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Old 10-13-2004, 03:40 PM   #1
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How long do you cook whole chicken per pound?

I just entered the realm of roasting whole chickens. (Finally go over my fear -as a former vegetarian-of cleaning the chicken.) Anyway, I made this recipe once before and am making it a second time. The recipe calls for a 3-3.5lb chicken and says to cook it 50-60 min. When I went to the store to get a chicken, the smallest one they had was 4.25 lbs. The previous time, I was able to get the specified size.

Is it safe to say that chicken should cook about 18 min per lb (a rounded number based on a 3-3.5 lb chicken cooking for 50-60 min)? The recipe instructs to cook it at 425 deg. Should I cook the chicken about 1 hr and 15 min?

Also, I'm roasting red potatoes along side the chicken. Should I put them when I put the chicken in or add it later?



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Old 10-13-2004, 04:11 PM   #2
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I tend to cook on a lower temperature for longer - for that size chicken I would clook for 2 hours at 325°. Maybe even 2 1/2 if necessary, or somewhere in between. Just cut the potatoes in bigger chunks - but if you are rally worried - put them in the with the chicken for the last 1 1/2 hours.

I also like to cover my chicken tightly - really makes it juicy - then the last 30 minutes turn the heat up or put it on broil to crisp up the skin.


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Old 10-13-2004, 05:30 PM   #3
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thanks kitchenelf......

i'll try it at the lower temp. my oven is preheating now. it's perfect timing for a 2-2.5 hr roasting time as it's 3:30 here in CA and we generally eat at 6pm.

THanks again!!!!!!
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Old 10-13-2004, 09:30 PM   #4
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I've settled on the high temperature roasting method of Barbara Kafka in her cookbook ROASTING.

She calls for cooking the chicken in a 500F oven!

Cut off the wing tips, place the chicken in a shallow roasting pan - no rack.

Place the chicken in the oven feet first. Near the bottom of the oven.

After 10 minutes, quickly open the oven and unstick the chicken from the pan. Continue to roast for a total of 40-45 minutes. Use a thermometer to check the temperature. It should be above 165-175 F in the breast and thigh.

Rest it, covered for 10 minutes and carve.

One caution. This method produces a lot of smoke. Have the vent hood going full blast and open a window.
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Old 10-13-2004, 09:47 PM   #5
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FSIS recommends cooking whole chicken to 180 °F as measured in the thigh using a food thermometer. For approximate cooking times to use in meal planning, see the following chart compiled from various resources.

Whole broiler fryer+ 3 to 4 lbs. 1 1/4 - 1 1/2 hrs. 60 to 75 min. 60 to 75 min*
Whole roasting hen+ 5 to 7 lbs. 2 to 2 1/4 hrs. 1 3/4 to 2 hrs. 18-25 min/lb*
Whole capon+ 4 to 8 lbs. 2 to 3 hrs Not suitable 15-20 min/lb*
Whole Cornish hens+ 18-24 oz. 50 to 60 min. 35 to 40 min. 45 to 55 min*
Breast halves, bone-in 6 to 8 oz. 30 to 40 min. 35 to 45 min. 10 - 15 min/side
Breast half, boneless 4 ounces 20 to 30 min. 25 to 30 min. 6 to 8 min/side
Legs or thighs 8 or 4 oz. 40 to 50 min. 40 to 50 min. 10 - 15 min/side
Drumsticks 4 ounces 35 to 45 min. 40 to 50 min. 8 to 12 min/side
Wings or wingettes 2 to 3 oz. 30 to 40 min. 35 to 45 min. 8 to 12 min/side

+ Unstuffed. If stuffed, add 15 to 30 minutes additional time.
* Indirect method using drip pan.
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Old 10-13-2004, 10:12 PM   #6
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I roast a chicken for 20 minutes per pound of weight at 350°F. I roast my birds uncovered, and baste with the pan juices every 20 - 30 minutes. I have a lot of kids, so I usually try to get a 6# bird. As the little ones get bigger, I'm going to have to go to either two birds at once, or, a small turkey.

