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Thomas Keller roast chicken question

Thomas Keller roast chicken question
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  • Thomas Keller roast chicken question

    Post #1 - July 31st, 2008, 6:53 am
    Post #1 - July 31st, 2008, 6:53 am Post #1 - July 31st, 2008, 6:53 am
    I saw a lot of people that liked his recipe. Certainly sound easy enough. My question is with the high heat does it cause a lot of smoke and splatter in the oven?

    Thanks...
  • Post #2 - July 31st, 2008, 8:13 am
    Post #2 - July 31st, 2008, 8:13 am Post #2 - July 31st, 2008, 8:13 am
    I don't recall having any smoke issues when I have made this chicken. My oven would have to be somewhat clean to notice any sort of splatter.
  • Post #3 - July 31st, 2008, 8:59 am
    Post #3 - July 31st, 2008, 8:59 am Post #3 - July 31st, 2008, 8:59 am
    I haven't seen or made Keller's recipe specifically, but when I high heat roast chicken, I pour a cup or two of water in the bottom of the roasting pan. That cuts down on the smoke considerably.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #4 - July 31st, 2008, 9:13 am
    Post #4 - July 31st, 2008, 9:13 am Post #4 - July 31st, 2008, 9:13 am
    Trussing and trimming any excess fat helps but it's going to smoke and splatter no matter what (in my case). I always keep the windows open.
  • Post #5 - July 31st, 2008, 9:38 am
    Post #5 - July 31st, 2008, 9:38 am Post #5 - July 31st, 2008, 9:38 am
    stevez wrote:I haven't seen or made Keller's recipe specifically, but when I high heat roast chicken, I pour a cup or two of water in the bottom of the roasting pan. That cuts down on the smoke considerably.


    This would defeat Keller's goal to eliminate as much moisture as possible.

    Yes, there is some smoke, but it is worth it - so good and simple. Since you don't open the oven door to baste there is not nearly as much smoke escaping into the kitchen, at least with my oven.

    This recipe also translates well to indirect cooking in a hot smoker in case you want to move it outdoors.

    Bill/SFNM
  • Post #6 - July 31st, 2008, 9:57 am
    Post #6 - July 31st, 2008, 9:57 am Post #6 - July 31st, 2008, 9:57 am
    I would say that there's more smoke, but since it's a shorter time it doesn't have as much time to collect. I do usually crack the kitchen door (we have awful ventilation anyway) It's no more smoke than you'd have broiling something, though. I usually roast in my cast-iron skillet, which contains the fat a bit and keeps it from getting all over your oven floor. A window box fan was my best friend when I lived in an apartment...

    As a firefighter's wife, if what you're actually worried about is setting off your hardwired smoke alarm, you can call your alarm company ahead of time and ask them to take it out of service for a short time; just remember to call them back to reset it. (I can't say whether this recipe is more prone than others, our smoke alarm goes off most times I have the oven above 400, no matter what's in it)
  • Post #7 - July 31st, 2008, 10:03 am
    Post #7 - July 31st, 2008, 10:03 am Post #7 - July 31st, 2008, 10:03 am
    The Cooks Illustrated version of high roast chicken (one of my favorite recipes of theirs) uses a broiler pan as the roasting pan and lines the bottom with foil and a layer of thinly sliced potatoes. This solves the fat-dripping problem quite nicely, and makes a delicious side dish of crispy potatoes roast in chicken fat.

    Best,
    Michael
  • Post #8 - July 31st, 2008, 11:27 am
    Post #8 - July 31st, 2008, 11:27 am Post #8 - July 31st, 2008, 11:27 am
    While I didn't really look too much at the recipe, I suppose this post inspired me the other night just the same.

    I'd purchased what is marketed where I live as an organic, corn-fed chicken and, perhaps due to its packaging, its skin was dryer than usual. As I thought about preparing it, I decided to simply salt and pepper it before putting it on the grill.

    I grilled it indirectly for about 40 minutes. I usually end up dragging the chicken over the coals to finish it off but this one was looking so nice, I didn't.

    And, to get to the point, I believe this just about simulated the high-heat, no-fuss cooking method described (more-or-less) by Keller. The skin was crunchy and wonderful, it had the unmistakable taste of the grill and it was juicy and, well, roasted.

