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Mouthing Off

By the Editors of Food & Wine Magazine

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Kitchen Insider

The Secrets to Perfect Roast Chicken

Barbuto's JW Chicken

Today, roast chicken guru Jonathan Waxman of New York City's Barbuto and Top Chef Masters fame stopped by F&W’s Facebook page to chat with fans about kale salads, Labor Day grilling and his insider roasting tips. Here, he reveals the dos and don'ts of cooking chicken perfectly and his favorite places to eat it in America.

What’s the most common mistake people make when roasting chicken?
Not basting! Basting is the key. I baste with the pan juices—typically good olive oil and butter. Use a big spoon and gloves.

If a whole roasted chicken comes out rubbery, what was the problem and how should it be correctly cooked?
The chicken was too young and well, not a good bird. Buy the biggest bird (4 pounds) and let it sit in the fridge for a day. Then remove it from the bag, wash under hot water to get rid of the bag stuff, dry and preheat the oven to 400 degrees for an hour. Then coat the chicken with olive oil and salt and pepper. Roast it for 50 minutes, basting every five minutes. Let it rest for 30 minutes after it cooks.

What are some great uses for leftover roast chicken?
Hash, ravioli, tacos or eat it cold from the fridge with a beer.

How many roasted chickens do you serve at Barbuto each week?
1200!

Aside from your own, what are your favorite chicken dishes in the country?
The chicken sandwich at Son of a Gun in L.A. is to die for! Chicken wings at Jonathan Sawyer’s Noodle Cat in Cleveland are scrumptious!

There was a recent NPR article saying people shouldn’t wash chickens before cooking. What do you think?
Wash that scum off the bird—plastic bags and chickens are not good soul mates.

Related: The Best Chicken Dishes in the U.S.
Andrew Zimmern's Global Chicken Guide
Best Fried Chicken in the U.S.
Best Chicken Wings in the U.S.

Rant for Your Life

Why Most Restaurants Fail the Toast Test

Toast fail.

I woke up on a recent morning, like every morning, thinking about toast. I knew that if I kept thinking about toast—not French toast, or toast points, but traditional white toast like you eat at breakfast—I would work myself up into a towering wrath. And there was nothing to be wrathful about! I had fallen asleep at the St. Cecilia hotel in Austin listening to Neil Young records, and woke up knowing that I was about to have breakfast outdoors with a grackle, one the city’s ubiquitous, crow-like carrion birds, at Jo's up the street. (I was in Texas to do the press conference for Meatopia Texas in San Antonio, and also to eat at Qui, which, by the way, is AWESOME.) Once at Jo's, I ended up with a world-class breakfast taco, which I shared with the friendly corvid. In Texas, excellent tortillas seem to take the place of toast much of the time, but I had wanted toast. And I couldn't get it. Because, in Austin as in so many great American cities, our restaurants all fail the Toast Test.

MORE>>

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Chicken Nation

Andrew Zimmern's Global Chicken Guide

Andrew Zimmern's Global Chicken Guide

The TV star and F&W contributing editor shares the best places around the world to try every single part of the chicken—from the head to the feet.

HEARTS
Bird Land, Tokyo
Chef Toshihiro Wada's Bird Land tops my list for yakitori in Tokyo. Every part of the bird is served here, including the heart, a lean, tender organ that only takes a minute to cook over the superhot binchotan charcoal. Most people think of offal as too funky, but the heart is a great introduction to the odd bits: It's slightly chewy and takes on a nice char. ginza-birdland.sakura.ne.jp.

HEADS + NECKS
Va Villa, Mexico City
At this stall in the Barrio Tepito district, heads and necks are fried in lard and then swaddled in salsa verde, queso blanco, shredded lettuce and diced tomatoes. Laid on top of crispy fried tortillas, they almost look like little chicks sleeping. Fray Bartolome de las Casas (West Of Aztecas), Barrio Tepito.

BUTTS (POPE'S NOSES)
Shilin Night Market; Taipei, Taiwan
Walking through this market, you will bump into vendors grilling skewers of unusual chicken parts: unlaid eggs, feet and chicken butts, the flappy bit at the end of the animal where a huge nugget of fat holds the massive plume of feathers. Try any vendor; grilled hard, these chewy nuggets become a crispy, delicious bite and are my single favorite part of the chicken. Jihe Rd, Shilin District.

