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Bon Appetit "rotisserie style" roast chicken - 300 degrees for 3 hours?!?

In the most recent issue of BA, there was a recipe for a whole roast chicken cooked at around 300 degrees for a long time (around 3 hours). I've always been used a high-and-fast method for roast chicken (usually the Mark Bittman cast iron skillet method, which takes under an hour) and I can't imagine cooking a whole chicken for that long without the breasts getting dry and the meat getting too soft. The recipe promises the texture of rotisserie chicken, but I'm skeptical. Has anyone tried anything like this? What do you think?

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  1. So there was a post about that method many years ago: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/333260 Worth reading. I have done it several times and it has plusses and minuses. On the plus side it comes out amazingly moist and tender. On the minus side, no crispy skin. So I go back and forth between methods depending on what else I am doing with the chicken.

    6 Replies
    1. re: GretchenS

      Is there any reason you can't pull out the bird, crank the oven to 450 or 500, and pop it back in for 10 minutes to crisp things up?

      1. re: davis_sq_pro

        I always worried that would make it less tender and juicy. I hope someone does a scientific experiment on it and reports back. :)

        1. re: GretchenS

          You should be the scientist! This spring maybe, when having a ton of excess cooked chicken around is good for chicken salads. Make two chickens simultaneously using that method. Pull both birds out and let them rest. Crank up the oven to 450 and put one back in. Serve the winner for dinner and shred the loser for chicken salad sandwiches.

          1. re: nokitchen

            How about 550, convection mode? I'll try it in spring as well -- not because I want to make chicken salad, but rather because I expect it's going to produce a fair amount of smoke :-)

        2. re: davis_sq_pro

          I smoke whole chickens quite often on my outdoor smoker.
          250 F for however long it takes to get to 160/165 F internal. Usually 2 hours minimum. Often more.

          And yes, the skin is flabby when fully cooked. But the meat is damn moist and juicy.

          I did try and do the broiler approach to crisp teh skin up once after smoking, but because there is so much skin surface area, it was hard to get the all-over crispy skin a' la higher heat cooking.

          Thus, when smoking, I pull the meat and reserve the skin and throw it alone under the broiler for "cracklins."

          300F seems to be the minimum to get crispy skin, but I like the Bittman method like others for non-smoked chicken. Higher heat helps the skin IMO immensly.

          The easiest way to confirm or debunk the BA recipe is to slap a probe thermometer in the bird and see if (1), the time for the internal temp to get to 165F is 3 hours, and (2), when bird is cooked to 165F internal, is the skin as crispy as other methods and the meat as moist?

          $5 chicken, oven and a probe thermometer and done.

          I may try it if I can find the recipe.
          Cooked chicken never goes to waste in my house. :-)

        3. re: GretchenS

          Sounds interesting, I think I'll try it! These may be stupid questions, but do you put the chicken breast side up or down? And do you cover it at all during the cooking time?

        4. You can get a tender, tasty chicken via many different approaches. Lower heat, longer time is one of them. On the opposite end of the high/fast method is to roast chicken (orany meat) at the temperature you want it to be when it is finished. For chicken, that would be 175-180F using a probe thermometer, or your eyes, nose, and instinct. I've done a turkey that way, with excellent results.

          You did not specify the size of the bird, which makes a big difference in roasting time. .

          1. This is cooking it on a rotisserie. Spinning it keeps more moisture in than any other way. I rotisserie cook chicken all the time. I brown the skin first.

            1. Well, size of the bird makes a big difference (unfortunately, many people ignore size specifications for roasted chicken recipes, resulting in much disappointment), Anyway, 300 seems high for that treatment. I'd go with 250F, remove and let rest on counter for 20 minutes, then high heat (500F) for something like 10 minutes.

              1. I did it last week and it was brilliant! The most perfectly cooked chicken I've ever done. It's called "faux rotisserie chicken" for a reason folks. Everything was tender, juicy and succulent. Fall off the bones. 300 was a perfect temperature. I had about a 4 pound bird.

                1 Reply
                1. re: goquegroove

                  Thanks for the report.

                  Anyone out there try both this and a pressure cooker method? Seems like it should yield about the same results (tender meat, flabby skin), with a major time advantage for the pressure cooker?