What did you eat last night for dinner?

Discussion in 'Social Life, Food & Drink, Travel' started by Fabienne, Jan 31, 2005.

  1. Baron

    Baron Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    My last bird I made directly on a cast iron pan that I pre-heated to 500, then put it in the oven at 500 for 15 minutes, then down to 350 for another 30 (a Bittman technique from the Times last week). It cooked beautifully but I don't have a vented oven and it made volumes of smoke. I ended up standing in the kitchen with a fan and blowing the smoke toward an open window. I'm actually going to get a new oven soon but I think I'll brave the smoke next time and use the cast iron again - it was the best bird I've made yet. It was brown and cripy on all sides and super juicy. It was also done with no truss, so no fibers to pick out.
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2011


  2. Rambo

    Rambo Senior member

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    :laugh:
     


  3. Britalian

    Britalian Senior member

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    Last night was very simple but exquisite:
    Spaghetti and pesto (fresh but from supermarket), followed by homemade creme caramel.
    Coffee was Nespresso Arpeggio.
    Not bad for short notice.
     


  4. foodguy

    foodguy Senior member

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    a good exhaust fan is not to be underestimated. i spent more on mine than i did on my stove. but i was just so sick of waking up the next morning after a dinner party and having the whole house smell like roast chicken or pork, or whatever. it' s nice BEFORE the dinner, but not so much 12 hours later. particularly when you're hung over.
     


  5. Manton

    Manton RINO Dubiously Honored

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    IM (extensive) experience, there are two basic ways to do this. First brown the bird on the burner then cook in the oven. I think 500 is too hot for this; 450 is about right. This only takes 30-45 minutes in the oven). You really need to baste doing it this way. But you don't need to move the bird at all.

    The second is to cook it through in the oven. This way workes best if your turn the bird at least twice so that it gets some time on each side before it goes on its back. Also, best to hit it with some high heat either at the beginning or the end to crisp the skin. But for the majority of coooking time, it should be at 325-350. This takes at least an hour and often longer, especially if the bird is stuffed.

    BTW, 500 is going to make any but a spotlessly clean oven smoke like crazy, not so much from the food but from old splatters and such inside the oven. So, first, clean your oven and second, 450 is hot enough for nearly anything, especially a roast. It will still smoke some but not so bad.

    Even a very good fan, IME, does very little for a smokey oven because the vent is too far from the source of the smoke.
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2011


  6. foodguy

    foodguy Senior member

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    i've roasted a few birds myself. i've done the rotation, etc. it does help a bit with coloring, but particularly when you're dealing with a bigger bird, it's a PITA (i know, not for someone who cuts peppers into diamonds). family dinner roast chicken? 425 oven, put a cast-iron pan in to preheat. rub the chicken with butter. truss or no truss (trussing looks better, marginally helps breast stay moist; no truss ensures that the hip joint gets cooked through). 50 minutes for a 4 1/2-pound bird.
    i also disagree about the vent ... i did a LOT of research before spending $1,200 on mine and it is very effective at pulling oven smoke. there are considerations, though: you need to have a straight shot from the vent to the exhaust to get the full effect, and that can be difficult to manage in an apartment house. so ymmv.
     


  7. Baron

    Baron Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Thanks for the tips. The idea of the hot oven and especially the very hot pre-heated cast iron pan was to make sure the thighs, which were resting directly on the pan, get cooked through. Bittman's recipes are generally focused on being easy more than anything else. I'll try it again and 450 and yes, the oven could use a cleaning. The real problem is that the fat in the pan splatters during cooking and makes smoke at almost any temperature. I don't get any smoke when cooking in a glass dish on a rack.
     


  8. Despos

    Despos Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Foodguy, have you dry brined a bird by Judy Rogers method? Really like this for turkey but haven't tried on chicken.
     


  9. Manton

    Manton RINO Dubiously Honored

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    Also, forgot to say, always brine. It helps.
     


  10. foodguy

    foodguy Senior member

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    that's kind of my deal.

    works great on chicken ... i just never seem to think about roasting a chicken 2-3 days in advance. it's always more of an impulse for me.
     


  11. Despos

    Despos Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Same here but i wonder if the size and weight of the bird would shorten the brining time or if it stays the same regardless of the size of bird. Maybe a 4 lb bird requires less time than a 15 lb turkey

    Cooked a turkey last year with this method and everything was better. Moist white meat, better texture, better flavor.
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2011


  12. foodguy

    foodguy Senior member

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    i'm pretty evangelical on the topic. all modesty aside, i was one of the first guys to really push wet-brining turkeys, back in the early 90s. it's good, but it's a huge PITA and the texture is different. dry-brining is so simple ... no buckets of water, nothing ... the flavor and moisture-holding are just as good, but the texture of the flesh is meaty instead of spongy.
     


  13. Baron

    Baron Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Have you tried it with chicken?
     


  14. foodguy

    foodguy Senior member

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    yes, of course. it was originally designed for chicken. i can't take credit for anything but a slight twist and a push. i'd been working with judy rodgers and we did a taste test of wet-brine, dry-brine (her house chicken) and plain seasoned chickens and the dry-brine was really remarkably better. A year or two pass and i'm absolutely pressed for a thanksgiving story, so i think "Hmmm, could i 'Judy' a turkey?" i was a little worried because the bird is so much bigger. but i thought i'd give it a try. worked like a charm. we re-did that tasting using 4 different turkey methods that had been popular and the result was the same. dry-brining is really better. so i got a story out of it, then when i published it, it just went crazy. it was the most-emailed story in the entiire paper every day for a whole week.
    needless to say, i have revisited the topic:satisfied:. i experimented one year with adding flavorings to the salt mixture, and that works great as well. i believe it was last year i did a seasoned salt bird on the barbecue and that was great (and amazingly easy: put it on the weber and let it go for a couple of hours).
    every once in a while you get lucky with something like that.
     


  15. indesertum

    indesertum Senior member

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    I feel like roast chicken is pretty hard to mess up. Due to time and equipment constraints I did mine everything wrong (took out from fridge, salted with iodized salt filled with anti canking agents, 3 hours later in pyrex dish untrussed and wrong side up, oven at 475, half an hour so later reduced temp to 400 cuz the fire alarm went off, kinda winged when I took it out more than an hour later).

    It turned out pretty well. Breast was a little dry. Nothing some gravy and beer couldn't solve.
     


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