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Zuni Cafe roast chicken - if you've made it and liked it is there one you like even better?

c oliver Feb 25, 2011 03:04 PM

That about says it. I made it again last night and just love it. The golden, crispy skin, the moist bird, the herbs, the ease. I'm not looking for other recipes unless you've made the Zuni one also. Trying to do apples and apples :)

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  1. chowser RE: c oliver Feb 25, 2011 05:27 PM

    No. I've made roast chicken so many different ways, butterflied, different temps (starting high and reducing, staying high, staying at 350), on the grill, beer can and various soda cans, on a grill rotisserie, different pans, etc., etc. and Zuni is my standard. I very rarely get to the point where I decide, "This is it, I don't need to look further" but I have with this. I've varied it somewhat minimally, adding garlic cloves, different herbs but the technique itself, IMO, is unbeatable.

    2 Replies
    1. re: chowser
      c oliver RE: chowser Feb 25, 2011 05:55 PM

      That could be a HC thread of its own --- the recipes we don't tinker with :)

      I've cooked few roast chickens because I've never been impressed with the result. But after so many people praised/ranted about it, I became a believer. I look forward to looking back :) on the day I found the one true chicken religion :) Thanks for weighing in.

      1. re: chowser
        danna RE: chowser Mar 22, 2013 08:17 AM

        ditto. sometimes I don't salt far enough in advance, but I always use the Zuni method now.

      2. King of Northern Blvd RE: c oliver Feb 25, 2011 06:07 PM

        Zuni is my favorite but when I don't think ahead to the 3 day brine I do the Keller Roast Chicken. A very simple second option.

        1 Reply
        1. re: King of Northern Blvd
          c oliver RE: King of Northern Blvd Feb 25, 2011 06:09 PM

          That's a good idea. I do have to plan ahead for the Zuni one which considering my crazy schedule doesn't always work.

        2. ipsedixit RE: c oliver Feb 25, 2011 07:56 PM

          No, no favorite technique.

          My favorite roast chicken depends less on technique or cooking method and more on the type of chicken.

          Now when I am making roast chicken at home, I make sure to buy a freshly butchered chicken.

          Otherwise, I'm like chowser. I basically "sleep around" when it comes to how to prepare a roast chicken.

          1. bushwickgirl RE: c oliver Feb 26, 2011 01:31 AM

            To echo chower's post, aside from whatever various seasoning methods or ingredients you chose, imo I find that the high heat technique as per Zuni is the best way to roast a chicken.

            1. n
              NanH RE: c oliver Feb 26, 2011 07:18 AM

              I love the Zuni chicken. For me, the only downside is my discomfort with the amount of heat combined with the the amount of messing about with the chicken. I have yet to Zuni and not burn myself. Clearly a failing of the cook, not the recipe! I will say my first Zuni was what prompted me to buy those hot pads designed to slide over the pan handle.

              That's my winter chicken. In the summer, it's beer can on the grill. I try very hard not to turn on the over in the summer.

              5 Replies
              1. re: NanH
                c oliver RE: NanH Feb 26, 2011 07:53 AM

                Yes, I have an oven mitt that I really never use except when making this. It stays on it til it's completely cool. I'm pretty sure jfood has done the Z chick on the grill as he hates all the smoke when doing it in the oven.

                1. re: c oliver
                  n
                  NanH RE: c oliver Feb 26, 2011 08:07 AM

                  Mine doesn't smoke??? I have roasted turkey on the grill in the roasting pan, but I don't think I could get the grill hot enough without turning on the flame under the pan to do a Zuni chicken. Then there's the whole flipping part. My grill anyway, would be down to about 200 if I left the lip open for as long as it would take me to flip the bird.

                  1. re: NanH
                    c oliver RE: NanH Feb 26, 2011 08:20 AM

                    Here's his technique:

                    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/607864

                2. re: NanH
                  rabaja RE: NanH Feb 26, 2011 07:58 AM

                  Thanks f0r reminding me I need a last winter chicken!
                  Warming the place while making dinner is a plus in my casa, this time 0f year, anyway.
                  0n the menu this week, rain will be here Wednesday.

                  1. re: NanH
                    gingershelley RE: NanH Mar 23, 2013 08:19 AM

                    2nd, NanH on beer can chicken in the summer - perfectly juicy with crispy skin when cooked indirectly on my webber grill.

