tips for freezing and a recipe
By: Jessica Davis-Stein (Mar 26, 2009)
These are wonderfully fresh chickens weighing about 21/2 to 3 lbs. If you order more than you can immediately use the best way to preserve for later cooking is to rinse each well, inside and out in cold water, pat dry and season with salt - about 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon for each bird, inside the cavity as well as out. You can also rub with slices of lemon before salting if you like. Then freeze them separately in home freezer, not in a deep free. Thaw overnight in refrigerator before cooking. Don't rinse again and additional salt is usually not needed for cooking.
To roast: Rub bird with olive oil and season with pepper and crushed garlic to taste. Fill cavity of bird with fresh herbs if available, I use a generous handful of rosemary stalks that I pull out and discard after cooking. Lightly oil roasting pan and scatter sliced potatoes, carrots, turnips, or any root vegetable along with several unpeeled garlic cloves. Place chicken on rack and set rack in place over vegetables. Lightly cover with paper or foil and allow to rest on counter for on hour before cooking (this brings bird to room temperature for more even cooking). Roast uncovered in preheated oven (350 degrees or 300 if convection roasting) for approximately 1 hour twenty minutes, until leg joint moves freely and juices run clear if skin of thigh is pierced with a fork.
Comments on this Review:
Gloria Putnam says: (Apr 29, 2009)
Great tips, thanks! What you describe is very close to how I treat my chickens from Rainbow Ranch. Why do you prefer the home freezer to the deep freeze for storing the chickens? Today I store them in the deep freeze, but I do bring them to room temp before roasting, as you suggest. The only other thing I do differently is that I put 1 cup of water in the pan. I don't know if this makes a big difference, but its the recommendation from Cooks Illustrated, and those test kitchen cooks are pretty smart, so I take their word for it. When Meyer Lemons are in season I sometimes stuff the cavity with lemon slices instead of (or in addition to) herbs, and that's delicious too.