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Old 12-20-2006, 06:25 PM   #51
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I let my chicken have a stand up performance. I have one of those chicken roasting sets, consist of a platform with metal frame. Season your chicken and set it on the roaster (I put a cookie sheet under mine but the few drippings actually dropped into the roaster pan in the platform). All the juice that builds up in the cavity simply is not there making a mess.
I don't have a turkey stand but I have used a stick and a tube pan to roast turkey this way.
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Old 12-21-2006, 01:05 AM   #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nicholas Mosher
...thegrova - I have an immense amount of respect for TK's dishes & techniques (I own all his books and have read them cover to cover, cooking a good portion of 'em too). I would love to see the exact oven, pans, and other varibales that come together to produce a perfectly roasted bird using his method. I tried it a couple times with overcooked breast meat and undercooked thighs being the result...
I've done the experiments and inspected the results. It really doesn't matter what temperature you cook the bird at. And cooking it breast-side down will only give you soggy breast skin. As for the "beer can" chicken devices out there, they don't really make much difference either, except to keep the skin out of the liquids.

Now, I'm going to give you the number 1 secret to perfectly juicy poultry breast meat, and dark meat cooked all the way through. Simply bring the bird to room temp, dry it inside and out, rub with som kind of fat, butter, lard, or oil work equally well. Season to your liking with S & P, Oregano, Sage, or whatever. Insert a meat thermometer into the thickes part of the breast meat, where it is near to the thigh/body joint, but not toucing the bone. Place in any oven, uncovered, at any temperature between 300 and 460 degrees, and roast until the meat thermometer reads 155 degrees F.

I can promise you, that if you remove the bird from the oven when the meat reaches that temperature, and let the whole thing sit on the counter for 5 to ten minutes, your bird, be it chicken, duck, goose, or turkey will give you moist and tender breast meat, and dark meat cooked all the way through.

The advantage of higher heat is that it will crisp the skin and will cook much faster.

The beauty of using the thermometer is that you can cook the bird in the oven, or on the grill, using dimilar cooking methods.

What causes dry meat of any kind is overcooking, that is, taking the meat temperature above 170 degrees or so (with the exception of smoked or pulled pork, or slow cooked beef, where it is allowed to reach sufficient temperature to melt the fats and break down the collagen). As the muscle tissue rises much above 170, it begins to tighten, squeezing the moisture out and toughening.

Do the experiments yourself. Test my advice. It has worked for me for many years.

Seeeeeya; Goodweed of the North
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Old 12-21-2006, 08:08 AM   #53
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Godweed - I've tried roasting breast side up at a wide range of oven temps from 250-550F and always get either overcooked breastmeat and perfect thighs, or perfect breastmeat and undercooked thighs. Again, I like my breastmeat around 165F, and my thighs around 180F (but more importantly, the connective tissues in the thighs needs to break down into gelatin which also takes time, not just an instantaneous temp).

I find 300F to be the best roasting temp, as it permits a gentle heating of the entire bird without overcooking the exterior portions of meat. 300F is also sufficently high to dissolve the collagen in the skin, and then cook away the moisture leaving a crisp skin (rather than leathery or rubbery).

(Please see me lengthy post on the previous page detailing my adventures...)

Going to try a couple different techniques today.
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Old 12-21-2006, 09:35 AM   #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nicholas Mosher
Godweed - I've tried roasting breast side up at a wide range of oven temps from 250-550F and always get either overcooked breastmeat and perfect thighs, or perfect breastmeat and undercooked thighs. Again, I like my breastmeat around 165F, and my thighs around 180F (but more importantly, the connective tissues in the thighs needs to break down into gelatin which also takes time, not just an instantaneous temp).

I find 300F to be the best roasting temp, as it permits a gentle heating of the entire bird without overcooking the exterior portions of meat. 300F is also sufficently high to dissolve the collagen in the skin, and then cook away the moisture leaving a crisp skin (rather than leathery or rubbery).

(Please see me lengthy post on the previous page detailing my adventures...)

