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Old 11-28-2011, 03:41 PM   #1
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ISO help roasting a chicken w/o a meat thermometer

I am roasting a chicken for the first time in my oven. It is a small 4lb. chicken. I am doing a simple butter and herb recipe. My issue is I do not own a meat thermometer. I know the time per pound and such but I am not sure how to check to ensure it is fully cooked. HELP PLEASE!!!

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Old 11-28-2011, 03:50 PM   #2
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It should be done when the leg moves freely in its joint and the juices run clear when the meat is pierced.
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Old 11-28-2011, 04:29 PM   #3
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Try piercing the meat of the thigh, near the bone. Press down with the flat of your knife to express a little of the liquid. There should be no hint of pink.
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Old 11-28-2011, 06:20 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy M. View Post
It should be done when the leg moves freely in its joint and the juices run clear when the meat is pierced.
This
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Old 11-28-2011, 09:01 PM   #5
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But next time you're in the supermarket, buy a thermometer.
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Old 11-28-2011, 10:31 PM   #6
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Now I think there has been a misunderstanding about the clear juices test. I submit that the clear running juice is indeed a suggestion that at least that portion of the bird is probably fully cooked. But poking it while it's in the oven and removing it only when it runs clear is likely to cause it to overcook. I find that if I pull it out when there is just the faintest tinge of pink, it's at 165 and will be for a short time, and it finishes outside the oven on its own, and the juices end up running clear when it's done.

That said, temperature is really what matters, and only a thermometer guarantees that it's safely cooked. The color of juices depends on other factors than temperature, and some birds' flesh and juice can appear faintly pink at a reliable 165-degrees. The price of doing without a thermometer is risk of an overcooked chicken to be on the safe side.

(Of course, whether you can induce your guests to comfortably eat their fully cooked but slightly pink chicken is another matter.)
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Old 11-29-2011, 10:16 AM   #7
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My grandma taught me that when you can move the leg joint with a fork, it's done. It worked for me for years. I'm not dead yet and I never suffered food poisoning from eating raw chicken...I always use the 25 min/lb guideline.
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Old 11-29-2011, 10:58 AM   #8
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The time per pound depends on your oven temp, too.

When I am roasting at 375, I guesstimate about 18 min/pound

When I roast at 450, which is most of the time, I guesstimate at 15/min pound.

But IMO you really need a thermometer to sucessfully cook chicken. It needs to be done, but that's it. Overcooking it is a no-no.

Thermometers are very inexpensive.
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Old 11-29-2011, 11:06 AM   #9
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Some of my family are so accustomed to overcooked chicken that when it's properly cooked and juicy, they question whether or not it's done.
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Old 11-29-2011, 12:47 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy M. View Post
Some of my family are so accustomed to overcooked chicken that when it's properly cooked and juicy, they question whether or not it's done.
I'm not saying this happens to me.. I am just saying.. nothing...

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