    I did end up sprinkling it with a gremolata-like mix of chopped parsley, oragano, lemon and garlic but otherwise, this bird was as nature intended.

    Perhaps any worries of a smoke-filled kitchen could be averted by indirect grilling instead? It works on paper (high-heat, no-fuss) and it worked for me!
  • Post #9 - August 1st, 2008, 10:18 am
    Post #9 - August 1st, 2008, 10:18 am Post #9 - August 1st, 2008, 10:18 am
    I had no smoking problems, and the chicken turned out great. Make sure to clean up your roasting pan before the drippings cool, or it will be a lot harder to get clean.
    What if the Hokey Pokey really IS what it's all about?
  • Post #10 - August 1st, 2008, 4:41 pm
    Post #10 - August 1st, 2008, 4:41 pm Post #10 - August 1st, 2008, 4:41 pm
    Bill/SFNM wrote:This recipe also translates well to indirect cooking in a hot smoker in case you want to move it outdoors.

    Bill/SFNM


    Bill,

    Could you expand a little on this technique for us newbies (I'm only on Step 3 of GWiv's 5-Step Program).
    Thanks for your help.

    Jyoti
    Jyoti
    A meal, with bread and wine, shared with friends and family is among the most essential and important of all human rituals.
    Ruhlman
  • Post #11 - August 1st, 2008, 5:28 pm
    Post #11 - August 1st, 2008, 5:28 pm Post #11 - August 1st, 2008, 5:28 pm
    jygach wrote:Bill,

    Could you expand a little on this technique for us newbies (I'm only on Step 3 of GWiv's 5-Step Program).
    Thanks for your help.

    Jyoti


    Jyoti,

    Depends on the smoker, but here are a few comments:

    1. There is a step in the recipe that calls for basting the bird (after roasting) with the cooking juices. This implies a receptacle under the bird to collect the juices, which, for the most part, eliminates grilling or spit-roasting directly over coals/flames. IIRC, the WSM has a water container that sits between the coals and the grids. If you fill it with water, you will be defeating Keller's goal of keeping the process as free of moisture as possible. Perhaps you can leave the container empty or fill it with dry sand. Others who are familiar with the operation of the WSM can give you better advice.

    2. The goal of most smokers is to cook "low and slow" in temps around 225F-275F. But in most smokers, it is easy to burn more fuel and give it more air to get the temp into "higher and faster" ranges. I simply open up the intake vents of my offset to get a higher temp.

    3. Temps will fluctuate in a smoker. The size of the bird will also vary so I always use a temperature-probe in the thigh to know when the bird when it is just done. I hate overcooked or undercooked chicken.

    4. It is very likely you will see red or pink near the bones, even if the thermometer tells you the bird is done. This is a reaction between the smoke and bird and does NOT mean the meat is raw (think ham). You may have difficulty convincing people this is the case.

    Hope this helps a little.

    Bill/SFNM
  • Post #12 - August 2nd, 2008, 2:30 am
    Post #12 - August 2nd, 2008, 2:30 am Post #12 - August 2nd, 2008, 2:30 am
    It might be easier to do it in a covered charcoal grill via the indirect method. That would readily give you a high temperature as well as allow you to use a drip pan.
  • Post #13 - August 5th, 2008, 11:07 pm
    Post #13 - August 5th, 2008, 11:07 pm Post #13 - August 5th, 2008, 11:07 pm
    Bill/SFNM wrote:
    stevez wrote:I haven't seen or made Keller's recipe specifically, but when I high heat roast chicken, I pour a cup or two of water in the bottom of the roasting pan. That cuts down on the smoke considerably.


    This would defeat Keller's goal to eliminate as much moisture as possible.

    Bill/SFNM


    When I was last at Bouchon (Las Vegas) I spoke with one of the staff for a while about their roast chicken which I thought was outstanding. He said that they cook it in a high heat oven that maintains a level of moisture, so their actual method seems to go against the low-moisture approach of the cookbook recipe.

    Shirley O. Corriher also has a recipe for high-temperature roasted chicken with water bath that I am trying tonight. Skin does not look very crispy as it sits on the counter, so I don't know if I'll try it again. Then again, I didn't baste with butter and corn syrup mixture as she recommended, so that could be one problem.

