The Bookshelf: A Bird in the Oven

 

If you’re staying in this Valentine’s Day, what could be better than a delicious, aromatic roast chicken for two? We asked Mindy Fox, author of A Bird in the Oven and Then Some, for tips to make sure you and your lovebird enjoy a meal to remember.

 

1. Start with a good bird

A great roast chicken starts with a great bird. Look for organic, grass-fed, antibiotic-free chickens from local farmers or family-farm brands like Murray’s, in Pennsylvania.

 

2. Rinse and dry the bird

To ensure a crispy bird, rinse the chicken in cold water, then use paper
towels to thoroughly dry all over, including inside the cavity.

 

3. Use good sea salt

The next step in achieving beautifully crisp skin is to season generously with a good-quality, flaky sea salt like Big Tree Farms Coarse Hollow Pyramid Salt, or Maldon.

 

4. Get out your cast iron

A good basic pan makes the best roast bird. Mindy’s go-tos are an 8- or 10-inch cast-iron skillet or an enameled cast-iron skillet or gratin dish.

 

5. Find a great recipe

Go to jamesbeard.org/recipes to get Mindy’s recipe for roast chicken with basil, scallion, lemon butter, and potatoes. Use any leftovers to make salads or sandwiches to bring to work the next day for lunch.

 

Member giveaway: Send us your tips for making the best roast chicken at jbfnotes@jamesbeard.org and you could win a copy of A Bird in the Oven and Then Some!

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