                  2. mamachef RE: c oliver Feb 26, 2011 08:17 AM

                    Apple brine and apple relish in the salad is perfect. And to answer your original query, NO. There's not a better recipe out there.

                    1. fldhkybnva RE: c oliver Mar 21, 2013 12:37 PM

                      I love roasted chicken and plan to give this recipe a shot this weekend. Just a quick question: if I plan to roast on Sunday night, salting it on Friday night is OK and just leave it for 2 days? Is that uncovered?

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: fldhkybnva
                        j
                        jaykayen RE: fldhkybnva Mar 21, 2013 12:51 PM

                        Yep. uncovered to dry out the skin.

                        1. re: fldhkybnva
                          c oliver RE: fldhkybnva Mar 21, 2013 01:11 PM

                          For Zuni, it's loosely covered. I use waxed paper. I don't think the recipe is long AT ALL. Mine are always done in under an hour.

                        2. foodieX2 RE: c oliver Mar 21, 2013 12:52 PM

                          I have made the zuni chicken a few times and while I like it very much I find the 1-3 day prep time is what stops me from loving it and rarely ever making it since it was the "it" thing a few years back. And thank god for Smitten Kitchen for developing a user friendly version of the recipe as the way the original one was written was WAY too long. I think it covered over three pages!

                          I find that I can get very similar results with Barbara Kafka high heat method in "Roasting". And it allows me to get home after a busy day and have perfectly roasted good sized chicken on the table in an hour or so with no prep.

                          12 Replies
                          1. re: foodieX2
                            fldhkybnva RE: foodieX2 Mar 21, 2013 07:59 PM

                            Yea, I guess that's my question. Is it the combination of the bread salad and chicken which makes this so great? The crisp skin? As someone who's never had it, what is everyone after with this recipe that's different than a usual herb roasted chicken?

                            1. re: fldhkybnva
                              c oliver RE: fldhkybnva Mar 21, 2013 08:15 PM

                              Tell ya what, why don't you make it one time and report back? I was never particularly happy with roast chicken til I made this.

                            2. re: foodieX2
                              c oliver RE: foodieX2 Mar 21, 2013 08:13 PM

                              The length of the recipe includes the bread salad. The chicken itself is less than an hour. The length of the recipe also includes extremely detailed instructions.

                              1. re: c oliver
                                foodieX2 RE: c oliver Mar 22, 2013 07:40 AM

                                I wasn't talking about the cook time I was talking about the length of the written recipe. As the authors of smitten kitchen showed you can clearly get the same results without the excess verbiage.

                                The zuni chicken may take "less than hour" buts that only because they say to only use very small chickens, ideally 2-3 lbs. In my family there is barely enough to feed us, never mind leftover for salad. Why spend 3 days on Zuni when I get similar, if not better results, with Kafka's method and I can use a chicken that will feed us well with leftovers?

                                And before anyone get their panties in bunch I am NOT dissing Zuni-it's a perfectly acceptable roasted chicken, especially for those with small appetites and/or families as well as the time to make it. If you haven't made it you should try it at least once.

                                1. re: foodieX2
                                  fldhkybnva RE: foodieX2 Mar 22, 2013 08:00 AM

                                  So not so spectacular to you that's it worth what you think is much more effort? I guess I'm trying to figure out the spectacularness. I don't doubt it and it's easy enough to roast a chicken to find out but just was interested in any more specific details.

                                  1. re: fldhkybnva
                                    foodieX2 RE: fldhkybnva Mar 22, 2013 08:21 AM

                                    Oh, it a really good roast chicken. Skin is crispy and flavorful, meat is moist and with good texture. I am glad I tried it. But to me the effort and the 2-3 day prep is not worth the end results, especially since I don't get the benefits of leftovers.

                                    Honestly think the interest is one of things based on it going "viral". People who ate it at the restaurant raved, they started to try to recreate it at home. It then started to show up on food blogs, got mentioned on TV and online and from there it got a life of its own. Zuni was the IT recipe a few years back and while many people have moved one there are just a many more who will fight you to death if you even dare talk trash about it, LOL

                                    I linked above to Barbara Kafka's high heat method and I find the results are as good, if not better, than Zuni. You get super crispy skin and perfectly cooked meat.

