Make Cooking Your Protein a Healthy Habit


Awesome Roasted Chicken

Cooking food well is a great way to make cooking a fun habit.  And, habitually cooking generally makes you a better cook.  I've got an important piece of information to share regarding cooking chicken. This isn't really a recipe I'm discussing here, it's a basic method.  Since a high protein diet is so important for so many, this method is very important, particularly if you are cooking for the whole family. 

If you are cooking for yourself, this makes a whole chicken, and so will make lovely lunches as well.  If you are doing a low fat diet instead, cook the chicken on the bone and remove the fat and skin afterwards.  The flavor of chicken comes from the skin and bones, so removing them before cooking renders a flavorless, spongy, and usually dry mass, à la hockey puck. Want boneless skinless chicken breasts? Roast the chicken and remove the breast meat after roasting.  With a filet knife, you can remove the entire breast in one stroke from the bird.

This method starts with a confession.  I've been cooking a whole chicken wrong for years, and I'm not the only one.    And I've made thousands of chickens. And they were good.  And then I watched a fateful video from a highly respected chef on YouTube, and suddenly, my life as a chicken cook changed completely. This may not sound very important to you, but if chicken always tasted as good as it could be, it would rival a good steak in its popularity. 

It was simple... really.  Let the chicken rest on the counter for an hour to approach room temperature.  Season it.  Truss it tightly.  Cook it at 475 degrees for 25 minutes, and then lower the temperature down to 400 degrees for another 40 minutes.  You know that layer of grease and chicken juices that is usually at the bottom of the roasting pan?  It shouldn't be there, it should still be inside the chicken, making it moist and juicy.  This sounds so simple, and yet, it is a world changing method.  Try it out with your favorite herb combination, pureed in the blender, and it can be marinating in these herbs for that hour while it warms to room temperature.

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