Jennifer Aaronson, Editorial Director of Food and Entertaining for Martha Stewart Living, joins us for a stop along the Martha Stewart Living Blog Tour to give us helpful chicken roasting tricks and tips. Flip through the six scrumptious chickens, and don't forget to follow this week's tour: check out yesterday's post with winter gardening tips at The Stir and the final post on refinishing furniture at AOL DIY Life; and, as always, you can find more great entertaining and recipe ideas at MarthaStewart.com.
The new year is always a good time to start fresh, revisit the classics, and ramp up your basics. What does that mean in the kitchen? Roast chicken -- the go to for Sunday's family dinner (and Monday's sandwich and Tuesday's tacos...) as well as a no-fail dinner party favorite. We've put six new flavor-packed spins on the basic bird, perfecting technique along the way and defining The New Roast Chicken. Why reinvent the wheel every week? Put these 6 chickens in your back pocket and you'll have one tasty year.
Tips/tricks for great chicken:
1. Let raw chicken stand at (a cool) room temperature for at least one hour and up to two hours before roasting.
2. Dry skin really well before buttering or seasoning.
3. If stuffing under the skin, loosen the skin from the wider neck end- this way it is less likely that the skin will break and it will keep the smaller, pointed end of the breast covered to prevent it from drying out.
4. If you leave the raw chicken uncovered in the refrigerator overnight the skin will get nice and dry and result in extra crisp skin after roasting.
5. Buy a meat thermometer or make sure the one you have is calibrated (place in boiling water --at sea level it should read 212°).
6. Do not overcook- To check doneness insert thermometer into thigh- it should read 165° (also- juices will run clear after piercing meat and legs will wiggle easily).
Sweet, smoky paprika meets the mellow richness of roasted garlic in this perfectly spiced bird. "The inspiration for this recipe was the 1970s roast chicken with paprika and garlic powder that my mom made," says Martha Stewart Living food editor Sarah Carey. With fresh garlic taking the place of the old powder, you get deep flavor that's comforting but new. Get the recipe.
Kick up the classic combination of chicken, rosemary, and potatoes ever so slightly. The bird is rubbed with butter, salt, and--the secret ingredient--cornstarch. It's the key to the crunchy-crisp goodness of the skin. The potatoes, tossed with olive oil, develop a pale-golden crust while staying delectably tender within. Get the recipe.
The age-old pairing of chicken and citrus gets a delicious update. Orange wedges stand in where lemon often appears, and red onions provide a piquant balance. Slices of each cook inside the chicken and alongside it. The meat is kept moist and the skin crisp, thanks to a few tablespoons of orange-garlic butter rubbed in between. Get the recipe.
If juiciness is your goal, pop open a frosty one, set your chicken on top of the can, and then leave the pair alone in the privacy of your oven. The stout makes the meat incredibly moist and gives it a subtle sweet-and-malty flavor. A little leftover beer blended with a couple of tablespoons of fig jam transforms the pan drippings into a rich, tasty gravy. Get the recipe.
Indian cuisine celebrates chicken in remarkable ways, and this dish was inspired by classic tandoori cooking. Rich flavors result from rubbing the bird with a fragrant paste of spices, onion, and yogurt (which acts as a tenderizer) and letting it infuse the meat. The cucumber, lime, and chiles provide sharp, bright contrast to the seductively scented roast. Get the recipe.
Everyone loves stuffing. But baking it inside the bird means having to roast the chicken longer (risking dried-out meat), while baking it separately makes for a dull side dish. Here's how to get the best of both worlds: Rest your chicken atop this mushroom-and-sage dressing. The bread absorbs the juices (as it would inside the cavity) while getting crisp and toasty on top (as it would when baked separately). Best of all, the chicken cooks flawlessly on its fragrant bed. Get the recipe.