That’s right! 5 steps. Or, you can Check out how to do it via video tutorial right here in under 90 seconds.
Roasted chicken is one of the best examples of how good product and perfect execution outweigh creativity a lot of the time. All you need for a perfect bird is a little salt, a little time, and some technique.
Old School Trussing
First of all, what is trussing?
Trussing a chicken is a method of 1) tying a bird up so that its extremities don’t overcook in the oven and 2) maintaining the bird’s shape in the oven so that it look pretty when it comes out.
Here’s my problem with a trussed chicken: It doesn’t produce the best tasting bird. The skin from the breast curls up as it cooks, resulting in overcooked white meat near the wishbone. The thighs and legs are all squished together, resulting in soft, gray skin rather than the crunch everyone loves on a roasted chicken. On top of all of that, I am kind of a fan of overcooked dark meat (*GASP*).
Yep, I said it. But everyone is thinking it. So try this method instead.
New School Trussing
Below is a step-by-step guide how to truss a chicken. I’ve dry-brined a chicken, which is why the bottom of the drumsticks look a darker in color (don’t know what dry-brining is? click here).
What You’ll Need
- 1 chicken
- Paper towels
- Butcher’s twine
Grab about 4 feet of twine. I usually use about 3 feet, but I recommend giving yourself some slack if you aren’t used to doing this. It’s a lot easier to cut off twine at the end than start over because you don’t have enough.
Place the chicken on your cutting board. Dry it off with paper towels or tea towels. This step is important so the chicken doesn’t slide all over the place as you’re working with it.
Place the center of the twine underneath the center of the chicken’s back.
Go up and over the “armpit” of the chicken, then cross the twine around the top of the breast. You want the skin to go all the way to the bottom of the bird, and pull the twine tightly around the breast. This will expose more skin to the oven’s heat.
Pull the twine around the outside of the wings, then cross is underneath the bottom tip of the breast.
Pull the twine tightly to make the breast pop up off the ribcage. Go underneath the legs and around the joint where the drumstick meets the thigh (think “knee cap”). Again, Pull tightly.
Flip the bird over. Cross the twine, then give it 2 or 3 loops. Tighten the twine, then tie a knot. Cut off the excess twine and your bird is ready to roast!
That’s it! I can’t take pictures of myself tightening the twine in between pictures which is why it looks loose. The video demonstrates the process in a quick and simple way in case you missed it.