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Roasting a free range chicken from Crampton's

 

Chicken is done when a meat thermometer reads 165 degrees F when placed in the thickest part of the thigh

.Option One: Brining.:Boil 6 cups of water; add .5 cup salt and .5 cup sugar. Stir until dissolved. Remove from heat; add spices to your taste. I add 1 tsp black pepper, and 1 tsp thyme.  Add a cup of ice to cool the mixture. When cool add your thawed chicken and brine for 2 hours to 10 hours.                                                                                                         Drain your bird thoroughly, rinse well in cool water, and pat dry before roasting. roast: Preheat your oven to 350                                                                                                                                              I like to brush my chicken with melted butter, add a few cloves of garlic under the skin, Season the bird how you would like but remember you have brined your bird, no need to salt it again.  Make sure that your chicken is in a roaster that leaves room for air circulation. Roast your bird with the lid on, for 2 to 3 hours at 350.    Remove roaster from oven, and let chicken stand for 15-20 minutes before carving. This will allow the meat to reabsorb the juices. Proceed to carving instructions below. Option Two: Adding liquid later If you have not brined your chicken, be certain that your bird is fully thawed and at room temperature before starting.  I also like to give it a rinse in the sink and pat it dry before proceeding. roast: Preheat your oven to 350                                                                                                                                              I like to brush my chicken with melted butter, add a few cloves of garlic under the skin, Season the bird how you would like, I use ground Kampot pepper, smoked sea salt, rosemary, more garlic, sometimes some thyme.    Make sure that your chicken is in a roaster that leaves room for air circulation Roast your chicken for 2 hours at 350.   After a 2 hour roast time, pour one cup of liquid into the roaster. The liquid can be one cup of water, or a half cup water and half cup white wine, or a half cup chicken stock and half cup white wine, or a third a cup of water, a third a cup of white wine and a third a cup of stock…you get the idea. Put the lid back on and continue cooking for another 30 minutes to an hour. With conventional chickens the joints move freely when the bird is done, free range roasters have much stronger connective tissues so the joints will not move as freely when done as you may expect. Remove roaster from oven, and let chicken stand for 15-20 minutes before carving. This will allow the meat to reabsorb the juices. Carving Instructions.  Very important. When carving your free range bird, it is very important to cut the meat across the grain. Free ranged chickens have a much more dense muscle tissue (as they run around) so it is important to shorten the strands when carving. Look at the meat that you are about to cut, you should notice the fibres running in one direction like the strings in celery. You want to cut those strands crosswise to shorten them, (like cutting celery across to shorten the strands rather than the length of the celery which would make it really chewy.) The meat from a free range bird should be dense, more like a conventional turkey than a conventionally raised chicken. You should be satisfied with a smaller portion as the meat is so much more dense and the bones make the best soup in the world. The meat from a free range bird will never be slippery and soft like that from a grocery store bird; the texture difference should be very apparent but not “tough”