                                    I season my chicken really well with S&P and rosemary. I stick a halved lemon and maybe a quartered onion in the cavity. Pop in the oven and even with 4.0-4.5 lb chicken it is done between 60-90 minutes. Which to me is excellent as I can get home, turn on the oven and get changed. Pop the chicken in the oven and by the time its ready the table is set, the sides are made and my son and I have reconnected after a long day. The next day I have roast chicken for lunch and I can repurpose the rest for another dinner.

                                    The bread salad included in the zuni recipe is pretty good too. Neither my son or husband love it so I rarely make it other than for book club. The girls love it. (and don't tell anyone but a good rotisserie chicken works fine along with salad when I am really busy!)

                                    1. re: foodieX2
                                      fldhkybnva RE: foodieX2 Mar 22, 2013 08:29 AM

                                      Yea I "discovered" it by accident and then the more I researched the more it seemed like the best thing since sliced bread but perhaps it was more of a fever thing. I just couldn't believe the rave reviews I envisioned something akin to crack :)

                                      1. re: fldhkybnva
                                        foodieX2 RE: fldhkybnva Mar 22, 2013 08:39 AM

                                        crack chicken, LOL!

                                        I am always tempted to tell some of the zuni zombies "Seriously? Its roast chicken. That's it."

                                        If you like roast chicken you will love this recipe. If you don't I doubt this chicken will turn you into a chicken lover.**

                                        **yes yes, I know many of you hated all chicken until you had zuni and now you have given up on all other methods and it is your favorite food of ALL TIME.

                                  2. re: foodieX2
                                    c oliver RE: foodieX2 Mar 22, 2013 08:42 AM

                                    I can't find birds that small usually so go with under 4# and the cooking time is the same. There's no extra effort other than remembering ? - no small feat at my age. So I I want it for Saturday night dinner, I start it thawing on Tuesday, spend 5 minutes on Weds. s&p-ing it and putting herbs under the skin. In the fridge it goes til Sat. If I'm making the salad a lot of the components I can do hours ahead of time and it all comes together quickly. I think some people are turned off by a physically long recipe and will dismiss it for that reason. I actually appreciate a cookbook author who spells it ALL out. And I've only heard of the Zuni chicken here on CH. I'm not into the media aspect of food much.

                                    Also I will serve a 3-1/2 to 4# bird to 4 people and have leftovers. YMMV.

                                    1. re: c oliver
                                      foodieX2 RE: c oliver Mar 22, 2013 08:58 AM

                                      C- I can tell you are fully vested in this recipe. It is obvious that you love it and that it works for *you*. I am happy for you and glad you have found a roast chicken that you so greatly enjoy and brings you such happiness.

                                      Being a busy full time working mom it doesn't work for me to start preparing for a meal on Tuesday that wont be ready until Saturday unless said meal is what I consider superior, which clearly I don't. Zuni is a good chicken but to *me* it is not worth that effort. That does not make your love for it any less so please do not take it personally. If zuni brings you joy I would hope that my disagreeing does not offend you or in any way lessons your enjoyment.

                                      I am also happy that you can feed 4 people with leftovers using a 3.5-4.0 pound chicken but you are right in the fact that "MMDV". This is a perfect example of the variations in appetites. With two hockey players in my home my mileage does vary. I easily need a 4.0-4.5 pound chicken to get two meals for my family of three. Again- this is in no way a reflection on you and your family.

                                      I am not sure about your comment "some people are turned off by a physically long recipe and will dismiss it for that reason." Did anyone say that they didn't make the recipe due to the length? Or was that directed to me since I made reference to the length?

                                      1. re: foodieX2
                                        weezieduzzit RE: foodieX2 Mar 24, 2013 04:33 PM

                                        I solve the "not enough" problem by making 2 at a time. We like leftovers.

                                    2. re: foodieX2
                                      n
                                      NanH RE: foodieX2 Mar 23, 2013 11:52 AM

                                      I didn't think of it as excess verbiage, I think she was giving details about how it should taste and look. It was more the way you might tell a friend how to cook something if there is no written recipe. It's more like a story than a formula.

