David Backhum, as my husband called it, came to dinner last night.
I did not take any photos of this venture on purpose as it might frighten some of you.
I decided to cook my first whole chicken yesterday... when I unpackaged the chicken.. I had a bigger surprise than I thought. feet with nails still on it, kidneys and hearts still inside, and this head with eyes staring right back at me. Oh it was horrendous. I didn't think I could do it. I had to beg my husband to get the head and the feet off and had to put on gloves to remove the heart and kidneys and liver. This is the reason why I am a Pastry chef and not a Savoury chef. I couldn't handle the full animal, I think I'd become a vegetarian.
But I have to say that after that first hour trying to manage that chicken, I was able to create a delicious roasted chicken that was incredibly moist and not dry at all!
The secret is in making a flavored butter and stuffing it between the skin and the meat of the breast and the legs. Try not to rip the skin and then massage the contents to spread them around the hard to reach places.
I used regular butter and herbs with a little bit of truffle oil. Avoid oil if you can because it becomes bitter when cooked, only mix it with a larger amount of butter.
I also stuffed the cavity with sauteed vegetables and a little precooked rice. The vegetables gave flavor to the chicken from the inside and also helped to keep it moist. Those veggies tasted delicious after being roasted too.
One more tip, every 30 minutes take the chicken out and pour the juices that fell ont he roasting pan back on. If you don't have enough juice add a little bit of white wine and drizzle on top.
The chicken took 1h 40 m to cook. It was a large chicken too.. so give it a shot.. I just hope your chicken is headless and feetless...
Here's what I used for the chicken:
Rubbing between skin: salted butter with tarragon and basil and truffle oil mushed into a paste.
For the Cavity: salt, pepper, sauteed red onion and leeks, cooked white rice, tarragon sprig, garlic clove
Seperately I cooked some white rice with the leftover sauteed leeks and red onion which didn't fit inside the cavity, and then for the last 10 minutes of roasting I placed it on the grill pan to soak the chicken's juices.
Remember to allow the chicken to rest 10 minutes before carving.