Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Broken Down Roast Chicken

Broken Down Roast ChickenIf your family is anything like mine they love roast chicken, but you don't always have a couple hours to sit around and baste a chicken. Also, since my wife is a breast person and I am a leg man it is extra nice to be able to cook a whole chicken. The recipe also has the benefit of reserving the extra bones to make a great stock. On top of all this, it is a quick prep and wonderful juicy chicken, some even say they like it better than a full roast chicken. Here is a video showing how I break down my chicken.

Recipe: Broken Down Roast Chicken
Serves 4-6 (this recipes is easily scaled, I have used 2 lb and 7 lb chickens), prep time 10 minutes, cook time approx 45 minutes

1 6 lb Broken Down Chicken (bones on, 2 breast, 2 legs, 2 wings)
2 tbsp coconut oil
1 tbsp butter

The Rub:
1 tbsp chili powder
1 tbsp roasted paprika
1 tbsp paprika
1 tbsp cumin
2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried parsley
1 tsp dried basil
1 tbsp sea salt
1 tsp peppercorns

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. After breaking down the chicken combine all the rub ingredients in a large mortar and pestle and grind until uniform. I understand that not everyone has a large mortar and pestle, my recommendation is buy one! Aside from that, make sure you grind the peppercorns and dried herbs before you mix them with the rest of the spices. The grinding helps release the flavours from the spices and herbs; hence it adds a little more flavour to the dish.

Liberally coat each piece of chicken on all sides with the rub and work it into the chicken. If you have extra rub save it for the next time you need a quick fix meal!

Heat your largest oven safe pan over high heat on the stove top. After the pan is up to temperature, add the oil and butter (the coconut oil will raise the burning point of the butter significantly).

Add each piece of chicken skin side down. The chicken should sizzle immediately if your pan is hot enough. Cook for 2 minutes then flip each piece of chicken. The breast may need to be turned a couple of times to sear all sides. The searing not only locks in the juices, but also will ensure crispy skin (my favourite part, the dog and I fight for my wife's skin)!

Once the skin side is up, place the entire pan in the oven. I suggest using a thermometer in the thickest part of the breast to determine cooking time. The chicken is ready when the breast temperature is between 175-180 degrees. I like to take my chicken out a little early and let it rest for a couple of minutes. This will ensure the temperature reaches the require 180 degrees but does not dry out.

A six pound chicken will take about 45 minutes to cook. If you do not have a thermometer, after about 40 minutes, you can take a little slice into the thickest part of the breast to make sure it is cooked through.

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