I have become a fan of roasting whole chickens in no small part thanks to Around My French Table. While growing up, roasted chicken came in from one of two popular rotisseries near my home: Fuentes BBQ in Altamesa or Nieves BBQ (before it moved to another location in neighboring town Bayamón). My mother would bake whole chicken legs or cook with chicken breasts but she left the roasting to the pros. When I have cravings for good PR style roast chicken, I almost always go to El Guateque in Cupey. Right by my work, the friendly folks at Pagán BBQ greet us by name on a weekly basis and have our usual orders committed to memory.
The adobo – that spice blend that each of these places use – is what sets apart the Puerto Rican rotisserie chicken from the spinning ones at Costco (sorry Costco, you don’t get to win this round). The typical seasoning mix includes salt, pepper, garlic powder, dry oregano, ground coriander, and bay leaf. Some cooks also add cumin to the mix. The chicken skin is also rubbed with a little oil to help it crisp.
Today’s French Fridays with Dorie recipe, Hurry-Up-and-Wait Chicken, gave us the leeway to season the chicken as we liked but roast it it using Joel Robuchon’s method. This involves roasting the chicken sideways at high temperatures and turning it so it cooks evenly. The chicken rests breast side down for about ten minutes so the juices redistribute to the breast. Some may call it fussy, but I thought it was fine considering the end result. Evenly browned chicken with a juicy breast? That we got!
Our chicken had a modified version of the criollo seasoning I mentioned at the beginning of the post. Instead of powdered garlic and dry oregano, I blended fresh on to a large pat of butter along with lots of salt and pepper. I rubbed this mixture between bird’s skin and the meat, and put a little extra on the outside part of the skin. The cavity was filled with an extra garlic head and a large bay leaf.
Now… on to the cons. I roasted my chicken on a relatively new cast iron pan, and even though I’ve seasoned it and used it frequently, it is not fully non-stick. I lost some of the chicken skin while turning it. I added extra olive oil to the pan, so I’m trying to figure out what happened here. Maybe I didn’t dry the skin enough with paper towels? The crispy skin we got was fantastic – greedy me just doesn’t want to lose any bit of it next time.
French Fridays with Dorie is an online cooking group where we work our way through Dorie Greenspan’s Around My French Table. To check all those perfectly browned chickens, click here.