    At any rate, my usual method is one that came off a Jaques Pepin show which is similar to Keller (around 40 minutes at 425) but he starts it off in a pan on the cooktop with a little oil and flips the bird a few times during the oven cooking. That has always worked well for me and I'll probably go back to it in the future, although EatChicago's idea of potatoes catching the drippings in a roasting pan sounds darn good.
    Last edited by wak on August 6th, 2008, 1:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  • Post #14 - August 6th, 2008, 10:01 am
    Post #14 - August 6th, 2008, 10:01 am Post #14 - August 6th, 2008, 10:01 am
    Bill/SFNM wrote:
    jygach wrote:Bill,

    Could you expand a little on this technique for us newbies (I'm only on Step 3 of GWiv's 5-Step Program).
    Thanks for your help.

    Jyoti


    Jyoti,

    Depends on the smoker, but here are a few comments:

    1. There is a step in the recipe that calls for basting the bird (after roasting) with the cooking juices. This implies a receptacle under the bird to collect the juices, which, for the most part, eliminates grilling or spit-roasting directly over coals/flames. IIRC, the WSM has a water container that sits between the coals and the grids. If you fill it with water, you will be defeating Keller's goal of keeping the process as free of moisture as possible. Perhaps you can leave the container empty or fill it with dry sand. Others who are familiar with the operation of the WSM can give you better advice.

    2. The goal of most smokers is to cook "low and slow" in temps around 225F-275F. But in most smokers, it is easy to burn more fuel and give it more air to get the temp into "higher and faster" ranges. I simply open up the intake vents of my offset to get a higher temp.

    3. Temps will fluctuate in a smoker. The size of the bird will also vary so I always use a temperature-probe in the thigh to know when the bird when it is just done. I hate overcooked or undercooked chicken.

    4. It is very likely you will see red or pink near the bones, even if the thermometer tells you the bird is done. This is a reaction between the smoke and bird and does NOT mean the meat is raw (think ham). You may have difficulty convincing people this is the case.

    Hope this helps a little.

    Bill/SFNM


    If you were making this in the WSM you could use a water pan (with no water) that's covered with a shallow foil pan made of a couple sheets of heavy duty foil. The foil pan would catch the drippings to be used at the end of the cook for basting and since the foil pan is not touching the hot bottom of the water pan, the drippings will be less likely to burn. You could also just use a small pan placed on the bottom grill above the empty water pan to collect the drippings.

    Using fully lit lump charcoal, unsoaked wood chunks, and keeping the vents wide open would help raise the heat level to achieve the crispy skin.

    I like Keller's idea about salting liberally with a tablespoon of kosher salt so that when it's done you can see the salt granules baked into the skin.
    "Good stuff, Maynard." Dobie Gillis
  • Post #15 - August 6th, 2008, 5:15 pm
    Post #15 - August 6th, 2008, 5:15 pm Post #15 - August 6th, 2008, 5:15 pm
    Hi,

    The first time I did a high heat chicken roasting was well over 10 years ago following a tip from Martha Stewart. I guess this is one of those methods that is rediscovered from time to time.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
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  • Post #16 - August 7th, 2008, 10:09 am
    Post #16 - August 7th, 2008, 10:09 am Post #16 - August 7th, 2008, 10:09 am
    wak wrote:At any rate, my usual method is one that came off a Jaques Pepin show which is similar to Keller (around 40 minutes at 425) but he starts it off in a pan on the cooktop with a little oil and flips the bird a few times during the oven cooking. That has always worked well for me and I'll probably go back to it in the future, although EatChicago's idea of potatoes catching the drippings in a roasting pan sounds darn good.


    I can confirm that setting the chicken over top sliced potatoes works out brilliantly. It can be tricky to cut them just thin enough that it cooks through while not not turning dry and crispy, but 1/4" seems to work well enough.
    best,
    dan
  • Post #17 - March 23rd, 2009, 7:07 pm
    Post #17 - March 23rd, 2009, 7:07 pm Post #17 - March 23rd, 2009, 7:07 pm
    Making this tonight and got extraordinarily freaked out until I figured out ( THANKS GOOGLE! ) that this extra part that looks like a worm is a trachea.

