Chicken Four-Ways (Part 2)

I hope everyone had a good Labour Day weekend, and that you are settling into September.  I had what will likely be my last first day of school. Toronto had our first chillier day yesterday, so I know fall is in the air.

This is a continuation of my earlier cooking chicken adventures post. My kitchen bucket list had roasting a whole chicken for a very long time. I’m proud to say I can cross that off. Fryer chicken was on sale at the grocery store one week so I picked it up and set out to roast a chicken. Over the past couple years, I’ve read that it is actually not that difficult to roast a chicken, but it was still somewhat intimidating working with, well, an entire animal. Now I’m confident I know the anatomy of a chicken!

So what roast chicken recipe did I end up using? It’s called “Engagement Chicken”. The back story is  that several women served their boyfriends this chicken and later, the boyfriend asked the girlfriend to marry him. No, there is nobody I want to be engaged to right now. I borrowed 100 Recipes Every Woman Should Know from the library (I won’t go into the arguably sexist title here, but it is a surprisingly good recipe book), which contained the above recipe for roast chicken. It had an interesting story and seemed approachable, which was a plus.

The chicken turned out moist and flavourful from the lemon. I do need to keep working on that crispy browned skin. I also need to learn how to carve a chicken. Fortunately since I’m cooking for one, it really doesn’t matter how the chicken ends up looking on the plate.

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I was so pleased with cooking a whole chicken that I decided to buy another chicken while it was still on sale. This time I spatchcocked it by cutting out the back bone with a pair of kitchen shears. Totally not hard at all with scissors. Heehee, I love the word “spatchcock”.

chicken

I followed the recipe for huli huli chicken in Aida Mollencamp’s Keys to the Kitchen. Huli huli is a Hawaiian sauce. I marinated the chicken in pineapple juice, ginger, garlic and soya sauce before roasting it the oven.

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This is another good recipe to have on hand. You can’t go wrong with garlic. The sauce itself is dark so the chicken is not actually burnt. Although the recipe called to grill the chicken, since I don’t have a grill, I followed the instructions to roast it. This way I could also keep all the marinade in the roasting pan while in the oven.

I  saved the backbone for chicken stock — another food to-do list item, for sure! My other chicken to-do is to butcher a whole chicken into eight to ten parts (breast, thigh, drum, wing), and also learn how to butcher a chicken Chinese-style, which tends to serve cooked chicken cut up including the bones (e.g, the breast bone is part of the smaller breast pieces). I love learning new techniques in the kitchen.

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