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John DOH
08-24-2008, 08:58 PM
Good evening guys

I watched a Food Network show today on cooking a roasted chicken, that really tickled the "creative" cells of my head...

The British Chef doing the show tested six different varieties of birds, five from Britain and one from France. Cooked them all exactly the same and taste tested with his sous chefs, and found that what they were getting was grown very quickly (probably with steroids until 30 days before slaughter, if North America is anything to go by) and had issues with taste and texture, let alone juiciness...

They found that French chickens, that were allowed to run about the henyard (like we would call "free range" chickens") were much better tasting (no big surprise) than those grown in a crate lower fat made them healthier eating, to boot.

Given what looked like about a 3 lb chicken carcass, he brined it in an 8% saltwater solution for 6 hours, and then soaked it in clear water for an hour, changing the water every 15 minutes (when I think about it, this makes good sense, it would allow the brined/salted meat to suck up some liquids, with an unlimited budget, I'd be tempted to "debrine" with vegetable stock).

After that, he had a big pot of boiling water in which he scalded the bird for 30 seconds, then "shocked" it back in an ice bath, before scalding it again in boiling water for a second 30 seconds, again, draining and shocking in the ice bath (the scalding, I know, will serve to crisp the skin extra well)

Once this was done, he covered the bird with a "breathable" napkin or cloth and refridgerated overnight, and, while he committed the most venal sin of doing this in an "oven" as opposed a grill or BBQ, it was interesting that he cooked this mini-bird for 4.5 hours at (I'm sorry to have missed this crucial step) eith 60 or 80* Celcius (140* or 176* F) which gets him into our collective thinking of "low and slow", "proving" the internal temp at 140*, even though it emerges very pale in the skin, its obviously "very juicy" as its not been allowed to "boil off" any of its succulence...

Placed back in the oven on "Broil" to brown up, and reach higher internal temps to "doneness" as one would want for "free range" chicken, where the "dark meat" is, in fact "dark"...

I thought this had some really solid ideas for review and discussion.

I can attest to the "free range" chix being superior to any "tray pack" varieties, and I like the locally grown compared with any mass production "KFC" birds, as they are larger with a much better taste and texture. Note that I am writing from Canada, and while my experience of American raised chicken isn't recent, it wasn't all that great...it was explained that most chickens on the South of 49 are a huge operation in Georgia or Alabama, turned around in minimal time, and tasting like "KFC" bird offerings (not that this is a bad thing, it just can be better!)

I know that brining can raise the juiciness factor by a ton...and hat you need rinse the brine away, but I wasn't aware of doing it like this guy did! Letting it "suck it up" in the fridge makes some sense...but cooking at this low a temp is really a "different thought"

Anyway, I thought it worth recounting and throwing it out here as an "oddball" idea thread, as its only by "experimenting" that we can really improve or lift our efforts, and there's a few "quircks" offered...

If anyone else has tried them out, I'd be interested to hear out ant "recap" of how it went...

John

Jake
08-25-2008, 01:08 PM
jamie oliver??? i want to check it out. is your preferance free range? or do you like/tried air chilled ( i would like more info before i put in my :twocents:) :msn-wink:

John DOH
08-25-2008, 08:14 PM
No this wasn't Jamie Oliver, or even Gordon Ramsay...and so sorry, other than it was on Food Network, I can't even recall the name of the show, I'd never seen this Chef on TV before.

Yes, I have tried the air chilled chicken, and agree that it tastes better than standard "tray pack". But again, "IMHO" (and thats very subjective!) I like the Organic tray pack chicken better than the air chilled, and the free range MUCH better than that.

Free Range fed birds, of course are much more pricey and are always on offer as a whole bird, you never see them offered "cut up", whereas its common (here) to see the "organic grown" birds available in pre cut "parts".

Aside from the "cooking tips" on the show, I believe the "point" that the program was attempting to make was to "try out" several meat suppliers to establish which one offered the best tasting meat (ie to you, personally), rather than continuing on with "The Lowest Price Is The Law" sort of thinking...

My Mother used to say that "good meat is hard to ruin", but the corollary is that "Poor meat can be hard to Improve"...

Anyways, make a "moment" of it some time, and hopefully, you'll enjoy it as much as I do...

John

John DOH
08-25-2008, 08:30 PM
Justcaught the ad on Food Network...the Show was "In Search of Perfection"...

John

SmokyOkie
08-25-2008, 08:49 PM
If you don't mind the extra bucks, Capons are always better than fryers.

John DOH
08-25-2008, 09:01 PM
Absolutely, and totally agree! Capons (castrated male birds, no interest in s*x, so they concentrate on eating) are the very best of the best, and well worth the few extra nickles they might cost (remember, you get a lot more meat compared with bone)

John

fredrogers
08-25-2008, 09:34 PM
A "steer" chicken. Wonders will never cease. :msn-wink:


On the cooking method; it seems odd that you would spend 6 hours brining, then dilute the bring with many fresh water baths.

I always thought that part of the point of brining was to infuse salt/sugar and or other spice in to the meat. I would image that bathing the chicken in a fresh water bath would decrease the amount of salt or other spice you put in.

