Monday, December 14, 2009

Menu No. 1: roasted chicken

The final exam in Culinary Foundations II will begin with roasted chicken. Here's the menu and some of the details for how this plate should come together on Thursday:

* Roasted whole chicken, with root vegetables, turned potatoes, sauce nateur and garnish.

For roasted chicken: Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Season chicken inside and out and truss with butcher's twine Lightly butter the exterior, place on an aluminum foil collar to elevate in roasting pan. Roast 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 F., and roast for up to one hour, to an internal temperature of 160-165 F.

For potatoes, other vegetables: Tourné 3-5 red potatoes to prep for roasting. Prep root vegetables for roasting: rutabaga, carrot, parsnip, turnip.

When chicken is done, remove and rest it for 15 minutes while roasting potato and vegetables. Degrease roasting pan and make sauce nateur: put mirepoix (onion, carrot, celery) into chicken drippings to brown, deglaze with white wine, add chicken stock and demi-glace, finish with butter.

Carve chicken and pair one leg-thigh with half breast, set atop roasted vegetables. Pour sauce over chicken, add garnish. Serve.

(Photo shows a practice roasted chicken before carving and plating.)


  1. What is it with tourneed potatoes and culinary academies?! They were even front and center in a cooking documentary I saw this summer! (Your dish sounds delish, though.)

  2. Good question, Frank.

    The tourné is considered the height of precision in French knife skills and vegetable cutting, and it is one of a handful of basic skills that will get one a job in a restaurant kitchen, according to our chef/instructors. Thus, it is taught in culinary schools.

    (The other basics that ought to get one a job are making a French omelet -- remember, no brown -- and making consommé, the clear and flavorful broth that Chef Dan calls the "Mercedes Benz, Rolls Royce, Jaguar f soups.")

    The owner of an Italian restaurant in Monterey County, Calif., told me years ago that his singular test for someone wanting to cook in his kitchen would be making a marsala wine sauce. (I learned how after he told me that.)

  3. Thanks for this info! Very interesting! I'd have no fingers left if I tried tourneeing. I'll just be content to eat fries someone else has made.