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Can't manage to roast a chicken - what gives?

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I can't seem to roast a chicken! No matter what temperature I cook it to, once I cut in, there is redness near the bones that appears to be undercooked meat. When I check the temp in the thigh, the juices run clear, but once I carve it, there is a good amount to (what appears to be?) blood. What might I be I doing wrong?

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  1. To what temperature is your oven set when you roast the chicken?
    How long do you roast it?
    Do you set the chicken on a rack in a roasting pan with sides?
    Is the chicken marinated or do you rub the skin with anything before putting in pan?
    Is there anything else in the pan such as onions/potatoes, etc.?

    1. I find a thermomator to be invaluable. I cook to 161 and let it rest for 10 minutes. I usually cook it at 375. It always comes out perfectly cooked.

      You mentioned you check the temp and the juices run clear, so I wasn't sure if you were using an oven therm. I use one with an alarm, so I am notified when it reaches temp. Good luck.

      1. Redness near the thigh bones is not undercooked meat. That is just the normal color of the cooked meat. If the juices run clear, you are good to go. You can also double check the temperature with a meat thermometer if you are unsure.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Westminstress

          I agree. My roasted, rotisserie, grilled whole chicken always looks this way. If someone is really OCD about well done chicken, this might upset them. I totally understand, but to me it is fine. I have eaten and served hundreds of chickens this way and have never had a day after issue.

          Be calm and carry on

          1. re: Westminstress

            exactly what i was going to say. as long as it's hit the correct temperature, it's cooked. Color of the bones does not indicate undercook meat.

          2. Thanks for the speedy replies! I've tried roasting at anywhere from 375 to 425 degrees and between 40 and 80 minutes respectively. I don't worry too much about the time and instead, pull it out when a thermometer reads 165 degrees, then let it rest under foil for 10 minutes or so. Recently, out of desperation, I cooked it to 175 degrees, but it still seemed underdone. That's when I went out and bought a new meat thermometer, but I'm still getting the same results. I don't marinate it, but I do rub it with oil or butter, salt & pepper. I cook it on a rack in a roasting pan, but I don't usually put anything else in the pan with it.

            I DO like to fill the cavity with onions, herbs, citrus, etc. - could that be keeping the inside of the bird too cold?
            Should I let it come to room temperature before stuffing it or skip the stuffing all together?
            Lastly, is it possible there could be red juices running out even if the meat IS actually fully coked?

            Thanks so much!

            2 Replies
            1. re: stevsie

              Where on the bird do you take the temp?

              Both deep in the breast and in the deepest part of the thigh?

              1. re: stevsie

                You might try letting the chicken come to near room temp for half and hour or more - it will roast more evenly.

              2. A bit of redness near the bones is not necessarily undercooked chicken - sometimes there is just some pinkish discoloration due to the color of the bone marrow bleeding into the meat itself. Also, hemoglobin in the muscles (especially in dark meat) can react with air to create a pinkish color even when the meat is cooked through. Trust your thermometer (if it's well-calibrated) - when it says 165 in the thigh, it's done.

                2 Replies
                1. re: biondanonima

                  It seems like you're doing all the right things. With the exception of bringing to room temp. I do that with all of my meats. Just makes for more even cooking. Try that. Good luck!

                  1. re: biondanonima

                    I agree that the meat near the bones is often reddish. Does the textue of the meat seem ok? Undercooked chicken has a weird spongy, somewhat "translucent" texture that is quite different than "done" chicken.

                  2. Yes, you are doing all the right things. FWIW I stuff whole chickens with exactly what you do. Trust your thermometer, and also what others have said. As long as the meat is cooked through it's OK.

                    1. Follow Keller's recipe on Epicurious to the T. Outstanding chicken. Every time.

                      1. Maybe the chicken is too big?
                        I never roast anything bigger than 5 pounds because I do short, high heat roasts.
                        Do you let the meat rest?
                        Also pink does not mean raw... Internal temp never lies!

                        1. I did it! Thanks to all of you, I made the most delicious and perfectly cooked chicken. I let the bird sit at room temperature for about an hour, then followed Keller's super-simple recipe. I just loved the results! One question, though: the high temp caused the bird to splatter up on to the heating element, creating a crazy amount of smoke - is there a way to produce something similar without getting smoked out of the house?

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: stevsie

                            either:

                            a) pour some water in the roasting pan -- this keeps the grease from spattering quite so badly

                            b) put chopped vegetables under the chicken -- they keep it from spattering AND give you veggies roasted in the drippings. Win-win.

                            1. re: sunshine842

                              This is one of my favorites:

                              http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/in...

                              I add quartered red potatoes, a second onion, and drop the fennel. Haven't had a splattering problem and the veggies are amazing!