Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Operation: Deep Freeze- Homespun Beer Butt Style Chicken

I have started OPERATION: DEEP FREEZE at 0700 hours this morning.  A drastic realization collided into my thoughts as I gazed at my calendar. 

I have 10 large chickens ordered and they should be here near the end of June.  That's a lot of chicken! 

I couldn't pass up local farm raised chickens, so I ordered enough to last a few months.  I didn't consider the logical fact that my deep freeze is crammed full.  So today we embark on the task of cleaning out the deep freeze-  I passed on the camouflage make-up, but I rolled up my sleeves and dug to the bottom of our deep freeze.   If I make one item from the freezer a day, I should make enough room to keep my hens on ice.

My maneuver unearthed a forgotten chicken. 

Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner!

On the menu today is roasted chicken.  I might whip up some potatoes, harvest some lettuce from the garden, and thaw the last bag of frozen sweet corn.  That's not a shabby dinner and I am making a bit of headway on our goal.

I plan on roasting my chicken, "beer butt style".  This chick will be virgin, because I don't have beer in the house and I am not going to hit the bar or gas station at 7:15 in the morning.  I have used beer in the past, but lately I am sticking with my reliable homespun method.

I improvise by using an old glass mason jar. 

Here's what I do:

First, I brine my chicken in a salt water bath for several hours.  I love brining poultry-  it enhances the flavor and moisture.   While my girl is soaking, I lower the shelves in my oven.  I need enough space for the chicken to stand in the oven.

I fill the jar half-way with water, broth, or apple juice.  It depends on the day and what is handy.  I add onion slices, apple slices, crushed garlic, sage, basil, and other herbs I have in the garden.  I place the jar in a cake pan.

I violate the hen and gently stretch the large cavity.  I slide the chicken on top of the jar and make sure she is able to stand upright on the jar. 

Next, I slightly loosen the skin away from the meat.  I push sage, basil, onions, and garlic inside the skin so it sits directly on the meat. 

I generously rub salt, pepper, and paprika on the outside skin.

Voila!  Our girl is ready for a few hours in a 375 degree oven.  I suppose I should have cleaned my oven for her visit, but I am not the hostess with the mostess...

I usually let the chicken roast for 1 1/2 hours or more and then I pull her carefully off the jar.  I let her rest for a few minutes before I attempt this.  It may take a little work, but  she should slide off eventually. 

Do you have any tips for roasting chicken?

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