Roasting a perfect chicken does not need to be a compromise between crispy skin and a dry overcooked breast...
Simply put, the dry overbearing heat of an oven sucks. It removes loads of mositure from proteins and cooks them at way too high a temperature to reap the optimal effects we want from a chicken - moist, tender juicy meat with a nice crisp skin. By following these straightforward steps, you will never allow your poor chicken to endure the perils of an oven again.
1. First off, choose your chicken wisely. If you want a delicious chicken, buy a delicious chicken. A £4 number from Tescos is not your friend here. Spend as much as you can. A happy chicken is a tasty chicken.
2. Joint your happy chicken; two breasts, two legs, two wings and a carcass
3. Give your chicken a salty bath. Brining helps to penetrate your chicken achieving a more thorough seasoning whilst encouraging moisture, resulting in a tasty, juicy chicken.
4. Dry your chicken. Pat dry your breasts and legs after 8 hours of brining and leave to dry further, uncovered in the fridge for two days.
5. Place the breasts in one vacuum bag and the legs in another, add chicken stock, butter, garlic and thyme and seal. No salt needed as you've already brined the chicken.
6. Sous vide at 62c for one hour
7. Remove the chicken from the bags, pat dry and season the skin to help remove any moisture
8. Crisp the skin under a salamander, with a blow torch or in a pan
9. Serve. Your perfect chicken is ready