I’ve been a little obsessed with poultry lately. In a class last week, we made little meatballs, with ground turkey, which went into a classic Italian wedding soup. And last night, it was roasted chicken on my brain. And in my tummy.
There’s something about a roasted chicken that just defines comfort food. I have nothing against the rotisserie chickens that are sold in just about every supermarket on the planet. Some of them are even tasty. But for sheer volume, flavor, and properly-cooked goodness, there’s nothing like roasting it yourself. Why? Oh, where to begin…?
I have a theory that’s based on nothing except my own imagination: when you buy a cooked rotisserie chicken, it’s overcooked. Sure, it might be tasty. But I think they cook them just short of being turned into sand because of a fear of undercooking them. Apparently, cooking them to the right temperature (170°, give or take a few degrees) is too much of a stretch. Or maybe they’re sitting under the heat lamp at market-central for so long they’ve started to roast all over again. For whatever the reason, they always come up short. Except, of course, when you buy it and have to have dinner on the table in 11 minutes. Then they pass the dinner test with flying colors.
If you do have upwards of 75-90 minutes for your chicken to roast, then I hugely encourage you to do it. It’s going to taste much better, because it’ll be freshly roasted. All you have to do is follow these simple instructions. And voila! You have an excellent meal that’ll feed at least four people, probably provide some leftovers, and give you the foundation (the bones!) to make chicken stock when your meal is done.
Try getting all of that, and the self-satisfied thrill of doing it yourself, with a rotisserie chicken. Not gonna happen. Ever.