I do like the part about scalding the chicken skin. I love it when you have lots of crispy skin to eat.

-=fred=-

John DOH
08-25-2008, 09:48 PM
Yeah, Fred, I understand where you're coming from, but if we can understand that during the "brining" phase (with the salts an sugards) we are infusing the meat with sodium, its a pretty good thought to "wash off" the excess salt (so that its isn't overly salty) and to allow the salty meat to suck up further liquid...and crisping up the skin is a huge "plus"...

John

SmokyOkie
08-25-2008, 09:50 PM
I've never scalded a chicken before cooking....well other than before plucking.

Does it help crisp the skin?

John DOH
08-25-2008, 09:57 PM
Yeah, Tim, it actually does...

The Cooking show had them dip the bird in rapidly boiling water for 30 seconds and immersing in an ice bath, twice...

The skins ot to be sort of "parboiled" by this and has got to cook up crisper, and such has been my experience, though I just dumped an electric kettle contents over it and stuck it in the fridge, not as efficient as the "boil and shock" thing the guy on the show did...

John

fredrogers
08-25-2008, 10:01 PM
Yeah, Fred, I understand where you're coming from, but if we can understand that during the "brining" phase (with the salts an sugards) we are infusing the meat with sodium, its a pretty good thought to "wash off" the excess salt (so that its isn't overly salty) and to allow the salty meat to suck up further liquid...and crisping up the skin is a huge "plus"...

John

I see, I think, I always rise off any meat I have just brined, be it turkey or shrimp.

-=fred=-

John DOH
08-25-2008, 10:07 PM
Then you are "already there"...give it a try and "branch out" to some of the different meats with the same methods, and see if you don't enjoy it some more!

Warm Regards
John

SmokyOkie
08-26-2008, 09:51 AM
I see, I think, I always rise off any meat I have just brined, be it turkey or shrimp.

-=fred=-

Why do you brine shrimp Fred? Is it so that you can have Brine shrimp (http://seagrant.gso.uri.edu/factsheets/931brine.html)?

fredrogers
08-26-2008, 11:11 AM
Why do you brine shrimp Fred? Is it so that you can have Brine shrimp (http://seagrant.gso.uri.edu/factsheets/931brine.html)?

:roflmaoha0:


I never thought of that before.

No, when I make shrimp cocktail I cook them in my broiler just as hot as I can get it. So I like to brine the shrimp to leave them juicy and plump. Kind of like steaming them from the inside out.

I don't brine them for very long 15-20 mins. before cooking. By making shrimp cocktail this way it is really hard to get it wrong.

As far as Brine shrimp go, I do feed them to our pet salamander.

-=fred=-

SmokyOkie
08-26-2008, 12:11 PM
I always boiled or steamed them for cocktails. Never heard of broiling. May have to give it a try!

Jake
08-26-2008, 01:27 PM
No this wasn't Jamie Oliver, or even Gordon Ramsay...and so sorry, other than it was on Food Network, I can't even recall the name of the show, I'd never seen this Chef on TV before.

Yes, I have tried the air chilled chicken, and agree that it tastes better than standard "tray pack". But again, "IMHO" (and thats very subjective!) I like the Organic tray pack chicken better than the air chilled, and the free range MUCH better than that.

Free Range fed birds, of course are much more pricey and are always on offer as a whole bird, you never see them offered "cut up", whereas its common (here) to see the "organic grown" birds available in pre cut "parts".

Aside from the "cooking tips" on the show, I believe the "point" that the program was attempting to make was to "try out" several meat suppliers to establish which one offered the best tasting meat (ie to you, personally), rather than continuing on with "The Lowest Price Is The Law" sort of thinking...

My Mother used to say that "good meat is hard to ruin", but the corollary is that "Poor meat can be hard to Improve"...

Anyways, make a "moment" of it some time, and hopefully, you'll enjoy it as much as I do...

John
cant say i agree totally of what is said, i think people can screw up a good cut of meat, and alot of people do, i also think you can take a cheap cut of meat and make it fantastic, i have never bought a free range bird before (not because i dont have the means too) but i will give it a try this week/sometime. to see if i can agree or not, personally i think alot of "organic and such prducts" our overated and the body that governs the organic title is weak. just my :twocents:, :shrug:

SmokyOkie
08-26-2008, 04:21 PM
I tried an 'Organic, free range" air chilled bird once just to try it. It was close to $4.0o per#. I couldn't tell much difference between it and their standard air chilled bird.

So much of the lack of flavor in today's poultry is bred into them, and it doesn't make much difference what they feed them or how much they let them run.:twocents:

John DOH
08-26-2008, 07:14 PM
Possibly a difference in terminology between Canada and the States.
Up here, "free range" is a mature chicken that has been grain fed and allowed to eat in the barnyard, and is not the breed selected for "factory farms"; I can only get them from the Farmer's Market.
I had a friend that had a chicken farm, and its better not to know what those birds were fed.
"Organic" chicken is something else and only slightly better than air chilled in my opinion.