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Roasting a chicken question

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One dinner I've prepared a couple of times in the past, that I've enjoyed doing is a roast chicken dinner. I'm just having trouble calculating cooking time.


One of the times when I cooked a chicken at the new house, a little over an hour before people were to arrive, I took the temperature of the chicken in a couple of different places, and it was done. I actually called up three people I knew that had made chicken in the past, and was able to bring a hot chicken to the table without it being over cooked.


Another time, at the time it should have been done, I took it's temperature in a couple of different places, it was done according to that thermometer, but when we went to cut into it, it was still very very pink. We ended up putting back into the oven, and ate mainly the sides for dinner, and then had some chicken when it came out of the oven.


What am I doing wrong? (Also, I was thinking of next time I was going to do a roast chicken to do it in the crock pot, any advice for it as well)

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Chicken can sometimes do that to you.  I too use a thermometer, and get widely differing readings depending on where I 'stick it" so for me, consistency helps.

If you get the thermometer in a fatty area, hit bone, or are in the center of a mass of meat the readings will all differ.  So it helps to go for the same place each time.

Even so, there are variations; breast meat is done at a different temperature than the dark meat!  Good grief; I have had more than one turkey that had to go back to the oven for the denser breast meat to finish cooking, while we ate the dark meat!  I think I was pushing the thermometer too close to the hollow interior that time instead of stopping in the middle of the breast meat (hard to guess sometimes how far in to go) so I missed the mark.  


To be honest, the best 'roast'  birds I did were microwaved (wrap in plastic wrap, vent a couple places, and in it goes) which gives an amazingly moist product but no crisp skin.  Then I took them out and baked in a very hot oven to brown the skin and make it crispy.  Extra work, but I always made twice as much as we would eat, so I had lots of leftovers to freeze & break out later; that is if I could get my leftover-munching-poultry-loving husband to leave them alone!  That worked so well that I now micro turkey, too (I have it cut in quarters when it is on sale, wrap & freeze the quarters, and take out to nuke as wanted).  It cooks much faster, the house stays cooler, and the flavor is much richer, texture moister, etc.  Much as I love that crispy turkey skin, I like the lusciousness of the meat more.  It worked well with duck, too, just drain off the grease often so it does not catch fire.  I put whole birds on a glass pie plate on an inverted saucer (for a trivet) cover the bird down the sides of the pie plate with plastic wrap, and vent it (poke small hole) in a place where the wrap tents over and does not touch the bird or the plate.  Micro on high for around 8 min per pound.  Be sure to check temperatures in the breast close to the ribs before putting in the oven to crisp the skin (that is the last place it seems to cook for me).


You are on the right track in checking several different areas; I'd just look for larger meat masses and measure in the center of those.  Remember, that closer to the bone is seems to cook slower, so you might do your confirmation checks closer in, trying not to hit bone.


I wish I had a real solution for you, instead of just commiserations.

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I pull the bird out and stab it hard in the thigh.  If any colored liquid drips out, the bird goes back in.

Supposed to be able to wiggle the leg and tell if it's loose in the joint (i.e. cooked) but--graceful me!--I have wiggled one bird all the way to the floor and scared myself on a couple of others.  It's either risk fumbling in gloves or guarantee burning bare fingers.  Don't know which is worse.


Stab that sucker!

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I set the timer for the recommendation on the package, about 43 minutes before that I peaked and saw it was brown, and the little thing popped up. I took it out and the temp and it was 200, so really over cooked. My main plan for this chicken is for homemade chicken soup.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Just recently purchased an electric pressure cooker...and it's wonderful for cooking meats (as well as other things).  It's pull apart tender.  I use the "brown" setting to sear my roast's on all sides, then change the settings according to what I'm going to cook.  As for my holidy turkey...I use my roaster and set it at 250 and let it cook until my bamboo skewer comes out clear and no red liquid surfaces from the hole I've made.  To make it "brown" I brush it with Kitchen Boquet.  If you're wanting shredded chicken, just pressure cook it and then pull it when it's cooled.  Be sure to save the chicken stock!

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I really love mine too. Meat comes out so tender it falls apart trying to get it out of the pot.. I use mine mostly when I'm canning. I cook beef and chicken in it for a few minutes then shred it to use in soups to can. Pork would work too.


I really like it for canning my beans. I don't have to cook them for an hour and let then soak or else soak them overnight before canning. 15-20 minutes in the electric pressure pot and they are ready to be canned without being too mushy. I'm going to have to make some more bean soup this this winter.

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