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Old 04-22-2007, 04:25 PM   #1
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ISO Anyone microwave *and* roast their chicken?

The NY Times did a many part series on how to roast a chicken to perfection.

This involved sewing it up and other unnatural things.

Frankly, I can't be bothered....

When I roast the chicken at medum heat for a long time, the skin doesn't have that pizzazz I'm looking for.
When I roast it at a high temperature, the meat tends to dry out.

Has anyone partially mircowaved a chicken and roasted it to find a good balance?

Best regards,
Alex R.

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Old 04-22-2007, 04:38 PM   #2
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I've never tried the M/W for chicken, but I did try poking it all over with a skewer, then a good rub with corn starch and salt..cooked it at 425 15 min, turned, another 15 min. then breat up for 20. I got a nice crispy skin on the legs and wings..The breasts skin needed more cornstarch I think though. But the meat was juicy and very good.

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Old 04-22-2007, 07:35 PM   #3
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Microwave/Roasting: I have a Tupperware Micro Steamer (3pc). My microwave is small and has a fixed setting of 550-600 and has a rotating plate. I place the insert into the base of the steamer and place 3-4 pieces of chicken on it skin side up (no seasonings yet and no lid). Microwave five minutes and check. The chicken should be getting warm. Microwave for another five minutes and check. The chicken should have started cooking and the fat is dripping into the base container. Microwave for another five minutes and check. The chicken should be hot but not done to the bone and most of the fat should have dripped into the base. (Never leave a microwave unattended and check periodically....all microwaves cook differently.)

Have ready a roasting pan sprayed with a nonstick cooking spray. And a preheated oven waiting at 325F. Brush the skin on the chicken with a light coating of the chicken fat and season to your likening. Place skin side down in the roasting pan and season the other side. Place in the oven and roast for 5-10 minutes. When the skin side is browned, turn the chicken pieces over and return to the oven for an additional 5-10 minutes.

(When microwaving wings & legs, you need to place the meaty end of the drumstick toward the outer circle. With a combination, it would be leg-wing-leg). Never over crowd the chicken pieces or layer them. If you want to make a second batch, remove the fat from the base and rinse the insert making sure that the holes are not clogged.

It is not safe to put rice, vegetables, etc into the bottom of the base because the chicken is not going to be totally cooked when you remove it and there will be raw drippings in the base.
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Old 04-22-2007, 08:11 PM   #4
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When I roast a chicken in the oven, I cut it into quarters. It cooks faster, and you get a nice crusty skin without drying out the chicken.
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Old 04-22-2007, 08:24 PM   #5
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If you brine your chicken before roasting then it will remain juicy even if roasted at high heat.
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Old 04-22-2007, 08:36 PM   #6
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I have a question for you, GB.

For a chicken, what formula would you use for your brine, and how long would you keep the chicken in it?
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Old 04-22-2007, 08:40 PM   #7
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I never measure my brines so I can't give you amounts, but it should taste "pleasantly salty". I usually just use water and salt although sometimes I put some soy sauce in and maybe some spices. I make it so when I taste a little I don't feel like I have to spit it out right away. Maybe a little less salty than the ocean.

For a whole chicken, I would keep it in the brine 2-4 hours. Chicken breasts I do for 2 hours, but a whole chicken can go longer. It all has to do with personal taste tough. I find that the texture suffers if you brine too long so I would rather under brine than over brine.
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Old 04-22-2007, 08:47 PM   #8
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Having swallowed a bit of seawater in my time, your description of how the brine should taste works perfectly for me. Thank you, GB.

What do you think of Ina Garten's method of putting butter and herbs under the skin. Have you ever tried that?




PS...How I wish I could be young and playing with my children in the warm gulf waters of Sanibel Island, Fla again.
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Old 04-22-2007, 09:04 PM   #9
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I love putting butter and other flavors under the skin. I often make compound butters just for that very reason.
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Old 04-23-2007, 12:34 PM   #10
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IMO, I would never partially microwave a roast chicken.

In addition to the brine method described by GB, the Zuni Cafe cookbook has a fabulous recipe for roast chicken that is dry brined. SO easy and so delicious. Never dry.

This is my tried and true method of dry brining:

Mix about 1/2 cup kosher salt with 1/4 brown or white sugar. Add some black pepper (and some garlic powder and/or dry herbs -- optional).

Rub the bird liberally all over with the salt/sugar mixture. You may not need all of it, but make sure you coat it very well. Don't be nervous.

Wrap in plastic wrap and put in ziplock or other big plastic bag. Refrigerate for at least 8-12 hours.

About 1 hour before you need to start roasting it, take chicken out and rinse it and pat it dry. Set on roasting rack and airdry at room temp for 1 hour.

That's the dry brine.

I would suggest high heat roasting of the bird at 450 degrees with the bottom of the roasting pan covered in thinly sliced potatoes, to absorb the fat.

Alternatively, roast at 450 for 20 min and turn down to 350. That helps crisp up the skin.
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