to brown and crisp up the top, then took it out to rest. Perfect, and served on a mashed potato/celeriac with a gravy made from broth and the pan drippings.

my recipe is basically the keller brine from the bouchon book; however I feel that in the future I am going to tweak it a bit to taste, because 1) it's very strongly flavored, and 2, going back to 1) it's got a lot of sweetness that I think can be cut down. At the 1/2 cup salt/1/4 cup honey, it tastes almost like a luncheon meat. Granted, a nice tasting luncheon meat, but I will try something else and see. If you separate the skin from the meat and get your oil rubbed into the outside of the skin, you can get it plenty crispy and brown without needing much sugar.

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ps your friend's chicken looks good but he needs to rest that fucker for 10 minutes or more, the flavor is all over the cutting board. I get virtually no juice runoff when i carve at all, yet my chicken is really moist.

absolutely, and that's what i told him when i saw the pictures, but he's an experienced chicken-man and he said he rested it plenty. apparently there was just an insane amount of juice, and it was flavorful and moist despite the runoff (although personally, i wouldn't necessarily want my chicken quite that juicy, and i'm more into pan-dripping-gravy anyway).

the half-can suggestion is for gigantic steroidal american birds and he's in china using smaller ones, so that may also account for some of the extra-juice issue.

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past few days...

buffalo chicken finger plate from zaxbys.. my guilty pleasure

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been making breakfast like this every day lately

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fried egg sandwich mmmmm

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homemade tacos.. slowcooked the beef for 6 hours

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made chicken parmesan. cut each breast in half into tender shaped pieces.. was dank. and yes that is a spork lol

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curry chicken, rice and beans, cabbage, and plantains.. love this place -- super traditional jamaican food

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had this for dinner last night. chicken katsu noodle bowl with salmon rolls

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just got done eating this burrito .. chicken, black bean, cheese, guac, roasted peppers

5511033949_540b70c2d0_z.jpg

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Kuma's Corner: Neurosis -- cheddar, swiss, sauteed mushrooms, caramelized onions, horseradish mayo. Rare as fuck. Also had the cream cheese and chorizo stuffed poppers w/ jalapeno rasberry jam.

3877786780_39321ca4a0.jpg

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i copped some yakisoba noodles from nissin (those instant thangs) and then i added some chickenbreast slices and some carrots.

on the packet it says that yakisoba means fried noodle(s) but when all the water evaporated in the pan all the noodles were so soggy and soft that i just served it then and there. should i cook on higher heat and really fry the noodles?

tasted good either way, just wondering how to do it right

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past few days...

curry chicken, rice and beans, cabbage, and plantains.. love this place -- super traditional jamaican food

5511722486_7c4271e40c_z.jpg

this is what its all about. Shoulda had some roti though.

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I need to find some legit Jamaican food here in Chicago. That curry chicken & plantains looks great.

And for all Chicagoans or visitors to the city, stop by Kuma's. It can be a pain in the dick to get a table if you go in a group larger than two people, but the food is worth the wait you'll be asked to suffer through. However, there will be occasions when the wait is simply too long to stick around. I've stopped in only to be told the wait would be three hours. And they refuse to quote times over the phone. But, I think I've had five or six of their burgers, and they've all been fucking incredible.

http://www.kumascorner.com/food

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5513659133_6136722e46_z.jpg

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What is the brand/number for that skillet up top? It's interesting.

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how is it interesting? just looks like normal Lodge joint with a "helper handle" to me.

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how is it interesting? just looks like normal Lodge joint with a "helper handle" to me.

is it really just a lodge? I have a whole slew of antique cast iron and none have that extra handle, so it was new to me. :o

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Also, I want to burg really badly now. With a 2 piece.

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