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HOW TO CARVE CHICKEN FOR COMPANY
(From Washington Post, March 18, 2009

In my humble opinion, one of the most difficult acts to perform correctly and neatly in the kitchen is to carcve a bird, especially a whole small roasted chicken, and especially for company. When I saw this in the Washington Post on Matrch 18, 2009, I KNEW I had to bring it to you.

To give you a sample to work on, I'm including here my recipe for "3-2-1 Roast Chicken" to carve 10 pieces from a whole chicken (2 legs, 2 thighs, 2 wings, 4 breast pieces)

MY RECIPE FOR 3-2-1 ROAST CHICKEN
I made this up years ago when looking for a different way to roast a chicken. It really became a hit. Some of the "heat" cooks almost totally out of the hot sauce, the meat stays very juicy, and the skin gets nice and golden and crispy.
Serves: 4-6

1 roasting chicken (5-6 lbs.) *
Kosher salt and coarse-ground black pepper
6 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons liquid smoke flavoring
2 tablespoons Tabasco sauce or other hot sauce
6 medium potatoes, peeled, cut in chunks -- optional **

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove giblets and excess fat from chicken cavity and discard or reserve for another use. Wash inside and out thoroughly; pat dry with paper towels. Salt and pepper cavity; tuck wingtips behind and under back.

In a small saucepan, place butter, liquid smoke and hot sauce; melt over medium-low heat until butter is melted, stirring to mix well. Remove from heat and set aside. (Also, can be done in microwave in a non-metallic dish for 40 seconds on High.) On a board or paper towels, turn chicken breast-side down. Season with salt and pepper to taste, then brush sauce liberally over surface. Place chicken on a rack in a large roasting pan, breast side up. Season generously with salt and pepper, then brush sauce liberally over the remaining surfaces. Reserve the rest of the sauce for basting later.

Roast about 2 hours, basting frequently with remaining sauce about every 25-30 minutes, or until leg joints move freely and juices run clear when pierced with a fork, and breast meat registers about 165 deg.F. on an instant-read thermometer. Remove chicken to a platter, tent with foil to keep warm and let stand 15-20 minutes before carving.

* If a smaller chicken is desired (about 3 to 3-1/2 lbs., proportions of butter, liquid smoke flavoring and hot sauce can be cut in half.

** If potatoes are desired, add them to the pan at least 1 hour before finished roasting; coat the potato chunks in pan juices and finish roasting.

QUESTIONS? Try me----e-mail me at shaboom@shentel.net!

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