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Old 12-02-2009, 07:19 PM   #1
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Questions about a whole chicken.

I randomly picked up a 5.34 pound chicken yesterday at Whole Foods without having any idea what to do with it as I have never roasted a chicken before.
Wanted it tonight but just read on Apartment Therapy's TheKitchn site that I need to pat it dry and salt it up and let it sit for a day before I can do anything with it (I'm thinking of going with the Zuni method but also liking the idea of garlic butter and herbs... anyways, my issue is, I won't have the time to cook it tomorrow night but probably will on Friday - how long can the chicken (either still packaged or salted/buttered, ect) sit in the fridge for? Also, I've read that roasting a chicken can cause it to smoke and set off fire alarms (ack!) - how do I prevent that?

...and just realized typing this up that I probably need a bigger roasting pan too.... oops :x oh well, at least that's easily fixed :)


Thanks in advance!
Katie

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Old 12-02-2009, 07:25 PM   #2
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There is a sell by/use by date on the chicken. Go by that. It should be OK for Friday.

If you plan to roast it at a temperature greater than 425 F you will get some smoking. Otherwise, it should not be a problem. Scatter some chopped up veggies in the bottom of the roasting pan and set the chicken on them to prevent the fat from burning.
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Old 12-02-2009, 07:54 PM   #3
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5lbs seams a bit large for a roaster . It may take you longer to cook. I am guessing it is larger older stew hen. It should work although it may be a bit tougher than you are used to and have a "gamey" flavor. That type of chicken I think is better suited for making soup.
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Old 12-02-2009, 08:11 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by danpeikes View Post
5lbs seams a bit large for a roaster . It may take you longer to cook. I am guessing it is larger older stew hen. It should work although it may be a bit tougher than you are used to and have a "gamey" flavor. That type of chicken I think is better suited for making soup.
I think 5.3 pounds is well within the roaster range. Perdue sells Oven Stuffer Roaster chickens in the 7-8 pound range and they are not tough or gamey at all.
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Old 12-02-2009, 08:54 PM   #5
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Thank you... do I set the chicken right on the veggies or on the rack that comes in the pan? (Yeah, I've never roasted *any* meat before, lol.) I found a recipe that says to cook at 400 for 1 hour and 20 minutes or til the meat comes up at 180 degrees, but that seems kinda high to me... and it doesn't seem to me that roasting at 400 would even get it that hot anyhow. Any thoughts?

Also, I think I'm going to do herbed garlic butter under the skin (or on it?) ... Should I still pat it dry and salt it a day ahead of cooking?

Sorry for all of the questions :) but thank you again :)
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Old 12-02-2009, 09:25 PM   #6
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My suggestion would be to salt and pepper it then put it on the grill with the coals to either side and low. Let it cook till done. Of course I think most everything tastes better over charcoal. :D
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Old 12-02-2009, 09:45 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coookies View Post
Thank you... do I set the chicken right on the veggies or on the rack that comes in the pan? (Yeah, I've never roasted *any* meat before, lol.) I found a recipe that says to cook at 400 for 1 hour and 20 minutes or til the meat comes up at 180 degrees, but that seems kinda high to me... and it doesn't seem to me that roasting at 400 would even get it that hot anyhow. Any thoughts?

Also, I think I'm going to do herbed garlic butter under the skin (or on it?) ... Should I still pat it dry and salt it a day ahead of cooking?

Sorry for all of the questions :) but thank you again :)
Set the chicken directly on the veggies. 400 F is fine. Roast it until the internal temperature reaches 161 F in the thickest part of the breast.

BTW, 400 F would indeed get the chicken to 180 degrees and more.

If you are following a certain recipe that calls for salting the chicken the day before, that's one thing but it's absolutely not necessary. You can take it right out of the package and plop it into the roasting pan and have a fine roast chicken.

Put the butter under the skin to flavor the meat and a little on the skin to encourage browning.
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Old 12-02-2009, 10:14 PM   #8
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I love to roast chicken! I bought one of those cheap beer can chicken holders and use it to prop up the chicken without the beer. I make an herb seasoning mix and rub that under the skin and then put melted butter under as well. Throw an onion or lemon in the neck opening and throw the whole thing in a dutch oven. And as Adam M. said you don't need to cook to 180, just to 160.
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Old 12-02-2009, 10:24 PM   #9
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Just like Coltfanchris, I use a holder, a stainless steel vertical rack that fits into the chicken and holding it upright. As I recall, the internal temperature for turkey is 165 in a 325 oven, and it produces a juicy, tender bird with no chance of smoking but does make a nice, crispy skin. I would think the same would apply to a roaster chicken, with the only difference being to finish it off at 400 for the last 20 minutes.
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Old 12-02-2009, 11:17 PM   #10
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it is a breeze, you will be fine
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