    Chicken packers, if you don't want people to think their bird has HYOOGE worms, don't leave the trachea in, or at least post a warning on the bird.

    Click at own risk to see scary looking image of chicken neck with trachea next to it (it was inside the tube-like opening at the top of the neck).
    http://uic.edu/~katman/trachea.jpg
    Leek

    SAVING ONE DOG may not change the world,
    but it CHANGES THE WORLD for that one dog.
    American Brittany Rescue always needs foster homes. Please think about helping that one dog. http://www.americanbrittanyrescue.org
  • Post #18 - March 23rd, 2009, 11:05 pm
    Post #18 - March 23rd, 2009, 11:05 pm Post #18 - March 23rd, 2009, 11:05 pm
    .
    Thomas Keller Roast Chicken Recipe
    Sauce on the side, always, implied, axiomatic..........never a doubt, BBQ sauce without.

    Low & Slow
  • Post #19 - March 24th, 2009, 12:27 am
    Post #19 - March 24th, 2009, 12:27 am Post #19 - March 24th, 2009, 12:27 am
    As a recent convert to this recipe, I'm really curious how well it would work with chicken wings. I always deep fry mine, but the pain is that you can only do small batches at a time and you have to serve them immediately (at least I haven't found a satisfactory way to hold them). Keller's chicken recipe produces a very nice, crisp skin that I think would be suitable enough for wings. I wonder if the recipe would work, or if the wings would simply become dried out after that long cooking time. An experiment is in order....
  • Post #20 - March 24th, 2009, 8:23 am
    Post #20 - March 24th, 2009, 8:23 am Post #20 - March 24th, 2009, 8:23 am
    leek wrote:Making this tonight and got extraordinarily freaked out until I figured out ( THANKS GOOGLE! ) that this extra part that looks like a worm is a trachea.


    Useful safety tip. I'm not squeamish, but looking at your picture, I'd have come to the same conclusion.
  • Post #21 - March 24th, 2009, 8:36 am
    Post #21 - March 24th, 2009, 8:36 am Post #21 - March 24th, 2009, 8:36 am
    Binko wrote:As a recent convert to this recipe, I'm really curious how well it would work with chicken wings. I always deep fry mine, but the pain is that you can only do small batches at a time and you have to serve them immediately (at least I haven't found a satisfactory way to hold them). Keller's chicken recipe produces a very nice, crisp skin that I think would be suitable enough for wings. I wonder if the recipe would work, or if the wings would simply become dried out after that long cooking time. An experiment is in order....

    The first time I did this recipe, I trussed my chicken a little funny and the wings were folded flat under the bird, which I cooked in a cast-iron skillet.

    Best. Wings. Ever.

    Seriously. By a long shot the best chicken wings I've ever had of any kind. I haven't quite duplicated the magic of that first try yet, but there's merit to your suspicions.
    Dominic Armato
    Dining Critic
    The Arizona Republic and azcentral.com
  • Post #22 - March 24th, 2009, 9:32 am
    Post #22 - March 24th, 2009, 9:32 am Post #22 - March 24th, 2009, 9:32 am
    leek wrote:Making this tonight and got extraordinarily freaked out until I figured out ( THANKS GOOGLE! ) that this extra part that looks like a worm is a trachea.

    Chicken packers, if you don't want people to think their bird has HYOOGE worms, don't leave the trachea in, or at least post a warning on the bird.

    Click at own risk to see scary looking image of chicken neck with trachea next to it (it was inside the tube-like opening at the top of the neck).
    http://uic.edu/~katman/trachea.jpg


    And thanks, LTH. I noticed this same thing for the first time on Sunday when cooking up a batch of broth, and I don't recall having seen it before. I took the bird out of the freezer, and the goofy little thing was poking about an inch out of the neck taunting me as the bird thawed in the pot. I wonder if this is a new lagniappe in chicken packaging.
  • Post #23 - March 24th, 2009, 9:34 am
    Post #23 - March 24th, 2009, 9:34 am Post #23 - March 24th, 2009, 9:34 am
    I've had this happen too, Dom - I don't truss: I flip the wings backwards and underneath the bird, and thread the legs through the skin at the opening. I think it has to do with the wings being pressed flat into the hot cast iron by the juicy, fatty chicken. If you're doing just wings, I'd guess you'd need to replace the chicken carcass somehow - bricks wrapped in foil wrapped in bacon?
  • Post #24 - March 29th, 2009, 9:14 pm
    Post #24 - March 29th, 2009, 9:14 pm Post #24 - March 29th, 2009, 9:14 pm
    I liked Thomas Keller's recipe so much that I tried it several times after first reading about it, just to get the technique down and adjust it to my oven. Now I'm to the point that I only have to see "Thomas Keller" and I'm off to roast a chicken. Like, say, right now.