Edited to add:
I don't stuff my birds. If I want stuffing, I bake it in a separate pan. If you want to stuff your bird, you need to cook it until the stuffing IN THE BIRD reaches 180°F. This usually results in an overcooked bird, which is why I bake my dressing in a different pan.
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Old 10-13-2004, 10:28 PM   #7
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Some good advice and tips coming out here, and all can benefit from the reading...

The bottom line on how long to cook has got to be based on a meat temperature probe (I love my digital!), as this is going to tell you absolutely when its "done" enough to take out of the oven.

I'll dispute, to a certain extent, Rainee's previous comment...

In my "training" the dark meat has to cook to 180 degrees, the white to 160 degrees.

Meat being cooked will continue cooking after its removed from the oven, (short of being doused in ice, as you would with shrimp) and it is quite safe to pull the chickens and turkeys when they are ten degrees below their target temperatures, as long as you leave them in the pan (and perhaps cover them with tinfoil) (get your meat probe in there and prove it to yourself, if you don't want to take it from me!) It follows that if you take it out of the oven at 180, and leave it to sit, waiting to carve, it will plainly overcook and be dry....

In order to avoid the issues of breast meat having to be cooked less than dark meat, read the "Thanksgiving Recipe" list for my explanation of "flipping the bird" (EEKS! take it literally, not figuratively!) as a technique to get really juicy white meat that is both delicious and of course perfectly safe to eat

There are a lot of lines on what temp to start your bird at, and 450-500 is not news to me...you pre-heat the oven, and turn it down after 20 minutes or so, as opposed the steady 325 heating/cooking that has become "conventional", but honestly, there's not a terrible lot of difference, especially compared with differing the recipe methods (beer butting, brining, etc...I'd really encourage an investment of 6 oz of Scotch in that soup can...the taste is indeed fantastic...

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Old 10-14-2004, 07:12 AM   #8
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My comments come the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service.

Which I think says 180 for the thigh and 170 for the breast.
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Old 10-14-2004, 07:29 PM   #9
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The bacterial strains that cause us problems are killed at around 150 degrees. However, it takes much time at that temperature to do the job. To be safe, the white meat must achieve a temperature of 160' F. held for at least 15 minutes.

Unfortunately, when the white meat is raised above 165', the meat begins to dry and toughen. At 170, it's still edible, but not quite as good as it is at 165. The dark meat of course, having more natural oils in the flesh, remain more moist and tender at the higher temperatures. Also, the white meat cooks more rapidly than does the dark meat. It is less dense and requires care to avoid overcooking. I recomend the Alton Brown method of inserting a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the breast and pushing the tip close to the thigh joint, but not touching the bone. Spread your favorite seasonings, and a bit of oil onto the skin, cover the breast with aluminum foil, shiny side up, and placing onto a cooking rack. Insert the bierd into a 450 degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes. Add 2 cups of turkey broth to the pan. Reduce the heat to 350 and cook until the thermometer reads 140 degrees. REmove the foil and cook until the thermometer reads 155. Remove from the oven and allow the bird to rest for twenty minutes. Cut the entire turkey breast from the carcass and slice against the meat grain. This makes the slices more tender and gives everyone an equal share of the skin. Your knive must be very sharp. Fan the slices out on a platter and spread the drumsticks, thighs, and wings around the white meat. Garnish with parsley, or kale.
Serve imediately and hot.

This method gives me the juciest and most tender turkeys I have ever made. I used to rely on the pop-up timers that go off at 180'. My turkeys were always dry.

For safety's sake, USDA has to recomend the high temp, to avoid lawsuits. But in reality, the meat is safe at 160 to 165.

Pork is now considered safe at 155.

If you butcher your own bird, you could even eat it rare as it's the critters that live in the colon that cause us all the problems - salmonella, e-coli, etc. If the colon and intestinal tract remain unbroken, and no feces touch the meat, there is no concern. But with the mechanical butchering and cleaning of comercial producers, there is no surety of unruptured colons.

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Old 10-16-2004, 08:54 AM   #10
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i would highly recommend a good meat thermometer, like one from wiliams sonoma. it has a probe on a long heat proof cord which is inserted into the bird, or roast, and plugs in to a counter top readout/control pad. it will give you the exact temp of the thickest part of the meat.

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