Chick on a Stick

It seems that this is fast becoming a food oriented blog. Of course, I think it's the cool weather that's arrived. A whole summer without heavy comfort foods that require turning on the oven has a lot to do with it too. However, after my last two cooking failures, I'm pulling back to basics from my past. Tonight I'm making Chick on a Stick which pretty failure proof. There'll also be a side of asparagas with Parmesan.

If you've never tried a vertical roaster, you've missed an excellent way to cook chicken AND get crispy skin! (If you don't know what it is just Google "vertical roaster".) Start with a nice little chicken and a about a dozen good size sprigs of fresh thyme. Wash the chicken and remove the "last over the fence" and as much of the fat as you can. Next you'll carefully loosen and separate the skin from the flesh by sliding your fingers between the two (do not remove the skin). After doing the back and breast areas continue to reach around loosening the skin from the legs. Now take the sprigs of thyme (thyme and chicken go particularly well together) and insert them all over the chicken under it's skin and in the cavity. Fold the wings back and place bird on the vertical roaster which has been sprayed with something like Pam. Put in an unheated oven or grill and turn the temperature to 475-500 F. When the oven or grill reach temperature, set your timer for 10 minutes. At 10 minutes turn the roaster a complete 180 degrees and cook 10 more minutes. If it's on the grill it may flame so be cautious. At this point the bird should be turning a nice deep brown. This varies depending on your grill or oven.

I left it in on high for almost 30 minutes one time. Once you have a deep crispy looking brown, turn the temp down to about 325-350 F. Cook until instant read thermometer in the deepest part of the thigh is 160 F. If I've cooked the bird in the oven, I began by putting the roaster in a 9? x 13" pan which makes taking the fat filled roaster out much easier. When I remove the chicken from the grill I have the same pan on hand. I stick a fork on each side of the bird, picking it and the roaster up as one placing it in the pan. Let sit tented with foil for a few minutes. I use two forks to get the chicken off the roaster; one to hold the roaster down and one to pull the chicken upward. If there's a lot of hot grease in the bottom of the roaster I lift bird and roaster out of pan with the original two forks and drain it for safety. Place on cutting board and carve away.

I recently watched an episode of Cooks Country America's Test Kitchen on PBS where they cooked the chicken this way but on a half full beer can sans the thyme. You can watch the episode here. They did rub the chicken before cooking with baking soda or powder and let it cool in the fridge uncovered for about an hour to further crisp the skin. I probably won't bother with that because I'm quite pleased with the current method I'm using.

Note:  you can also use fresh rosemary, oregano, marjoram, sage or a mixture of these under the skin. Just don't get too carried away with the sage, it can lean to the bitter side. Also, if putting a chicken in a cold oven worries you, just crank it up and pop it in after temperature is reached. Enjoy!



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