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How do you turn your roast chicken?

eight_inch_pestle Mar 8, 2012 07:01 PM

If you're a chicken-turner, what's your tool or technique of choice? I've finagled this and that over the years, but am wondering what other 'hounds do to turn easily turn that bird without fear of burning themselves, tearing that beautiful skin (on the bird), or just plumb dropping the thing.

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  1. TeRReT RE: eight_inch_pestle Mar 8, 2012 07:10 PM

    I am not a chicken turner, but when I lift my turkey out of the pan I do a closed tongue in the neck cavity and a wooden spoon in the bottom technique. I'd probably modify this for turning. I'd definitely use tongs, maybe two sets. One set because in the neck cavity maybe to support the weight and lift from the inside as not to damage the skin and then another set to turn or maybe a fish spatula to guide it over or something. If it was a small chicken I might just grip the inside of the neck cavity and the keel bone and turn it one handed.

    1. phofiend RE: eight_inch_pestle Mar 8, 2012 07:13 PM

      Depends on the size of the bird. For a small chicken, I just put a large wooden spoon in the cavity, lift and turn, using a silicone spatula on the outside to guide the flip. A larger bird requires the use of two silicone oven mitts. They are ridged for a secure grip, but smooth enough that the skin is not damaged.

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        escondido123 RE: eight_inch_pestle Mar 8, 2012 09:11 PM

        Never turn it, but if I did I think I would go for two sets of tongs and figure there would be a little tearing but nothing to worry about.

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          darrentran87 RE: eight_inch_pestle Mar 9, 2012 02:19 AM

          I only roast small birds. So how i do it is I actually open up larger tongs through the cavity of the bird and turn it... kinda hard to explain.

          2 Replies
          1. re: darrentran87
            danna RE: darrentran87 Mar 9, 2012 08:07 AM

            ditto. small birdies taste good!

            1. re: darrentran87
              saltwater RE: darrentran87 Mar 9, 2012 01:58 PM

              Oh, you mean the tongs are open inside the cavity, so each arm hits the side of the cavity? I'd never thought of that. I'll see what happens next time. I've always stuck one arm of the tongs in the cavity and one arm outside the bird near its backbone and pinched and turned. It has never torn the skin.

            2. Becca Porter RE: eight_inch_pestle Mar 9, 2012 06:58 AM

              I make two balls of paper towels, one in each hand, and flip. The least trauma to the bird.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Becca Porter
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                magiesmom RE: Becca Porter Mar 9, 2012 07:24 AM

                This is what i used to do before I decided to roast bird in heated cast iron so no turning necessary.

                1. re: Becca Porter
                  eight_inch_pestle RE: Becca Porter Mar 9, 2012 01:46 PM

                  Nice. That's more or less what I do these days, sometimes with tongs in the cavity in one hand and PT in the other.

                2. dave_c RE: eight_inch_pestle Mar 9, 2012 08:36 AM

                  When I've tried recipes that called for turning, I've used the tong and wooden spoon in the cavity technique. When I get frustrated with the process, I just grab and turn quickly which is not recommended for everyone. I guess the smarter thing to do is use paper towels as mentioned above.

                  Lately, I've been liking vertical roasting/beer can chicken cooking - nice browning all around and now red juices in the cavity (another chowhound topic).

                  1. Will Owen RE: eight_inch_pestle Mar 9, 2012 04:35 PM

                    This is why Divine Providence invented heavy rubber gloves (this, and peeling hot potatoes). I've got the softer yellow things for dishwashing ad stuff, but for grabbing something about this hot and working quickly my old heavy green things are the cat's patoot. Do NOT touch the pan, especially if it's a glass one, but the meat itself will be only a little hotter on the surface than the internal temperature. For anything under about three pounds, though, I just grab with the long tongs. Clamp tight and then turn, and you won't tear the skin.

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