Happy Fall! The weather has finally turned and we’re getting lots of cool autumn winds this week. It seemed like the perfect excuse to pull out the roaster and make an epic late September Sunday roast this past weekend. We love this roasting method so much and I wanted to share it with you so you can join in on making our cozy Sunday suppers. I was able to shoot some pics of this roast chicken before we devoured it accompanied by hot rice and a salad. That pan gravy though. Don’t sleep on this one!
Jake and I developed this cooking method together through trial and error and it never fails to produce a crispy-skinned yet juicy and tender roast chicken every time. The key is starting out at a higher heat in a preheated roaster to get that golden crispy skin. Then turning the oven off completely for the last part of the cooking time to ensure that the meat does not dry out and remains juicy and tender and literally falls off the bone.
The roasting pan is an important part of this method as well. We’ve tried out a bunch, including the disposable tin ones (do not recommend), and the most effective type for holding in and conducting an even heat is made from enameled cast iron. After researching roasters we settled on and purchased this large one from Staub and have been very happy with it. You know I love me some cast iron cookware, but I don’t like cooking with liquids or acidic ingredients (like white wine) on plain cast iron because of the way those ingredients react with the cooking surface. Enameled cast iron, although a bit more pricey, is worth the investment here because it really stands far and above the rest of the options.
You may remember me foraging for wild sumac a few weeks ago on my Instagram story. I hadn’t really used sumac before this and I am hooked. It’s so good on chicken, fish, and veggies. If you haven’t had the pleasure of trying it yet, the flavor is very bright and citrusy, akin to lemon juice. Sumac is a standard component in za’atar spice blends and is used frequently in the cuisines of the Eastern Mediterranean region. Here in the northeast region of the USA and Canada, sumac was used historically by Native American cultures as a food and medicine. The bright red berries can be used to make a tangy drink similar to lemonade.
tips and tricks for a perfect roast chicken every time
- Invest in an enameled cast iron roasting pan. After trying out different roasting pans nothing compares to the heat conductivity of cast iron. Once it gets hot it stays hot and ensures an even heat source throughout the cooking time. I like enameled cast iron instead of plain cast iron for this because you can add liquid and acidic ingredients like wine without having to worry about it reacting with the cast iron.
- We prefer not to truss whole chickens when roasting them because we found it to be an unnecessary step. The legs actually cook better when untrussed with the method outlined in the recipe.
- Don’t skimp on salt and seasonings. Bland chicken is the worst. Salt is important for bringing out the best flavor of any meat. Don’t be shy with your seasonings.
- Rub that bird! Don’t be afraid to really get your hands “dirty” and rub the seasoning into the skin and under the skin of the breasts to maximize the flavor factor.
- Starting the cooking process out on a high heat ensures a perfectly crispy skin every time.
- Turn off the heat. Turning the oven off for the latter part of the cooking time ensures a supremely juicy and tender chicken every time. No more dry chicken breast!
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