                                      I, too, thought, 'Days ahead?' But it's not like you are actually doing anything extra. I take it out of the package, season it and instead of putting in the oven, I put it back in the fridge. There's no real extra time involved. I try to plan my meals in advance, anyway, so that chicken would be in my fridge whether in the package or out of it, two days before I was going to eat it.

                                      The recipe says serves two to four. At the restaurant, it's listed as 'for two'. Obviously, it's not going to work for you in that context.

                                2. Tom P RE: c oliver Mar 21, 2013 02:19 PM

                                  I like it very much. But it is difficult to beat the Marcella Hazen 'Chicken and 2 Lemons" recipe. Not only outstanding but extremely easy and perfect every time:

                                  http://cheaphealthygood.blogspot.com/...

                                  8 Replies
                                  1. re: Tom P
                                    c oliver RE: Tom P Mar 21, 2013 04:28 PM

                                    I just saved this. I read about it occasionally and need to fix it. She's one of my all time heroes. Thanks, Tom P.

                                    1. re: Tom P
                                      Caitlin McGrath RE: Tom P Mar 21, 2013 09:50 PM

                                      I'm a fan of the chicken with two lemons, too. I also really recommend squeezing the lemons from the cavity over the carved chicken, which Hazan specifically says not to do because they might squirt everywhere. That's not my experience, but at any rate, just squeeze them with a pair of tongs (they're hot and chickeny, it's not like you're going to use your hands), and it enhances the meal.

                                      1. re: Caitlin McGrath
                                        c oliver RE: Caitlin McGrath Mar 22, 2013 07:30 AM

                                        How brave you are to disobey her :)

                                      2. re: Tom P
                                        c
                                        Christina D RE: Tom P Mar 24, 2013 05:35 PM

                                        +1

                                        When I consider the time and planning for Zuni vs. Marcella in relation to the results, Marcella wins everytime.

                                        1. re: Tom P
                                          fldhkybnva RE: Tom P Apr 18, 2013 03:27 PM

                                          I love Zuni but am really pondering switching it up and trying this Chicken with 2 Lemons. Is it very lemony or is it just a subtle hint?

                                          1. re: fldhkybnva
                                            Caitlin McGrath RE: fldhkybnva Apr 18, 2013 03:38 PM

                                            It's fairly subtle, though as I posted above, I like to remove the lemons from the cavity and squeeze them over the carved chicken, which makes it a much more lemony dish. Up to you, depending on preference.

                                            1. re: fldhkybnva
                                              c oliver RE: fldhkybnva Apr 18, 2013 04:13 PM

                                              It really is okay to have two (or even) more favorite chickens. I have two favorite daughters :)

                                              1. re: c oliver
                                                fldhkybnva RE: c oliver Apr 18, 2013 04:18 PM

                                                Well, yes, my "risk" aversion often gets the best of me.

                                          2. m
                                            moreace01 RE: c oliver Mar 21, 2013 08:32 PM

                                            I love the Zuni cafe roast chicken. But I've found that I cut corners a lot. Really, at this point, what I love most is the bread salad part. So I actually spatchcock and roast a chicken (cooks faster) that I've left salted overnight in the fridge. And then kind of improvise the bread salad. Anyway...I suppose some day I should make the real recipe again and see if I'm really missing out by cutting back on the directions.

                                            9 Replies
                                            1. re: moreace01
                                              c oliver RE: moreace01 Mar 21, 2013 08:38 PM

                                              So my chicken is usually done in about 45 minutes. Do you need it to be done faster than that?

                                              1. re: c oliver
                                                linguafood RE: c oliver Mar 21, 2013 08:48 PM

                                                Perhaps mo is referring to the 2 day prep, not the actual cooking time.

                                                1. re: linguafood
                                                  c oliver RE: linguafood Mar 21, 2013 08:56 PM

                                                  Good thought. I recently gave it NO time to dry brine and it was still better than I'd done pre-Zuni. Just an fyi.

                                                  1. re: c oliver
                                                    linguafood RE: c oliver Mar 21, 2013 08:59 PM

                                                    Dry skin & meat are key, for sure. My guess is the rest is just the high temp method (which makes for killer smoke in our shittily ventilated kitchen >sigh<), as I've not made the bread salad with it. I know, heresy.

                                                    Really, if it weren't for the smoke issue, I'd be roasting at high temp all damn day.

