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  1. #1

    Basic Roast Chicken

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    Basic Roast Chicken
    (from Mark Bittman's "How to Cook Everything")

    • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil or 1/4 cup butter (or a combination)
    • 1 whole chicken, 3 to 4 pounds, trimmed of excess fat and cut into 8 pieces or any combination of chicken parts
    • salt & freshly ground black pepper
    • 1/4 cup any mild green herbs, such as parsley, dill, basil (optional) or 1/4 cup sage (optional) or 1/4 cup of any combination of herbs (optional)


    1. Preheat your oven to 450F.
    2. Put the oil or butter in a roasting pan and place it in the oven for a couple of minutes, until the oil is hot or the butter is melted.
    3. Remove from the oven and add the chicken, turning it a few times to coat with the fat. Leave skin side up.
    4. Season with salt and pepper and return the pan to the oven and let the chicken cook for about 15 minutes.
    5. Toss in 1/4 of the herbs you are using and turn the chicken a few times. Sprinklw with another 1/4 of the herbs and return to the oven until the chicken is done (juices run clear when a small incision is made near the bone), a total of 30 to 40 minutes depending on the size of your chicken parts.
    6. Skim excess fat from the pan juices, if necessary. Garnish with remaining herbs and serve with some of the pan juices spooned over.

    Roast Chicken with Black Beans:

    Soak fermented black beans in water, sherry, or wine. Instead of butter or olive oil, use peanut oil or another more neutral oil (grapeseed or corn). Mix together:

    1 tablespoon minced garlic
    2 minced green onions
    1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
    2 tablespoons soy sauce
    1 teaspoon sugar or honey

    Drain the black beans and mix everything together. If necessary use a little more soy sauce to thin it to a paste.

    Spread a little of the mixture all over the chicken before placing it in the roasting pan. Proceed as above, but instead of adding herbs, baste with the black bean paste.

    More Ideas for Variations (add at the beginning of cooking unless otherwise specified):
    Use stronger herbs such as thyme, sage, oregano, or rosemary

    Several (or many) cloves of garlic

    A cup of chopped onion, shallot, or leek

    A cup of sliced mushrooms (after the 1st 15 minutes of cooking)

    A lot of dried hot chiles or a couple of roasted, soaked, chopped mild chiles (or both)

    Add 2 or 3 lemons (orange and limes are good too), cut in half; once the chicken is done squeeze the hot juice over it

    Use peanut oil instead of olive oil and add slices of ginger and garlic after the 2nd 15 minutes of cooking; drizzle with soy sauce and/or sesame oil once done and garnish with green onions or cilantro

    Use a compound butter, flavored oil, or vinaigrette at the beginning of cooking and for basting

    Rub the chicken with 1/2 cup of pesto or other herb paste

    Stir in a dollop of grainy mustard once the chicken is done

    Add a handful of cherry tomatoes and black olives after the 2nd 15 minutes of cooking

    Stir in salsa during the last 10 minutes of cooking or spoon over top when finished cooking

    Stir in a couple of tablespoons of any curry powder into a cup of yogurt or coconut milk and spoon or brush it on the chicken as a basting sauce during cooking
    We may live without poetry, music and art; We may live without conscience, and live without heart; We may live without friends; we may live without books, But civilized man cannot live without cooks.

  2. #2
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    cali baker's Avatar
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    Nov 2011
    Southern California

    Re: Basic Roast Chicken

    I do love roast chicken! Thanks for sharing this recipe and all the other ideas. I like Mr.Bittman's book, btw, and have used many recipes from that one.

  3. #3

    Re: Basic Roast Chicken

    Sounds good!

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