Thursday, October 21, 2010

Roasting a Chicken: Mason Jar Style

Beer-can chicken was all the rage for a while, and it is quite moist and delicious.  The first time I made a chicken in this fashion I was amazed at how JUICY it was.  I want to share my tips for what makes a perfect chicken, every time.

First, I make sure I remove all the innards.  Nothing worse that cooking a bag of plastic with your bird.

Then I take a small Mason jar (12 oz), and fill it with a variety of things.  I usually start off with salted broth, but you could use water, juice, beer, tea, lemon juice, etc.  Then I add seasonings.  Usually I base these ingredients on what I will be coating the chicken with and how it can compliment my side dishes.  This particular one I put in bruised lemongrass pieces and an onion.  You place this jar in the middle of your pan.

Then salt and pepper the bird while it is laying down.  Or you can get creative and add cumin, or rosemary, or cinnamon.  The options are limitless.  Then, place the bird on top of the mason jar, pushing it down a bit to have it fit snugly.  Sometimes I can get the legs to cross, not this time.

Then, I fill the roasting pan with veggies.  Again, options are limitless.  I used brussel sprouts and onions.  But I have used: carrots, cauliflower, squash, garlic, beets, etc.  I also pour chicken fat over the veggies and give them a bit of salt.

Bake low in the oven at 350* for about 1 1/2 hours.

To ensure a chicken is baked well enough, you should be able to pull the wing off with ease.  Let the chicken rest for several minutes before cutting.  I used to try to wrestle the chicken off the jar, but now I cut all my bits off while it stands there at attention.

Once you have collected all the chicken off the carcass, you now have half the makings for some bone broth.  You can start a pot now, or throw this carcass in the freezer for another day.

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