                                                2. re: c oliver
                                                  m
                                                  moreace01 RE: c oliver Mar 23, 2013 11:41 AM

                                                  Alright - I'll clarify - I guess I do it cause it takes seconds to pull the backbone out and the bird cooks more evenly in my oven. I also am a crispy skin person so like to get the most skin as crispy as possible. I have to be careful with high heat roasting cause I live in a tiny condo with no ventilation hood so I often don't get the oven as hot as recommended. This is what works for me. It's just a method I tend to favor for other applications too - cooking the chicken over vegetables, or over bread (see Melissa Clark's chicken with garlic mustard croutons).

                                                  Again, what I love most is the bread salad part. And also the idea of the dry brine. I do dry brine to an extent since again...crispy skin - usually overnight if I remember. I definitely favor a "dry brine" over wet - wet brine seems to affect the texture IMO and I don't care for it - plus then you have to make extra careful to get the skin good and dry before sticking in the oven.

                                                  1. re: c oliver
                                                    fldhkybnva RE: c oliver Mar 28, 2013 09:36 PM

                                                    Do you flip twice or just do 30 minutes breast up, 15 minutes breast down? Last time, the breast was a touch dry so I'm not sure if I should give it 5 minutes less. I am using 3 lb chickens.

                                                    1. re: fldhkybnva
                                                      c oliver RE: fldhkybnva Mar 29, 2013 07:37 AM

                                                      I don't have the recipe in front of me but I follow it exactly. If overdone the last time, I'd reduce the first 30 minutes to 25. And check with your thermometer at some point later on.

                                                      Maybe this is the time to try that lemon one if you're pressed on the three day thing.

                                                      1. re: c oliver
                                                        fldhkybnva RE: c oliver Mar 29, 2013 08:57 AM

                                                        Nope, it's brining and will be for 3 days and roasted on Sunday which should be perfect for the 3 lb bird. I did 2 days last time and it was fine so I'll see what an added day offers. I have another chicken so pondered the lemon chicken tonight. As you can tell, I really do love chicken.

                                                  2. re: moreace01
                                                    emily RE: moreace01 Mar 22, 2013 08:15 AM

                                                    I think the bread salad (with the chicken juices) is the best part.

                                                  3. j
                                                    JudiAU RE: c oliver Mar 21, 2013 08:56 PM

                                                    It really is an excellent chicken if you buy a "chicken of quality" as Mr. JudiAU likes to say. Pay attention to the size.

                                                    The method also completely transformed our Thanksgiving turkey method too.

                                                    1. fldhkybnva RE: c oliver Mar 22, 2013 08:03 AM

                                                      How small is too small for the chicken?

                                                      1. w
                                                        Westy RE: c oliver Mar 22, 2013 08:37 AM

                                                        In order of preference:

                                                        1. Gordon Hamersley's roast chicken and lemon
                                                        2. Jeff Smith's Chinese take out (reduce the cooking temp increase duration to reduce scorching). Yeah he was a hack, but this was a keeper.
                                                        3. Mist Grill: Maple roast chicken
                                                        4. Nigel Slater's basic recpe. I also stuff butter and herbs under skin

                                                        1. fldhkybnva RE: c oliver Mar 22, 2013 10:01 PM

                                                          Well, my first Zuni roast chicken is resting away in the fridge. It seems to easy to be so fantastic - washed, dried, stuffed with a bunch of herbs, S&P in the fridge. I hope cooking is as simple.

                                                          11 Replies
                                                          1. re: fldhkybnva
                                                            c oliver RE: fldhkybnva Mar 23, 2013 07:48 AM

                                                            The herbs are under the skin and not IN the bird, right? Cooking is just as easy. Some friends are coming over next weekend dinner and I'd been considering duck (have one in the freezer) but maybe I'll do chicken what with all this talk :)

                                                            1. re: c oliver
                                                              fldhkybnva RE: c oliver Mar 23, 2013 08:02 AM

                                                              Yup under the skin. I'm going to do a full 2 days for a 3lber. Have you ever served it without the bread salad?

                                                              1. re: fldhkybnva
                                                                c oliver RE: fldhkybnva Mar 23, 2013 08:14 AM

                                                                Many times. The salad is super but the bird can go with anything you'd like.