Going to try a couple different techniques today.
Another way to get what you seek is to direct heat away from the breast meat until the last 15 minutes or so of cooking time. Try placing aluminum foil over just the breast meat, shiny side out, to reflect infra-red away from the covered area. Then, you remove it for the last ten to 15 minutes and increase the heat to crisp the skin. Put the thermometer in the thickest part of the thigh to monitor the temperature there.

I like the dark meat just done. I don't require the collagen or connective tissues to be melted down. I guess that's why I roast my birds the way I do, and enjoy the results.

But placing the foil over the breast meat should help you achive the results you're looking for. Another technique is to place cheesecloth over the breast meat, as an insulator against the heat, again removing it for the last ten minutes or so of cooking time.

I wish you success in achieving teh "perfect chicken".

Seeeeeeeya; Goodweed of the North
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Old 12-21-2006, 10:12 AM   #55
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Quote:
I like the dark meat just done. I don't require the collagen or connective tissues to be melted down.
Well... I like it "just done" too. As far as melting the collagen, it's what creates that lip-smacking texture and tenderness of thighs. Without doing so, you end up with a gristly/chewy thigh. If I roast at a relatively low temp (such as 300-325F) I find that the thighs reach this stage by the time their internal temperature hits 175-180F (I usually pull it around 178F, as I only see about 2F of heat rise with a low roasting temp and my 60F apartment). The trick is reaching this stage without cooking the breast past 163-165F. I've found that by roasting breast side down (and with teh legs spread out) I can increase the amount of energy hitting the legs/thighs while simultaneously protecting the breastmeat from the radiating energy of the oven walls (effectively retarding the speed at which they cook). Unfortunately (as you noted above), this yields nice n' rubbery skin over the breast (although the skin across the back and sides is beautifully crisp).

I've tried to combat this by roasting/broiling at a high temp breast side up when the chicken is almost finished to brown the skin. Unfortunately this usually just gives some crispy spots amongst a sea of rubber.

I'm almost convinced that a low-temp rotisserie process is the only path to near-perfection for a whole bird (these still yield a slightly over-done breast). So far my only way to ensure 100% success has been to divide the bird into quarters and roast separately, but this of course lacks the beauty of a whole bird.

Anyhoo, I'm repeating myself I guess (sorry).
Have two birds to mess around with today - they're warming up a bit on the counter now.

If I use the foil-triangle method, I'll be roasting breast-side up, which means the pan will be protecting/retarding the cooking process of the thighs/legs/back (which is what I want to speed up relative to the breast). One thing I haven't tried is roasting it upright with a foil triangle, and then removing it later... Gonna' give this a shot right now I think!
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Old 12-21-2006, 02:22 PM   #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nicholas Mosher
... One thing I haven't tried is roasting it upright with a foil triangle, and then removing it later... Gonna' give this a shot right now I think!
Nicholas, you are the man!
Let me know the results of your cullinary experimentation. I'm sure glad that there is someone else out there to put in some time and effort to produce superior results. I hope this turns out well for you. If it soesn't, then cook that baby on a Webber Kettle with a divided bed of coals. Since the thighs and drumstics are closer to the fire, you should get better results.

Seeeeeya; Goodweed of the North
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Old 12-21-2006, 03:01 PM   #57
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Well... I roasted the chicken upright with a foil triangle over the breast at 325F for 90min, then removed the triangle and went 45min more. The skin was crispy except for near the surface of the pan where the steam from the drippings kept the skin from browning, and also a couple patches on the breast itself. The thighs were absolutely perfect, but the breast was overcooked at 181F by the time the thighs reached 180F.

Failure...

Have one chicken left to play around with tomorrow...
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Old 12-21-2006, 03:17 PM   #58
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Nicholas...

The best roasted chicken I have ever had...I did over a open fire on a manual turn spit. However I do not have a clue as to temps of the various parts..I just wanted the thigh/leg at or near 170* I normally do 2 sometimes 3 birds at once...brined before going to the fire...The skin..some crispy..some not so crispy...as the "perfect fire" is hard to maintain...Obviously there are no pan drippings...they go up in smoke....
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Old 12-21-2006, 07:31 PM   #59
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One of the methods that I use for roasting a bird is to cut it straight down the back and lay it flat. (you have to pop a few bones) It cooks really well. I tend to do this a lot when people are not expecting to see "the bird".
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