The best chicken you can find is whole roasted chicken… I dare you to argue otherwise?!?! Seriously, roasted chickens are a delightful way to enjoy both lean and not so lean meat. The potential to trap tons of flavor in each bite is endless!! However, it is also an easy meat to cook to bone dry and hate… so what is the secret?
There are many ways to roast a chicken and everyone finds their way, which usually combines easy-to-do with something that tastes pretty good. Well let's Make Chicken Great Again!!! The two biggest shortcuts people seem to make, when it comes to chicken, is not putting enough time into prep followed by looking it too long. Here is what I typically do:
The roasting / cooking method I like the most is natural charcoals with some hickory wood chunks over the wood. I like to really heat up one side of the grill and have the other side with less coals to provide a lower direct temperature.
Don’t mess with the bird that much during the cooking process. If you need to baste it in a sauce only do it a few times… continually basting the bird will not make a better product when the inconsistent temperature becomes a factor.
I definitely prefer a brined or marinated bird over a dry bird. A brine is a water / salt solution that keeps the bird moist. You can add other things to the brine like peppercorns, herbs, etc… Confession, I do not do it all that often because I have found two other methods that I prefer. First, soaking the bird in Organic whole milk, lemon juice & garlic the night before (basically becomes like buttermilk). Second, I soak it in beer the night before (I usually use Model Especial). Beer soaked is my go to because it is the cheapest and what is the most abundant.
I like to baste my bird 1-2x during the cooking process.
I cook the bird until 160 in the thickest part of the breast… I pull it off and let it sit for 10 minutes before I cut in to it!!
Macronutrients on Roasted Chickens (general)
± 253 calories
± 14g of Fat
± 27g of Protein
This is very general and if you take the skin off when you eat it, eat white meat, etc… it becomes leaner. However, if using a high quality bird, the fat is going to give your hormones a nice kick in the pants!! In a good way…
Tri-Tip Cooking Temperature (this is what I follow)
+ Rare finished at 130 degrees Fahrenheit
+ Medium-Rare finished at 140 degrees Fahrenheit
+ Medium finished at 150 degrees Fahrenheit
As a general rule, if you are looking to eat the chicken still moist make sure you pull it off the heat source 5-10 degrees lower than the finished temperature. For example, if you pull it off at 170 degrees it is most likely going to raise another 10 degrees and become bone dry!
ORGANIC INGREDIENTS & PREPARATION
Heirloom Whole Chicken, about 4.5lbs
*1-2 Beers (I use glass bottle Modelo Especial)
1 lemon… zest the whole thing, cut in half and set aside to use in the finishing oil
1 tbsp Fresh Cracked Himalayan Salt
1 tbsp Fresh Cracked Black Pepper
½ Stick of Grass-Fed unsalted butter, room temp
1 lemon, zest the whole thing, save the lemon for later
4 garlic cloves, minced
8 fresh basil leaves minced
8 fresh oregano leaves minced
Dash of Himalayan Salt
Dash of Fresh Cracked Black Pepper
1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 garlic clove, minced
2 basil leaves, minced finely
2 oregano leaves, minced finely
Dash of Himalayan Salt
Dash of Fresh Cracked Black Pepper
If you have the time, soak the chicken overnight in the Modelo… I usually end up using 2 bottles if I am not going to move it once I put it in the refrigerator
Combine all the ingredients for the Butter in a small mixing bowl, mix well… form the butter on a plate or plastic wrap to look like a stick of butter… stick it in the freezer for 15 minutes to firm
Combine all the ingredients of the finishing oil and whisk well, set aside for the end…
Drain the chickens of the beer; use a paper towel and dab off the excess liquid
Now that your chickens are ready, separate the skin from the breast (be careful doing this so you do not cut a hole in the skin). Make sure you do not cut the skin off but it allows you to put your fingers between the skin and breast.
Pull from the freezer 2 tbsp from the Garlic butter and divide it in to 4 cubes; place 2 cubes in-between the skin and the breast… this allows the butter to melt in to the breast as the chicken is cooking.
Liberally sprinkle the 1 tbsp of Himalayan Salt & Fresh Cracked Black Pepper all over the bird; coat the sides, back, inside and top…
Stick half of the lemon inside the cavity of the chicken
Preheat the grill or smoker or BBQ to about 350 degrees… it can be higher on the hot side if you are using a BBQ
Once the grill or smoker or BBQ is to temp, place the chicken on
You need to baste the chicken with melted Garlic-Lemon butter two times during the cooking price… so melt the left-over Garlic-Lemon butter down so you can use as a baste… I suggest basting it mid-way and with about 5-10 minutes left…
The chicken usually takes about 60-70 minutes at 350 degrees on a Trager Pellet Smoker, which is how I most commonly make this chicken. However, I strongly suggest you use a thermometer to check the doneness of the chicken so you do not overcook it…
I suggest cooking the chicken until the thickest part of the breast is at 160 degrees
Once you are done cooking the chicken, and you pull it off the heat, allow the chicken to rest for 10 minutes prior to cutting it up to serve
Once you have cut the chicken up and put it on a serving platter evenly drizzle the Finishing Oil all over the meat
Ok so that was a lengthy recipe and process. It seems complicated right? Well, not really. Here are the SIMPLIFIED STEPS...
Put the chicken in beer overnight
Make the Garlic-Lemon butter, put in freezer
Make the Finishing Oil and set aside
Drain the chicken from the beer, pat dry
Sprinkle with salt & pepper, put some lemons in the cavity
Roast the chicken until the thickest part of the breast reaches 160 degrees
Let rest for 10 minutes before slicing
Once sliced up and put on platter… drizzle with the Finishing Oil and serve!!
See, I told you it was simple!! I hope you try it and mess with the recipe a bit to make it your own!!
HERE ARE MY GO TO THERMOMETERS...
Thank you for the support!!
- Coach Wine