                                                                1. re: c oliver
                                                                  fldhkybnva RE: c oliver Mar 23, 2013 09:46 AM

                                                                  Yea, I'm thinking of serving it with collard greens. I just checked on the bird for some odd reason and the skin feels quite moist, is that ok? I used 2 tsps salt for the full bird, not sure if that was enough

                                                                  1. re: fldhkybnva
                                                                    c oliver RE: fldhkybnva Mar 23, 2013 10:32 AM

                                                                    Did you dry it SUPER well with paper towels? She uses about 3/4 t per # of chicken. Here's her exact recipe not someone's 'adaptation.'

                                                                    http://www.today.com/id/4401342/ns/to...

                                                                    1. re: c oliver
                                                                      fldhkybnva RE: c oliver Mar 23, 2013 01:18 PM

                                                                      Yea, so I think I added enough salt. I thought I dried it pretty well both inside and out but perhaps not. Should I just leave it? i didn't take a good look of course just a peak since it's tucked in the back of the fridge. Thanks for the original.

                                                                      1. re: fldhkybnva
                                                                        c oliver RE: fldhkybnva Mar 23, 2013 01:44 PM

                                                                        I'd just leave it alone. You're fixing it tomorrow, right? If it still looks wet in the morning maybe blot it a bit. This ain't rocket surgery :)

                                                                        1. re: c oliver
                                                                          fldhkybnva RE: c oliver Mar 23, 2013 01:48 PM

                                                                          Yea, tomorrow night. I guess I just assume it's more complicated as everyone complains about "all the details," but it was easy enough to stick some herbs in, salt and plop in the fridge.

                                                                2. re: fldhkybnva
                                                                  weezieduzzit RE: fldhkybnva Mar 24, 2013 04:26 PM

                                                                  I don't eat bread so we always have it without bread salad... and it's always great.

                                                                  1. re: weezieduzzit
                                                                    fldhkybnva RE: weezieduzzit Mar 28, 2013 09:38 PM

                                                                    Do you have any preferred sides to serve it with? Last week we did a pan sauce with mushrooms which was quite tasty but I'd love any other ideas which are simple so as not to overshadow the chicken.

                                                              2. re: fldhkybnva
                                                                fldhkybnva RE: fldhkybnva Mar 24, 2013 03:46 PM

                                                                It's Zuni chicken night!

                                                              3. j
                                                                jvanderh RE: c oliver Mar 23, 2013 01:02 PM

                                                                I like slow roasted even better. I usually do high heat until the bird is 100 deg or so, then turn the oven down to 250 until done.

                                                                6 Replies
                                                                1. re: jvanderh
                                                                  c oliver RE: jvanderh Mar 23, 2013 01:43 PM

                                                                  So you've done the Zuni way?

                                                                  1. re: c oliver
                                                                    j
                                                                    jvanderh RE: c oliver Mar 23, 2013 08:35 PM

                                                                    Not in an actual wood burning oven, but yeah, once or twice.

                                                                    1. re: jvanderh
                                                                      c oliver RE: jvanderh Mar 24, 2013 07:16 AM

                                                                      The recipe doesn't call for a wood burning oven. Guess I'm confused but that's okay.

                                                                      1. re: c oliver
                                                                        j
                                                                        jvanderh RE: c oliver Mar 24, 2013 10:33 PM

                                                                        According to something I read, the real Zuni Cafe uses a woodburning oven. I dunno. I've never been there.

                                                                        1. re: jvanderh
                                                                          c oliver RE: jvanderh Mar 25, 2013 07:42 AM

                                                                          Just did a little google and it appears that they DO use a wood-fired oven. Thanks for the tip. That's on my "pie-in-the-sky-when-I-die" list :)

                                                                          1. re: c oliver
                                                                            j
                                                                            jvanderh RE: c oliver Mar 26, 2013 07:30 PM

                                                                            Heck yes! Right in between the outdoor kitchen and the in-ground pool :-)

                                                                2. fldhkybnva RE: c oliver Mar 24, 2013 03:50 PM

                                                                  Any idea how hot is hot enough for the initial plop? Smoking pan?

                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                  1. re: fldhkybnva
                                                                    c oliver RE: fldhkybnva Mar 24, 2013 04:18 PM

                                                                    Close to smoking. Unlike others I've not found this bird to generate the kind of smoke that's all that bad. YMMV.

