Updated 2009-11-16 22:13:02 ID=554:0

© 2009 The Romantic Table
©2008 The Romantic Table, Susan McGourty's Table Talk, a California Central Coast Lifestyle blog. 2011-06-09 16:33:16:80
©2008 The Romantic Table

Susan McGourty's Table Talk

How to Roast Chicken and Turkey Romantic Table-Style

"When there's poultry in the oven, there's celebration in the heart! " That's one of my "truisms" that I think most people would agree with. Normally if you're planning on roasting a bird, there's some holiday or special occasion that warrants it. We'll tell you our method to make it an easy task with great presentation.

Aromatic smells and the din of of food preparation is usually comforting and reassuring to most people's ears. It's the "constant" noise and tasks of our food rituals that transcend the ages. These smells and noises also bring us back to our past memories of cooking together with our family and friends.

Roast Chicken or Turkey is one of our most inexpensive meats! A five or six pound chicken, costing about five bucks, will easily feed four. A roasted chicken is almost always welcome to dinner guests. Though it's pretty easy to cook, most people nowadays don't think about doing it very often -other than holidays. We'll give you our tricks for an almost effortless way to roast a bird.

©2009 The Romantic Table, A roasted chicken is always welcomed by dinner guests. 2009-11-15 17:27:11:218
©2009 The Romantic Table

A roasted chicken is always welcomed by dinner guests. We'll give you our tricks for an almost effortless way to roast a bird.
First of all, buy a nice plump uniform bird. A chicken 3-4 pounds will serve two. A larger chicken, 5-6 pounds will serve four. Rinse the bird with cold running water inside and out. Dry and season with salt and pepper inside and out. We preheat our oven to 325 while we clean and prepare our chicken or turkey.

The next step depends on your preferences. We personally like to have our roasted chicken (when it's not a holiday with traditional stuffing) stuffed with oranges that have been sectioned. It cooks a little faster, and makes the chicken so fragrant! Of course it's delicious too when it's stuffed with your favorite dressing. We personally like our Festive Dressing with Apples, Raisins, and Mushrooms.

After the chicken or turkey is stuffed, one thing you can do to improve the looks and uniform cooking of a chicken or turkey will be to truss the bird with cotton kitchen string. See How to Truss Poultry.

We brush its outer skin with melted butter, and we periodically baste it with butter during the baking process. (Every 15-20 minutes or so.)

Speaking of basting with butter. Years ago, when Willard Scott was the weatherman on the "Today Show," and he would narrate the festivities at the "Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade" in New York City, he would go on "that nothing browns a turkey or chicken better than "good ole butter!" I tried it for myself, comparing between basting with melted butter versus margarine. He was right! Nothing browns as well as good ole butter! It's amazing the difference!

The chicken or turkey may get to its perfect roasted color before the internal parts of the meat are cooked. So in this case, cover the poultry with a tent of tin foil. This will prevent burning the skin.

©2009 The Romantic Table, Festive Dressing with Apples, Raisins, and Mushrooms 2009-11-15 17:29:12:219
©2009 The Romantic Table

Festive Dressing with Apples, Raisins, and Mushrooms is my own recipe for making an unusually fragrant and savory dressing for stuffing poultry of any kind or even as a side dish for seafood as well.
One thing we want to point out, is that the bird continues to cook for a few minutes after it's removed from the oven. So keep that in mind when you're roasting a chicken or turkey. You do NOT want your meat dry! We consider our chicken or turkey done, when a fork is inserted into the thickest part of the bird (usually the breast or thigh) and the juices that run are clear. It is cooked. Remove immediately! It'll continue to cook a little more while it sits on the counter or table.

If using an instant thermometer, it is cooked when the internal temperature reaches 175 degrees.

If using a regular thermometer, when the internal temperature reaches 160, start watching its cooking process very closely. The last several degrees cook really fast once it's reached 160 or so. Use our "fork test" and when the juices run clear, it is done, allowing for the extra cooking time out of the oven.

After you remove the poultry from the oven, allow several minutes for it to rest and take up the juices. After fifteen minutes or so, remove the trussing and carve the bird
and let the feast begin!

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A tip from Sue!

Sauteing whole garlic

If your recipe calls for whole garlic, it doesn't burn as easily when in larger pieces. But you do need to score your garlic cloves all over in order to release the garlic juices and fragrance .Always be careful to avoid burning the cloves. It'll make the garlic cloves bitter and ruin what you're cooking.