Back at Thanksgiving, I was not inclined to mess with my bird much. Brine, seasoned with salt and pepper, stuffed with Sage and onion, set on a bed of rosemary, then basted with butter whilst roasting. Okay, I fucked with that bird plenty – it just didn’t *seem* too persnickety. The only proportion I had to keep in mind was the brine solution – everything else was eyeballed.
I like that type of cooking, even though I also love the precision and anal-retentive nature of baking. Things that are easy to remember, can be replicated readily and turn out great results are good for the days and nights that I don’t feel like cooking but have no interest in eating (or producing) crap.
Hence, The Rub. I was going to take my broken-down, brined chicken, season the skin with a bit of salt and pepper and bake it au naturel with some mini-potatoes and chunks of sweet potato. But, by the time I put the Parker House roll dough together (my variation will also post tomorrow), I felt like staying in the kitchen a bit longer. That meant taking another look at the chicken.
I’m not going to inject anything after brining, but crispy, flavorful skin was calling my name. After doing some research on the myriad rub recipes available, reading a lot of recipe comments and consulting my larder, I figured this should do nicely:
2T fresh herbs, minced (I walked along our planter row and grabbed rosemary, basil, oregano and parsley)
2t dry mustard
2 garlic cloves, minced
2T olive oil
1/2t salt (increase to 1t if the chicken isn’t brined)
I’ll bring the chicken up to room temp and bake it for 30 minutes at 400 degrees and 20-30 more minutes at 325 degrees. If your oven is *not* an arsonist like mine is, you may be able to bake the chicken unshielded for the duration. I’ll probably have to shield my bird at the midpoint to prevent pulling blackened chicken from the oven. If your chicken is whole, give it 30 minutes at 450 degrees, then shield it and finish baking at 325 degrees until your meat thermometer (yes, you should have one) reads that the chicken is done.