If you’re thinking about how to prepare your turkey, here’s how I season chicken, turkey, and other kinds of poultry. You can apply this technique at the last minute, as well as a few days before, while the turkey waits in the refrigerator. What I get is golden, crunchy skin and moist meat underneath. Roasted chicken is the meal my kids would choose if stranded on a desert island.
For Thanksgiving and other times, I rub the skin, both inside and out, with olive oil and kosher salt (or sea salt), and then I usually add some herbs to the cavity and outer skin. This year, since I grew thyme and rosemary I’m adding them to the dry rub. Sometimes I use butter instead of olive oil, but either are good at keeping the salt and moisture in place while roasting.
Tip Salting the skin generously returns the favor with crunchy, roasted skin (we have intense negotiations over the crunchy pieces).
I think I’m going to grill my turkey this year – I’ve never done this, but since I don’t have an especially large turkey, I’m going to give it a try.
Quite often I cook a whole chicken on the grill. I heat the grill to between 350 and 400 degrees F, place the chicken in an old baking cake pan with a wire rack, and, depending on the weight, cook it for about 1 1/2 hours. In general, it takes less time to grill a chicken than to roast it in the oven.
Dry rub for chicken, turkey, and other poultry
- at least 1/4 cup of Kosher salt (or sea salt)
- about 1/4 cup of olive oil
- any other herbs you like, dried or fresh
- lemon or orange slices or zest in the cavity and on the skin (optional)
- When poultry is defrosted, rub olive oil all over, including under the skin. Slide your fingers under the skin to loosen it up enough to get to the thighs.
- Once oiled (or buttered), take Kosher salt and spread it in pinches underneath the skin, spreading it out as you go along. Add some herbs as well if you want to.
- Next, sprinkle the outside with Kosher salt as well as any herbs you are using.
- Optionally, place some lemon zest over the outside skin and the lemon inside the cavity (if you’re not stuffing it).
- Roast and enjoy!
Ruth, I butterfly thick cuts of meat, but I’ve never thought to freeze it that way. Great ideas! Love Cook’s Illustrated instructions.
I love doing this too. For the past few years I have been butterflying chicken. i first read the suggestion on Cook’s Illustrated. They are right. This flattens the chicken out, and it cooks more quickly and evenly.
When I buy more good chicken than I’ll cook, I butterfly them a wrap to freeze. Takes much much less freezer space. I have to say they look funny: chickens stacked up in my freezer.
It takes very little time to butterfly them: use either kitchen shears or a knife to cut the un-cooked chicken along the middle of the breast. Then widen the break, and flatten the poor bird. Sounds awful.
Cooks Illustrated probably has this illustrated, and other sites may too.
Apple, yum! I made a new kind of stuffing this year, using apple, and it came out wonderful.
I love making chicken this way! Another idea is to use apples inside the cavity. I like to make a gravy from the juices when it’s finished cooking and the apples give it a nice flavor. Enjoy!