There is something warm and inviting about roasting a whole chicken. It’s delicious, it’s easy, it feeds a whole family, and it’s literally a blank canvas to pair with any side dishes. Here at Union Wine Co., we especially love it because it goes great with white wine, red wine, rosé or bubbles. How many proteins can say that?
If you’re going through the effort, why not make it the most delicious chicken you can? One easy way to really step up your chicken game is to truss it, or secure it with butchers twine. The reason why this is important is because when you roast an untrussed chicken, the breast cavity remains wide open, allowing too much hot air to circulate inside, drying out the breast before the legs and thighs are properly cooked. Trussing holds the whole chicken together for a moist and evenly roasted finish.
For those of us who have spent time in professional kitchens, trussing is second nature. But for the home cook, this can be a little daunting. That’s why we’ve decided to give you a simple step-by-step process.
Before you begin, rinse the bird in cool water and pat dry. Then measure out a good amount of butchers twine. Butchers twine can be purchased at most grocery stores but just about any butcher will give you some if you ask nicely. A good measure for length is the width of your arms outstretched. (It is always better to have a little extra twine than not enough.) Then, grab a sharp knife, pour yourself a nice cold glass of Underwood Rosé Bubbles, and let’s get to trussing.
Find the middle of your twine and slide in directly under the center of your bird.
Pull the string forward above the wings.
Cross the string in front of the bird and pull tight.
Pull the twine back toward you, securing the wings to the side of the bird.
Cross the twine again under the crown of the chicken (the tip of the breast bone) and pull tight.
Push the twine forward coming over the tops of the legs.
Bring the twine back under the drumsticks and pull tight.
While holding the twine as tight as you can flip the bird over and wrap the string three times and tie a tight double knot. It is VERY important to wrap the twine three times before knotting as this will keep the twine tight and allow for you to knot it without loosening the whole truss.
Trim the excess string and you are ready to roast!
Now, if you like, season the bird with olive oil, salt and pepper, place on a bed of chopped up mirepoix (carrots, onion, and celery) and roast in a 375-degree oven for about 1 hour. Cooking time may vary but your bird is done when the thick part of the leg reads 160 degrees.
Thanks to Quincey Sanders (@quinceysanders) from Canard for his expert trussing skills!
Photography and Text by David L. Reamer. (@dlreamer)