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A question about a recipe: Barbara Kafka's Simplest Roast Chicken

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I have a question about the recipe "Barbara Kafka's Simplest Roast Chicken" from Genius Recipes. Where to start? I made this today, and everything seemed to be usual- I followed all the steps correctly, it got really smoky as people say it does, the skin was crackly. It was a supermarket chicken- about 5.5 pounds, so I put it in for 55 minutes accordingly. At 500- not convection. When I removed the giblets to stuff it, some of them had ice crystals on them, but the cavity did not feel frozen, and the outside of the bird certainly did not. When I removed it from the oven, the juices ran clear (from the thigh), as far as I could see against the skin. I let it sit for about a half hour because it was destined for a picnic and I was getting things together. When we carved and served it, the drumsticks were good, but the texture of the breast meat was beyond strange. It seemed to be completely white and cooked, but the texture was a combination of rubbery and raw- it had what I can only (inadequately) describe as "crunch", but not like something hard and crispy- like something watery, but rubbery at the same time. It reminded me of the texture of raw chicken, only rubbery. It was just SO, so weird. Since it wasn't pink (and since the only other thing was roasted broccoli), we ate a moderate amount of it and I took the rest home. About half of each breast is still intact, and when I poke it it feels slightly loose and jiggly, like it's still partially raw. What the heck happened?? My oven might need to be calibrated..... but does this ring a bell for anyone? It's so weird! (Also, did I just give my whole family salmonella?)

asked by Nikki Segall about 5 years ago
4 answers 5140 views
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added about 5 years ago

I think there's a glitch in the website- I'm the one who posted this, but it's showing up as being from Nikki Segall. I also e-mailed her and let her know this happened, just in case she gets helpful answers to a question she never asked!

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Kristen Miglore

Kristen is the Creative Director of Food52

added about 5 years ago

How strange -- I'm sorry you ended up with these odd results! What you're describing almost sounds like a brined chicken texture -- I wonder if you used a kosher bird (which gets salted in processing), although I've never known kosher chickens to go quite that far. If the meat was white and juices were clear, it sounds like it was fully cooked, so I wouldn't worry about that.

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added about 5 years ago

I have a digital thermometer, but didn't use it this time. Since the recipe involves such unusual temperature and time, I figured it would be best to use the included instruction for telling if it was done- poking it to see if the juices were clear. (It seemed logical at the time.) The main problem wasn't doneness, but texture.
I'm pretty sure it wasn't a kosher chicken- I believe it was Foster Farms. Totally run-of-the-mill. Also, I 'm wondering if I can salvage the rest of it in any way, like by simmering it for soup. The texture isn't something I would volunteer to eat again.

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