    But lately I'm all about the spatchcock. I can't remember the last time I roasted a whole chicken "in the round" with lemons and garlic and such stuffed inside. Not that I don't love the flavor of those things roasted, but where's the pleasure in "carving" something as small as a chicken? I'll save that for turkey and goose. For chicken, I cut out the backbone and cut off the wing tips (saving them for stock), smash the lovely bird down flat in a big glass dish, sprinkle it with some olive oil, salt, pepper, herbes de Provence, and sprigs of fresh thyme, and roast away.

    (In pursuit of a crispy skin, I don't put anything wet but a little olive oil on the chicken, but for the flavor and aroma, and to keep a black burnt residue from forming in my mom's Corningware dish, I put a bit of sherry around the sides.)

    As economy goes, I got tonight's hefty roaster at a super Target for $1.99/lb. Per pound pricing is driving a lot of my shopping choices these days.
    "I would gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today."
  • Post #25 - March 30th, 2009, 6:57 pm
    Post #25 - March 30th, 2009, 6:57 pm Post #25 - March 30th, 2009, 6:57 pm
    I also usually spatchcock it. I keep the tips on, we love to gnaw those crunchy things :)
    Leek

    SAVING ONE DOG may not change the world,
    but it CHANGES THE WORLD for that one dog.
    American Brittany Rescue always needs foster homes. Please think about helping that one dog. http://www.americanbrittanyrescue.org
  • Post #26 - March 31st, 2009, 7:31 pm
    Post #26 - March 31st, 2009, 7:31 pm Post #26 - March 31st, 2009, 7:31 pm
    Today I made stock with the leftover carcass and the frozen backbone and wingtips. Next time I think I'll just roast the backbone and wingtips in the dish with the rest of the bird.
    "I would gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today."
  • Post #27 - April 1st, 2009, 12:17 pm
    Post #27 - April 1st, 2009, 12:17 pm Post #27 - April 1st, 2009, 12:17 pm
    does anyone have experience using the recipe with just drumsticks, or just thighs, etc? thanks
  • Post #28 - April 1st, 2009, 2:27 pm
    Post #28 - April 1st, 2009, 2:27 pm Post #28 - April 1st, 2009, 2:27 pm
    Made this chicken the other night...really good. Leek, I like the EAT that little wormey thing. I suck it right out...sort of like marrow to me. Anyway, took the rest of the chicken, made two different chicken caseroles and boiled the bones and extra bits for some nice stock. Do I know how to squeeze a chicken or what! :D
  • Post #29 - April 1st, 2009, 2:34 pm
    Post #29 - April 1st, 2009, 2:34 pm Post #29 - April 1st, 2009, 2:34 pm
    dudefella wrote:does anyone have experience using the recipe with just drumsticks, or just thighs, etc? thanks


    When I was a kid, my mother would broil cut-up chicken parts in what was essentially a similar process. I'd imagine it would work quite well. This looks like a good recipe; you could alter the seasonings as you wish.
  • Post #30 - April 21st, 2009, 12:41 pm
    Post #30 - April 21st, 2009, 12:41 pm Post #30 - April 21st, 2009, 12:41 pm
    I made the Thomas Keller roast chicken last night and it was amazing - by far the best I've ever made. It came out just as you all said it would with very crispy skin and juicy meat. And the smoke in the oven wasn't too bad.

    But even better than the chicken were the potatoes I roasted with it. Seriously, wow! They were crispy and rich from the chicken fat, just amazing. My only regret is not using more potatoes (I used about 1 pound of fingerlings, sliced 1/4-inch thick lengthwise and tossed with salt).

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