The Secrets to Our Signature Perfectly Roasted Chicken

The Secrets to Our Signature Perfectly Roasted Chicken

The Humble Beginnings of Our Perfectly Roasted Chicken

You know, when we first opened the doors to Camperdown Elm back in 2017, we had no idea what kind of a phenomenon our signature roasted chicken would become. I mean, it was just a simple dish that I had perfected over years of experimenting in my home kitchen, but little did I know that it would earn us a dedicated cult following here in Brooklyn.

But I’m getting ahead of myself here. Let me rewind a bit and tell you the story of how this whole roasted chicken saga began. It all started when I was just a young, wide-eyed culinary school graduate, fresh off the boat from the Midwest, trying to make my mark in the cutthroat New York food scene. I had this dream of opening up my own restaurant one day, where I could showcase the kind of wholesome, unfussy cooking that I had grown up with.

The problem was, I didn’t have much experience under my belt beyond the basics. Sure, I could sauté a mean chicken breast or braise a tender pork shoulder, but when it came to roasting a whole bird to perfection? That was uncharted territory for me. I remember spending countless hours poring over recipe books and cooking blogs, trying to crack the code. I’d baste, I’d truss, I’d crank up the oven temperature – but no matter what I did, I could never quite achieve that elusive combination of juicy, tender meat and crispy, golden-brown skin.

That is, until one fateful evening when I was experimenting with a new technique that involved brining the chicken before roasting. Suddenly, the clouds parted and the angels started singing – I had done it! The most perfectly cooked, mouthwateringly delicious roasted chicken I had ever tasted. It was a revelation, and I knew right then and there that this had to be the signature dish of the restaurant I would one day open.

The Secrets to a Perfectly Roasted Chicken

So, what exactly is the secret to our signature roasted chicken, you ask? Well, it all comes down to three key elements: brining, seasoning, and technique. Let me break it down for you.

The Brine

The brining process is absolutely crucial when it comes to achieving that moist, succulent texture in the meat. You see, the salt and water in the brine help to break down the protein strands in the chicken, allowing them to retain more moisture during the cooking process. It’s kind of like a magical marinade that infuses the meat with flavor all the way to the bone.

I like to keep my brine simple, with just a few key ingredients: kosher salt, brown sugar, garlic, and a handful of aromatic herbs like thyme and rosemary. The chicken gets submerged in this fragrant liquid for a good 12-24 hours, during which time the flavors really have a chance to permeate.

Now, I know what you’re thinking – won’t that make the chicken too salty? Not to worry, my friends. I’ve perfected the ratio of salt to water over the years, so you end up with a perfectly seasoned bird that’s not at all overpowering. In fact, the brine helps to balance out the natural saltiness of the chicken, resulting in a beautifully seasoned final product.

The Seasoning

Once the chicken has had its soak in the brine, it’s time to amp up the flavor even further with some strategic seasoning. I like to keep things pretty simple and straightforward here – just a good quality olive oil, some freshly cracked black pepper, and a generous sprinkling of my secret spice blend.

Now, the spice blend is where I really get to flex my culinary muscles. It’s a closely guarded recipe that I’ve been tinkering with for years, but I’ll give you a little hint: it involves a unique mix of warm, earthy spices like smoked paprika, cumin, and coriander. There’s also a touch of brown sugar in there to help balance out the heat and create a delicious caramelized crust on the skin.

I make sure to really rub that spice blend all over the surface of the chicken, getting into every nook and cranny. This not only infuses the meat with incredible flavor, but it also helps the skin to get extra crispy and golden-brown during the roasting process.

The Technique

Alright, so we’ve got the brine and the seasoning down – but what about the actual roasting technique? Well, my friends, this is where the magic really happens.

You see, I’ve spent years perfecting my method for roasting the perfect chicken, and it all starts with the oven temperature. I like to crank that baby up to a nice, high heat – around 450°F to be exact. This helps to quickly render the fat in the skin, resulting in that heavenly crispy exterior.

But here’s the kicker – I don’t just leave the chicken in the oven to fend for itself. Oh no, I have a whole choreographed dance that I do with that bird. Every 15 minutes or so, I’ll open the oven door and baste the chicken with the hot, fragrant juices that have accumulated in the pan. This not only helps to keep the meat moist and juicy, but it also adds an extra layer of flavor to the skin.

And the final step? Well, that’s where the patience really comes into play. Instead of pulling the chicken out of the oven the moment it reaches that perfect internal temperature, I let it rest for a good 15-20 minutes. This allows the juices to reabsorb back into the meat, ensuring that every bite is as moist and succulent as can be.

Bringing it All Together: The Perfect Roasted Chicken

So, there you have it – the secrets to our signature roasted chicken, straight from the horse’s mouth. It’s a labor of love, to be sure, but the end result is nothing short of perfection.

When you sink your teeth into one of our roasted chickens, you’ll be met with that irresistible crunch of the skin, followed by the most tender, juicy, and flavorful meat you’ve ever tasted. It’s the kind of dish that makes you close your eyes and let out a contented sigh, savoring every single bite.

And you know what’s even better? This perfectly roasted chicken serves as the foundation for so many of our other signature dishes here at Camperdown Elm. From our famous chicken salad sandwiches to our hearty chicken pot pies, that beautifully cooked bird is the star of the show.

So, the next time you find yourself in Brooklyn, I highly encourage you to swing by our cozy little restaurant and try our signature roasted chicken for yourself. I can pretty much guarantee that it’ll be the best you’ve ever had. And who knows – it just might become your new obsession, just like it did for so many of our loyal customers.