                                                                    1. re: c oliver
                                                                      fldhkybnva RE: c oliver Mar 24, 2013 05:13 PM

                                                                      Yea, I just plopped it in the oven and looked around at my rigged smoked detectors and all windows and doors open and chuckled. I'll be sure to report back as your love for this recipe encouraged me to try the Zuni method. My last chicken was OK but nothing I'd make again.

                                                                      1. re: fldhkybnva
                                                                        c oliver RE: fldhkybnva Mar 24, 2013 05:16 PM

                                                                        But, remember, it is JUST a chicken. A damn fine one, IMO, but still a chicken :)

                                                                        1. re: c oliver
                                                                          fldhkybnva RE: c oliver Mar 24, 2013 05:29 PM

                                                                          As someone who eats chicken at least twice a day, just a chicken means a lot to me :)

                                                                  2. fldhkybnva RE: c oliver Mar 24, 2013 06:37 PM

                                                                    OK, well I've never tried Marcella which seems like the other winner on this thread but count me in the corner of Zuni chicken believers. This is the best roasted chicken I've ever had. Thanks for all the advice. I didn't find the prep or cooking difficult or time-consuming at all. I would make this once a week.

                                                                     
                                                                    9 Replies
                                                                    1. re: fldhkybnva
                                                                      c oliver RE: fldhkybnva Mar 24, 2013 07:15 PM

                                                                      Oh, goody gumdrops :) Now we need to try that Hazan with two lemons one, huh?

                                                                      1. re: c oliver
                                                                        fldhkybnva RE: c oliver Mar 24, 2013 08:14 PM

                                                                        Indeed, I'm a chicken lover as I mentioned above so I'm willing to try out a few but that Zuni was so good. I did have a few smoke issues primarily when I flipped the first time and the fat poured out of the bird but nothing that a wide open backdoor and vent fan didn't solve and after 5 minutes back in the oven there was no more smoking. I hate chicken skin, well I thought I did but I gobbled that stuff up. Next time, I will have to try with the bread salad. Tonight I served with a simple mushroom pan sauce.

                                                                        1. re: fldhkybnva
                                                                          c oliver RE: fldhkybnva Mar 25, 2013 07:36 AM

                                                                          I've wondered if my lessened smoke is cause I keep a sheet of foil on the shelf below the one I'm roasting on. Just keeps some stuff from dropping down on earlier dishes.

                                                                        2. re: c oliver
                                                                          fldhkybnva RE: c oliver Apr 18, 2013 03:27 PM

                                                                          Did you ever try the Marcella recipe?

                                                                          1. re: fldhkybnva
                                                                            c oliver RE: fldhkybnva Apr 18, 2013 04:15 PM

                                                                            Not yet. We got back in the country exactly a month ago tomorrow and I was really sick. Bad case of bronchitis. A month later I still haven't completely thrown off the cough. So I haven't been doing a huge amount of cooking. Bob's been doing most of the work. But soon :)

                                                                            1. re: c oliver
                                                                              fldhkybnva RE: c oliver Apr 18, 2013 04:18 PM

                                                                              Oh wow, I'm sorry to hear you haven't been feeling well. Hopefully you'll be back on your feet and in the kitchen in no time.

                                                                              1. re: fldhkybnva
                                                                                c oliver RE: fldhkybnva Apr 18, 2013 04:21 PM

                                                                                Thanks. Definitely on the mend. Down to just MucinexDM :)

                                                                        3. re: fldhkybnva
                                                                          foodieX2 RE: fldhkybnva Mar 25, 2013 02:59 PM

                                                                          so glad it worked out for you! Don't you love when you find new recipes you love?

                                                                          1. re: foodieX2
                                                                            fldhkybnva RE: foodieX2 Mar 25, 2013 03:36 PM

                                                                            Yea, I now realize that a roast chicken a week is probably a good idea for my chicken-loving household but don't really want to branch out to other recipes. I might do Zuni again this week with a different sauce for some variation. Well, as soon as I clean the oven.

