Roasting a whole chicken can be a fantastic way to create a flavorful and satisfying meal. The key to achieving delicious results lies in cooking the chicken evenly on all sides so that the skin becomes golden brown and crispy, while the meat inside remains juicy. One method that accomplishes this perfectly is vertical roasting.
The Magic of Vertical Roasting
Vertical roasting is a simple yet effective way of cooking a whole chicken. By positioning the chicken in a vertical position, it roasts evenly on all sides, resulting in a perfectly golden exterior. One of the best parts of roasting a whole chicken is the crunchy chicken skin, and the vertical roasting method enhances its texture and flavor.
You may be surprised to learn that this method has variations in different parts of the world. In Russia and Belarus, it’s known as “Chicken on a Can” or “Курица на Банке.” In this recipe, a whole chicken is placed on top of a small jar and roasted upright until it turns golden all around. In America, a similar technique is called Beer Can Chicken, where the chicken is roasted or grilled while placed on top of a beer can.
Different Ways to Roast a Chicken Vertically
There are a few ways you can achieve the vertical roasting effect. First, you can use a bundt pan. Simply place the chicken’s cavity over the center of the bundt pan, which is perfectly shaped to hold the chicken upright. Another option is placing the chicken on top of a jar or can. While some recipes call for using a specialized vertical roaster, it’s more practical to make use of items you already have in your kitchen. A multipurpose approach is not only convenient but also a great way to maximize your kitchen gadgets.
Bundt Pan Roast Chicken
To roast a chicken using a bundt pan, follow these steps:
- Place the chicken’s cavity over the center of the bundt pan.
- Put the bundt pan on top of another baking sheet.
- Roast the chicken until it is fully cooked.
Chicken Roasted on a Can (aka Beer Can Chicken)
If you don’t have a bundt pan or prefer an alternative method, roasting the chicken on top of a small jar works just as well. In Belarus, traditional cooks often use small glass jars instead of beer cans. To do this:
- Fill a small glass jar one-third to half full with water or broth.
- You can add garlic, onion, bay leaves, and other herbs or lemon for extra flavor.
- As the chicken roasts, the liquid heats up, preventing the jar from cracking and infusing the chicken with steam.
- You could also use a beer can by pouring out half of the beer and following the same method.
Choosing the Right Jar Size
When using a jar, it’s crucial to ensure it’s the right size. A 16 oz jar with a regular mouth (not a wide mouth) is perfect. The cavity of the chicken fits securely on top, allowing for efficient roasting. A regular mouth jar has a diameter of approximately 2.5 inches, making it an ideal fit.
How to Roast the Chicken in an Upright Position
Roasting the chicken in a vertical position is simple. Just follow these steps:
- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit, ensuring the oven rack is on the lowest position.
- Carefully place the chicken on the can/jar, positioning it on top of a rimmed baking sheet.
- Transfer the chicken to the preheated oven and roast for approximately 1 1/2 hours, depending on the chicken’s size.
- Use an instant-read thermometer to check the chicken’s temperature. The breast should be at 165 degrees Fahrenheit, while the thigh meat should reach 175 degrees Fahrenheit.
Enhancing the Flavor with Garlic
Adding minced garlic to the chicken right away may cause it to burn and give the dish a bitter taste. To prevent this, add the garlic during the last few minutes of roasting. This way, the garlic infuses the chicken with its delicious flavor without any unwanted bitterness.
Serving Your Vertical Roasted Chicken
Once the chicken is fully cooked, golden brown on the outside, and cooked through in the center, it’s time to serve it. To ensure the best presentation, allow the chicken to rest for about 15 minutes before slicing and serving. Remember to remove it carefully from the can or bundt pan before placing it on your serving dish.
With its crispy skin, juicy meat, and flavorful garlic infusion, vertical roasted chicken is sure to be a hit at any gathering or family meal. Feel free to experiment with different herbs and spices to personalize the flavor. Enjoy the delightful experience of cooking and savoring this simple yet impressive dish.
For more inspiring recipes and culinary adventures, visit BDK Restaurant, your go-to resource for delicious meals made with love.