Lake Norman Magazine

Countdown Chicken

Richard Rudisill

The one question most chefs get asked more than any other”what is the best way to cook chicken to keep it from getting dry?” The reply, “don’t overcook it.” Simply enough, right? Not so much. What does that mean and how can that be done and it still be safe? It is pretty simple actually.The safe temperature zone for poultry is 160 degrees. This means, cooking chicken up to 160 degrees kills any unsafe bacteria that may exist and it is safe to consume. Now, it is really easy to cook something over 160 degrees, but therein lies the conundrum. In order for the chicken not to overcook, and dry out, the chicken needs to finish cooking right at or just barley over that mark. Here are a few tips to keep any cut of chicken moist and juicy. 1). pat chicken dry with a paper towel, this prevents the chicken from steaming instead of roasting. 2). lightly oil and season before putting in medium heat pan/grill. 3). start in pan/grill (direct heat) to cook golden brown. 4). move to oven/grill (indirect heat) to finish cooking slow and evenly. 5) remove and allow to rest before cutting.For me there is no better meal than one that includes roast chicken. Below is a full (fool) proof method to roast a whole chicken with little fuss and perfect results every time. It is the simplest, easy to do recipe that you will ever come across. Use the chart below to guide you through the “countdown” process based on the size of your chicken. Be sure to follow all the tips listed to ensure the moistest and juiciest chicken you will ever have. Share it with your family and friends so everyone can enjoy a perfectly roasted chicken in their weekly rotation.Find more great recipes like these from Chef Troy on his website, and be sure to watch Troy live every Tuesday morning on WCCB Charlotte’s morning show News Rising from 7-9 am. Countdown Chicken 1 Each-Roaster or Fryer Chicken (roaster 4-5 pounds-fryer 3-4 pounds) To Rub-Olive Oil To Season-Chef Troy’s Spice Mix or Back RubDirections1. Preheat oven to (roaster 425 degrees or fryer 400 degrees02. Preheat an iron skillet or oven safe pan over medium heat.3. Pat chicken dry, inside and out, with paper towel.4. Lightly rub entire outside chicken with oil.5. Season chicken inside and out liberally.6. Drizzle a couple tablespoons of oil in the pan and swirl to coat pan.7. Add chicken breast side down and cook to brown the skin slightly, 2-3 minutes.8. Turn chicken on its side for 2-3 minutes and repeat on opposite side.9. Flip chicken in pan, breast side up and place in oven.10. Set timer for 15 minutes and keep door closed at all times. 11. When timer goes off drop temperature by 25 degrees and set timer for another 15 minutes.12. Repeat this every 15 minutes and dropping temperature 25 degrees each time.13. After an hour lower temperature another 25 degrees.14. Check internal temperature of chicken in deepest part of the thigh, pull chicken from oven at 150/155 degrees.15. The residual cooking will continue to cook chicken to over 160 degrees. 16. Begin basting with pan drippings every 5 minutes for an additional 15 minutes.17. Remove from oven and allow to rest at least 15 minutes, continue to baste with pan drippings.18. Carve and serve.

Cooking Chart:Roaster (4-5 Pounds)Starting Temp-425- 15 minutes400- 15 minutes375- 15 minutes350- 15 minutes

Basting Temp-325- 15 minutes

Resting Room Temp-15 minutes

Fryer (3-4 Pounds)Starting Temp400- 15 minutes375- 15 minutes350- 15 minutes325- 15 minutes

Basting Temp-300- 15 minutes

Resting Room Temp-15 minutes