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Feb 8, 2007 05:58 AM

Zuni chicken question?

I'm making zuni chicken tonight, minus the bread salad... the 3-1/2 pound chicken's been sitting in the fridge for two days with thyme under the skin... Can someone please tell me if this is the right way to roast it tonight?

- preheat square pyrex dish to 450F in the oven.
- put chicken in breast-side-down and roast for thirty minutes.
- turn chicken right-side-up and roast for another fifteen minutes.
- eat.

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  1. According to the cookbook (and I followed these instructions a few weeks ago):

    1. preheat square pyrex dish to 450F in the oven - Yes. However, can a pyrex be heated at that high of a temperature? I'm not trying to be contrary, I honestly don't know.

    2. put chicken in breast-side-down and roast for thirty minutes - No. It should first be breast side up. Also, when you first put the chicken in the pan, there should be a sizzle. When it is in the oven, listen for the sizzle. If you don't hear any, turn the heat up a little until it does sizzle. If there is too much smoke or the skin is burning, turn the heat down a bit.

    3. turn chicken right-side-up and roast for another fifteen minutes. No. Well, you are flipping it but you should be flipping the bird so that the breast is down. Also, after 15 minutes, flip the bird back to breast side up so that hte skin crisps up again. This should be another 5-10 minutes.

    Here is the order of the flips.
    Breast side up (@30 minutes)
    Breast side down (@10-20 minutes)
    Breast side up (@5-10 minutes)
    Total time in oven - @ 45-50 minutes

    Prior to eating, let the bird rest for a few minutes.


    2 Replies
    1. re: beetlebug

      Thanks for the tips... I don't know either! I roast in my pyrex dishes all the time but the hottest I've got them is 400... and I usually heat them up slowly with the item to be cooked in them so it all heats up at the same time. I didn't think that it might not work for this :(

      1. re: Kajikit

        As mentioned below - I use a ceramic dish, and start off roasting the chicken at 550.

    2. I would be wary of putting a cold chicken into a pre-heated pyrex dish. Pyrex can stand to be heated quite high, but it doesn't handle thermal shock very well.

      Do you have another pan you can use?

      1 Reply
      1. I don't have a lot of cookware to choose from. I have a small square bakers secret cake pan, a rectangular ceramic roasting dish (that I usually use for cooking stuff) and the pyrex... Which do you think is safest? (would it help if i take the pyrex out of the fridge now and bring it up to room temperature?)

        (I remember my mother steaming her christmas pudding in a pyrex bowl every year... until one day she put it into the pan and heard a CRACK and it broke cleanly in half! She bought a metal dish after that.)

        2 Replies
        1. re: Kajikit

          I often use an oval ceramic cazuela to roast a chicken - I think that your ceramic dish would work.

        2. I'd go with the roasting dish as well, and roast as you describe in your initial post (if you flip it too many times it won't do anythin but take more of the delcious skin off each time!) I know that's what the cookbook said but they originally printed this recipe in Parade magazine in 1997 or something like that, and it didn't have all the flipping--and it turns out magnificently.
          Why not bread salad though? It's so easy...That's the best part, with the chicken dripping & vingar & currants & green onions & arugula...those flavors are fantastic with the crsipy roasted chciken, esp. the bit of vinegar. My husband detests all chicken dishes except for this one (with the bread salad).

          1 Reply
          1. re: Tabetai yo

            If the cooking vessel is properly heated AND the chicken skin is completely dry, the skin should not stick to the vessel during the flips. I've never encountered skin sticking issues. I also pat down the chicken with numerous paper towels before placing it on the hot cast iron skillet.

            Yum. Roast chicken. That sounds so appealing right now...

          2. The thermal shock issue would be mitigated by putting the pyrex in the cold oven and letting it heat up slowly with the oven.

            2 Replies
            1. re: lebelage

              The problem is though is that you put the cold chicken in the preheated dish.

              1. re: King of Northern Blvd

                Yep. I did this once and was picking pieces of pyrex out of all sorts of kitchen nooks for the next year and a half.