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#112300 Whole Spice Shopping in PDX

Posted by fathom on 26 January 2009 - 08:20 PM in Shopping, Growing & Foraging

Any New Seasons that I've been to has a sizable section of bulk herbs/spices (Frontier, so maybe not as exotic as foreign markets, but generally good quality); they're the only place I'll buy anything of that nature.  The Freddy's I've been to definitely pale in comparison, and I avoid Whole Foods entirely.  Limbo kind of weirds me out, personally, I wonder how long things have been hanging out in there.



#107456 Bloody Chicken

Posted by fathom on 28 October 2008 - 01:06 AM in Cooking, Cookbooks & Classes

on the brining, use a cooler! tons of room, stays cool, hoses out easily.


Brilliant--that probably would have never occurred to me--many thanks!



#107443 Bloody Chicken

Posted by fathom on 27 October 2008 - 09:32 PM in Cooking, Cookbooks & Classes

I leave the bird uncovered in the fridge so the skin dries out - you get a crisper skin that way. I've even used the non heat setting on a blow dryer if I'm really looking for crispy skin. I also usually brine whole chicken for a few hours. I use about a third cup kosher salt, a third cup sugar, some smashed garlic cloves, thyme, some chili flakes - mix just enough hot water to dissolve the salt and sugar then add ice to cool it down and cold water for the rest of the volume. I put it in my kitchenaid mixer bowl leaving a few inches clear and then top it off with ice. I put it in the sink to brine for a few hours - stays cold for safety and you don't have to worry about dripping raw chicken brine anywhere. Give it a rinse, then let it dry on the rack I'm roasting it on. Then sanitize the sink and surrounding area.

You also might want to check your thermometer for accuracy. They are adjustable and can get out of whack if they've been dropped. Check it either in boiling water or ice water, or both if you want to be really sure. I try to buy birds that haven't been frozen, it really makes a difference in quality.


I have never tried brining simply because I don't have anything big enough to brine in (I've been thinking of picking up some good sized lexan prep containers from a restaurant supply) and not enough room in the fridge.  Thank you for describing your approach, I'm definitely going to try that as I've really been wanting to brine a few things for years and just haven't.
I get the whole drying out the chicken skin with the salt/air scenario, just kinda squicky to leave a nekkid bird out in my fridge, do you think a foil tent would be a good compromise?
To my knowledge, the birds I'm buying have never been frozen (New Seasons is usually pretty clear about stuff like that, and I don't think that any of their meat counter chickens are frozen), and I usually try to get a larger (5-6 lb.) bird, so I would think that they would be a tad older and a little less likely to bleed a lot close to the bone.
I use my classic (old) insta read thermometer for temping, and I did the ice water/boiling water test since it doesn't go below 60...  seems to be working, but could be time for an upgrade.


Rodgers' recipe in the Zuni cookbook is great.  The accompanying bread salad is really good too.  I leave the chicken uncovered in the fridge in order to dry the skin out.  The early salting ensures that the meat stays nice and moist, and having the skin nice and dry prior to roasting helps guarantee nice crispy, golden brown skin after high temp roasting.


Again with the naked bird, do you think a foil tent would work, just so that I don't have an open air carcass?  Something about that... it's like storing raw meat above veggies or something... just doesn't work for me.  The Zuni recipe is definitely in my line up for the next chicken or two, I think I'm going to have to try the brine first.

Thanks for all the good ideas, mrg and Jason Wax, I really appreciate the feedback and I'm looking forward to trying some things that may render the whole bloody chicken question obsolete.



#107414 Bloody Chicken

Posted by fathom on 27 October 2008 - 05:09 PM in Cooking, Cookbooks & Classes

I hear ya'll on the resting business, it's been since this bloody chicken (!) quandary that I've been taking it all the way to temp before resting, just in case something was wonky (I'm feeding a young'un too, these days, so I'm a little more cautious about meat temps).  I usually stuff a fair bit of butter under the skin along the breast and legs which seems to add a little cushion as far as overdone.  Still...
I was looking at the Zuni Cafe recipe for salting and I think I'll try that next time, do you really leave the bird uncovered in the fridge?



#107303 Bloody Chicken

Posted by fathom on 26 October 2008 - 11:25 PM in Cooking, Cookbooks & Classes


OK, so I didn't get to the chicken yesterday, but it has been in the oven a bit over an hour now and I have temped the breast meat at 165, further back (by the tucked in legs) the temp is closer to 175; all (external) juices are clear.  I just peeked in the cavity and there is a pool of bloody juice sitting in there, just waiting to ick up my gravy.  Surely someone has some insight?  I don't know what's up with this and it's only been happening the last couple of months but it's really bothersome.

