Delicious and simple: roast chicken is probably one of the most common recipes in the average home cook's repertoire.
Unfortunately, we've all had a bad experience with a poorly done roasted poultry; dried-out breasts with underdone thighs will kill the joy of any meal.
However, with proper trussing, even the most inept cooks can master the art of roasting a chicken. Yes, that includes you.
Executive Chef Jim Leiken of Cafe Boulud shows us the proper way to tie-up a bird.
"Trussing is relatively simple," says Leiken. "The point is just to hold the shape to make the bird cook evenly. You're not knitting a sweater; you can even just tie the legs."
Step One: Place the chicken facing toward you and place your fingers inside the neck cavity to locate the wishbone. Carefully, remove the wishbone with a pairing knife. "You don't have to do this, but it ensures that you will get more meat when carving the bird after it's done," said Leiken.
Step Two: If the neck is still attached, tuck it under the body of the chicken.
Step Three: Start tying the bird by securing the legs with just one knot.
"Some people go crazy with all sorts of boy scouts knots. I like to keep it simple, because it makes it easier when you're untying the finished product," says Leiken.
Step Four: Press the breast down tightly toward the legs. Bring the string down around the nub or "pope's nose" -- essentially, the tail end of the bird -- and firmly loop it around.
Step Five: Pull the string forward, securely encircle the thighs of the bird, and flip it around.
Step Six: Squeeze the wings into the body with the string and tie it off. Make sure to tie the neck flap in tightly with the bird.
You're done! You're bird is ready to roast.
Follow Sara Ventiera on Twitter, @saraventiera.
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