                                                                        4. fldhkybnva RE: c oliver Mar 26, 2013 06:08 PM

                                                                          Aside from general food safety "rules," can you leave a bird to brine for too long? For example, if you salted 2 days ahead of time but didn't end up getting to it for 4 days for whatever reason while that pushes the upper limit of raw food in the fridge would it have any big effect on the result? Clearly, I'd like to make my next zuni chicken but not sure the exact day I'd get to it - it'd be either day 2, 3 but possibly 4 depending on SOs work schedule.

                                                                          5 Replies
                                                                          1. re: fldhkybnva
                                                                            weezieduzzit RE: fldhkybnva Mar 26, 2013 06:13 PM

                                                                            I would make note of the date on the chicken's package and make sure it was still within that range.

                                                                            1. re: fldhkybnva
                                                                              c oliver RE: fldhkybnva Mar 26, 2013 06:49 PM

                                                                              IIRC (and to tired to look up), she says 1-3 days.
                                                                              ETA: I don't think a dry brine works the same as a wet one, but I'm willing to be wrong on that.

                                                                              1. re: c oliver
                                                                                fldhkybnva RE: c oliver Mar 26, 2013 07:11 PM

                                                                                Yea, I guess I was pondering the push to 4 days but what's a few hours? :)

                                                                                1. re: fldhkybnva
                                                                                  c oliver RE: fldhkybnva Mar 26, 2013 07:26 PM

                                                                                  Or two days?

                                                                                  1. re: c oliver
                                                                                    fldhkybnva RE: c oliver Mar 26, 2013 07:32 PM

                                                                                    I meant the time from 3 to 4 days, but yea perhaps I'll wait or try to figure out a good timeline but I definitely would like to make that chicken again this weekend.

                                                                            2. fldhkybnva RE: c oliver Mar 28, 2013 06:15 PM

                                                                              Zuni #2 is camped out the fridge for Easter! Just a quick question which also occurred to me last time. Whatever I did last time worked but I thought since we'll probably be making Zuni a lot that I'd ask here about the salting method. Last week we were out of kosher salt so used sea salt instead. This week my kosher salt supply has been revived and so I used that as I prefer it usually. But, how do you get the salt to stick? I have the bird on a sheet pan with a metal rack so that the bottom is not sitting on itself, but do you flip halfway through or does enough salt adhere despite all the grains that fall onto the sheet? Thanks for all your help. C Oliver you have created a Zuni monster I fear.

                                                                              5 Replies
                                                                              1. re: fldhkybnva
                                                                                c oliver RE: fldhkybnva Mar 28, 2013 06:32 PM

                                                                                HA!!! I just pat the s&p on and don't mess with anymore. It IS easy and good, isn't it? Are you making the bread salad this time? It's wonderfully wonderful. Happy Easter.

                                                                                1. re: c oliver
                                                                                  fldhkybnva RE: c oliver Mar 28, 2013 08:04 PM

                                                                                  It's the definition of easy and good. The oven has been cleaned and is ready to go - the cleaning set off the smoke alarm though I didn't bother to cover it and it was only for a few minutes or so. I think so, I think it'll be the holiday Easter meal so perhaps I'll go full out for the bread salad. Thanks, and Happy Easter to you as well. I actually picked up 2 chickens since there was a 3 lb and a 2.6 lber so I can save the other for a future Zuni. I don't have much experience with whole chicken but I think it should be OK to just wrap it well and freeze. Can I brine will it defrosts or should I thaw completely first?

                                                                                  1. re: fldhkybnva
                                                                                    c oliver RE: fldhkybnva Mar 28, 2013 08:18 PM

                                                                                    Not sure I understand your last sentence???

                                                                                    1. re: c oliver
                                                                                      fldhkybnva RE: c oliver Mar 28, 2013 08:24 PM

                                                                                      Should I wait until it's thawed to salt and stuff with herbs or can I do it at the same time while the chicken thaws in the fridge (from frozen that is) as both would likely take the same amount of time?

                                                                                      1. re: fldhkybnva
                                                                                        c oliver RE: fldhkybnva Mar 29, 2013 07:35 AM

                                                                                        I don't have an educated opinion on that but I personally would wait to salt as it is a brine and don't know how it would absorb if the flesh is still frozen.

                                                                              2. fldhkybnva RE: c oliver Mar 29, 2013 10:45 PM

                                                                                Just an observation - did your chicken skin turn translucent after a day or 2? Intrigued my scientific curiosity, I'm sure there is some good reason for this.

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