Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Smoked Paprika Roast Chicken

Smoky, fatty, juicy, fragrant, juicy, wonderful.
I love to roast chickens for dinner--it's cheap, delicious, and there is something primal and fun about carving it up. The best, best way I know to make roast chicken is Thomas Keller's much-lauded epicurious recipe:
This makes an excellent chicken every time. You will want to lick the roasting vessel.
But my personal preference is to substitute smoked Spanish paprika for pepper. So basically, I get the chicken as dry as possible with paper towels, then salt it, then spread a liberal layer of smoked paprika all over the outside and inside the cavity.

Raw chicken and its ingredients.

Then, put it in a hot (450) over for at least an hour (I usually do about an hour and ten). Don't open and close the oven hungrily and obsessively--that will ruin it.
My only other trick is to add a few tablespoons of butter to the drippings after you take it out, then baste!
I love this recipe. Smells fantastic as it starts getting towards doneness. Carve it up and dribble the luscious pan juices on top.
PS: Another great thing is that you get to make chicken stock out of the carcass. Homemade stock is SO much better than canned.
Stock on the way!
To make stock, just put the carcass and neck (if it came with the chicken) in a pot of water. Add onion, garlic, and whatever vegetables you have getting towards aging out of the fridge. I put parsley stems, an onion, two heads of garlic with several cloves each missing, and a lemon.
Let it simmer for a few hours, then store in the fridge (if you plan to use it soon) or freezer (for whenever).

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