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Jul 11, 2007 12:45 PM

Homegrown chicken - high and fast or low and slow?

I am in possession of a beautiful homegrown chicken - about 6-ish lbs - that was raised by a neighbour. I know these chickens are not as tender as the store-bought kind (because they actually had a bit of a life, while they were alive) so I'm wondering how to roast it. What do you think: high temperature, quick cooking or lower temperature, longer cooking? I'm probably just going to season it with salt, pepper, garlic, olive oil and maybe rosemary or something like that. I don't want to braise it - just a nice roasted chicken.

Doing it tonight so I need answers asap. Thanks!

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  1. What do you usually prefer/do? I'm a high and fast fan myself, because it gives the best skin with little fuss. I rub it with olive oil, herbs de provence, and salt. I like to tuck a 1/4 lemon and some parsley in the cavity if I have it--makes it juicier. My mother rubs hers with a mix of mayo and dijon and tops it with herbs--also good. I cook em at 425. A 6-pounder will probably take a good hour, hour 15. I would strongly recommend setting it out on the counter for an hour to bring it up to temp--esp. if it has been frozen--you want that bird to be the same temp all the way through.

    FWIW, for years my mom raised her own chickens and she likes to cook them relatively quickly. If your neighbour is raising a heavy breed typical of broiler and roaster chickens rather then a laying breed, the size shouldn't make the bird any tougher than other chickens--age WILL make it tough, but a 6 pound roaster is usually still quite young--maybe 3-4 months.

    1. I would do high and fast to roast the chicken. Low and slow is meant to break down connective tissue and result in tenderizing the meat. Since chicken does not have the marbling that say, a brisket would, I think this technique would not apply.
      Besides, ya gotta crisp that skin:)

      1. Thanks to both of you. I'll do it high and fast. The chickens were definitely young - but pretty unnaturally large for their age. They told me they were 6 weeks old when they were butchered. They weren't given any hormones or other crazy foods - they just must be genetically inclined to grow quickly. I have another 4 of them in the freezer so I hope they're delicious.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Nyleve

          I know some years my mom's would be 6 pound bruisers and other years 4 1/2 petites. They are bred to put meat on fast. I couldn't remember the exact timing, but I thought it was a couple of months from chicks to freezer. Enjoy them, they are probably delicious and chickeny.

          1. re: dct

            Delicious! It turned out beautifully. I stuffed it with a few roughly chopped garlic cloves, plenty of salt and pepper, some whole sprigs of fresh rosemary and a sliced lemon. Brushed the skin with a mixture of olive oil, chopped garlic, chopped fresh rosemary, salt and pepper. 425o with the convection oven turned on - 1 hour and about 20 minutes. It was juicy and perfect. Not the least bit tough - just a tad more chewing needed for the dark meat, that's all.

            Thanks everyone!