I wonder if they have begun havesting younger birds, or if the seasonal difference is to blame? :think:
btw, do you think if you used an immersion blender or put it in a standard blender, it would keep your gravy smooth?


Hadn't considered a blender, thank you for the suggestion.  It's not so much that the gravy is lumpy in the sense that there is coagulated whatever that one might expect from something like hamburger, you know?  It's just that when the bloody juice from inside the bird (and tonight, when I took the chicken out, I tipped it over a bowl first to catch the couple of T. of bloodiness--still had some blood in the resting juices though) hits the deglazed pan, it's kind of more diffuse, uh, not an Irish Car Bomb sort of thing, more of a, say, Margarita made with real juice as opposed to mix textural kind of difference.  Speaking entirely of texture, not the obvious superiority of a real Marg--if that makes any sense.  Might be my imagination at this point, but I swear the gravy tastes a little murky, too.

I dunno.  I really appreciate the suggestions and feedback.  I have some kind of weird mystery on my hands.  At least the chicken tasted good.



#107283 Bloody Chicken

Posted by fathom on 26 October 2008 - 05:46 PM in Cooking, Cookbooks & Classes

OK, so I didn't get to the chicken yesterday, but it has been in the oven a bit over an hour now and I have temped the breast meat at 165, further back (by the tucked in legs) the temp is closer to 175; all (external) juices are clear.  I just peeked in the cavity and there is a pool of bloody juice sitting in there, just waiting to ick up my gravy.  Surely someone has some insight?  I don't know what's up with this and it's only been happening the last couple of months but it's really bothersome.



#107124 Bloody Chicken

Posted by fathom on 24 October 2008 - 07:48 PM in Cooking, Cookbooks & Classes


Maybe a little OT, but I was just asking a friend of mine the other day about a chicken blood conundrum.  I like to roast a whole chicken once a week or so, have been doing so for a while now, but the last three or so birds have still had blood in the cavity after I've taken them from the oven to rest/make a pan sauce with the goodies in the bottom of the pan.  I prep the bird pretty simply, rinse inside and out, butter under the skin here and there, salt and pepper, truss, roast at 375--usually following the 1 hour per four pounds, fifteen minutes added for each additional pound.
I always temp my birds, and lately, what with a toddler and live chickens in the yard and such, if anything, the chicken is tending toward too done--but still with blood in the cavity.
Anyone have any insight?  I don't mind much, but when I'm making gravy, if I add the resting juices from the bird and there is blood involved, it tends to coagulate and that's a little funky, to say the least.
I usually get my birds at New Seasons, the Pacific whatever ones b/c the Kookoolan birds are a tad small.  I would be very grateful for any suggestions.

Hmm, that's a tough one.  Off the top of my head: are you drying them inside and out?  Were they fresh or previously frozen?  What is the temp that you are cooking to?  

I always cook until juices run clear.  This has never happened to me.

I do dry inside and out, though not all that carefully inside.  To my knowledge, fresh, not frozen, and I cook to 165 (ideally) for the breast meat, there have been times that it has gone above that...  It's weird, I haven't had this problem before the last three or so birds, so I'm kind of stumped.  The meat is definitely cooked through--I'm trying another one tomorrow, so I'll see what happens.



#107022 Bloody Chicken

Posted by fathom on 24 October 2008 - 01:02 AM in Cooking, Cookbooks & Classes

Maybe a little OT, but I was just asking a friend of mine the other day about a chicken blood conundrum.  I like to roast a whole chicken once a week or so, have been doing so for a while now, but the last three or so birds have still had blood in the cavity after I've taken them from the oven to rest/make a pan sauce with the goodies in the bottom of the pan.  I prep the bird pretty simply, rinse inside and out, butter under the skin here and there, salt and pepper, truss, roast at 375--usually following the 1 hour per four pounds, fifteen minutes added for each additional pound.
I always temp my birds, and lately, what with a toddler and live chickens in the yard and such, if anything, the chicken is tending toward too done--but still with blood in the cavity.
Anyone have any insight?  I don't mind much, but when I'm making gravy, if I add the resting juices from the bird and there is blood involved, it tends to coagulate and that's a little funky, to say the least.
I usually get my birds at New Seasons, the Pacific whatever ones b/c the Kookoolan birds are a tad small.  I would be very grateful for any suggestions.