The butter and herbs
I made a compound butter from some unsalted butter, some minced chives, chopped flat leaf parsley and some garlic, crushed with salt. No measurements, but, that picture sort of show what I did. This was all made into a compound butter to which 1 tablespoon od Sudachi citrus juice was added. The Sudachi is a very aromatic citrus from Japan and adds a great aroma, as well as acidity to any dish.
There are a lot of ways to cook a whole bird, of late, a lot of people are into slashing the meat, or spatch-cocking (butterfly) the bird. For me, trussing is the tried and true method, it takes little times once you've done a couple and will result in a more juicy bird. Because the bird is tied into a lump, cooking is more even and the meat remains very juicy. I do place seasonings into the cavity of the bird and tie it to minimize any openings. In this case, I also added compound butter under the breast skin and into the leg joint, this is done just by loosening the skin and working the butter under it. I had a small silicone spatula for this, it works great.
Rubbed and resting
Decided to mix up a couple of west coast BBQ favorites for this cook, equal amounts of Simply Marvelous Cherry rub and The Rub Company Original BBQ flavor, as well as some fresh medium grind black pepper. This was patted on, then left to rest in the fridge for 2 hours. When it was time to cook, I loaded a couple of pounds of lump, fired the kettle up with all vents wide open and let it rip. When the thermometer I stuck in the vent read well past 400°F, I placed the chicken in there, butt to the fire, along with my new mini-cast iron skillet full of potatoes and compound butter for Potatoes Anna. This was allowed to cook for 30 minutes, then the lower vents were closed by half, the chicken rotated 180° and left to cook for another 20 minutes. Then the chicken was removed and tented glazed with a little of the compound butter and foil tented for 30 minutes.
Rested and ready
Upon carving, it was clearly juicy and done just to the point where there was no pink at the joint. The skin rendered nicely and the aroma was what I was hoping for. When you loosen the skin, and add the butter, and with the high heat, the skin will crisp up nicely, and even after the rest, it remained delicate and crisp. I was really happy with the texture and flavor.
Artsy breast shot
Artsy leg shot
Some steamed broccoli, and the Potatoes Anna, which are just some potatoes severely caramelized with butter and herbs, and you have a fine dinner.
And really, the measure of a good kitchen in my mind, every cook should be measured by their roast chicken. One of the most simple dishes, and hence the challenge.
Yes, that was dinner
I am really happy with the texture of the breast, it was quite moist, dense but tender to the tooth. A very satisfying cook. No sauce was needed, this was great chicken.