LIVER
Chez Georges, Paris

My grandmother's chopped chicken liver has no equal, but Chez Georges's chicken liver terrine is close. Smooth, rich, fatty, minerally and dense, it has all the qualities I love in liver. Get extra bread. 1 Rue du Mail; 33-1-42-60-07-11.

WINGS
New Lane; Penang, Malaysia

New Lane is the greatest street-food stroll in the world, partly because it's the only place to get these chicken wings—glazed with a sticky sauce of sugar, soy, rice wine, cinnamon and star anise. Look for a stall with the longest line of locals. Lorong Baru, Georgetown.

KEEL BONES
Kokekokko, Los Angeles
The chefs at Little Tokyo's Kokekokko have yakitori down to a science. They also nail the art. Try skewers of non-traditional parts, like keel bones, the rubbery wedge between the chicken breasts. It has great smoky flavor and the perfect crunchy, yielding feel. 203 S. Central Ave.; 213-687-0690.

THIGHS
Bukhara, New Delhi
One of the best restaurants in India, Bukhara serves richly seasoned, tandoor-cooked red-gold chicken thighs that are buttery, spicy and crisp in all the right places. Diplomatic Enclave, Sardar Patel Margs; 91-11-26112233.

BREASTS
Willie Mae's Scotch House, New Orleans
Located in the Treme neighborhood, the restaurant is run by Willie Mae's granddaughter, who serves some of the best fried chicken. It's the only place where I ever order breasts, because frankly, it's one of the few spots that knows how to cook them. 2401 Saint Ann St.; 504-822-9503.

SKIN
Husk; Charleston, SC
Southern chefs aren't afraid of fat, so it makes sense that chicken skin shows up in a few different incarnations at Sean Brock's Husk (as a salad garnish or with pimento cheese). The absolute best use of the skin, however, is as an appetizer, where it's buttermilk-marinated and deep-fried. huskrestaurant.com

LEGS
Scotchies Restaurant; St. Ann, Jamaica
The chicken is bathed in a flaming-hot seasoning of Scotch bonnet peppers and spices. After a day in the rub, the birds are smoke-roasted on stacks of pimento wood. I ask for piles of legs and a coconut water. N. Coast Hwy., Drax Hall.

FEET
M. Wells Dinette; Long Island City, NY
Inside the Museum of Modern Art's PS 1 outpost, this spot is renowned for Hugue Dufour's fat-on-fat Quebecois food. I always order the crispy and chewy buffalo-style chicken feet—drenched in hot sauce and, of course, maple syrup. momaps1.org

Related: Andrew Zimmern's Kitchen Adventures
Global Grilled Chicken Recipes
Best Restaurant Chicken Dishes

F&W Preview

Diner en Blanc: The Movie

Twenty-five years ago, an outdoor, word-of-mouth, pop-up dinner was thown in Paris. It was BYO table, chairs, wine and food. The dress code: all white. Now held in 40 cities around the world, the secretive Dîner en Blanc dinners (the location is only revealed on the day-of) are also the subject of a new documentary, Diner en Blanc: The World's Largest Dinner Party. The trailer can be seen above. The film will be screened at the Newport Film Festival on September 5 and the Williamstown Film Festival, which takes place September 19 to 22. It is also available for pre-order here. While there's no dress code for those watching the film, we think it would probably be best enjoyed dressed in all white (robes count) with a good bottle of Champagne. New Yorkers who want to experience the real thing will be able to in September—exact date TBD.

Related: Fantastic Picnic Dishes
Viewing Party Recipes
Tom Colicchio's Dinner Party

Events

F&W Exclusive: Tickets for Le Fooding’s Time Mach’Inn

Le Grand Fooding, September 27-28, 2013

Le Grand Fooding 2013: Time Mach'Inn. Image © Art Work Love.

The mad geniuses behind the funky French food festival Le Grand Fooding are bringing their special brand of awesome back to New York this September with my favorite theme yet: Time Mach’Inn. On September 27 and 28, 100 diners will travel back in time over 30 years of food and drink history with New York chefs Frank Falcinelli and Frank Castronovo, Parisian chef Yves Camdeborde and New Zealand chef Peter Gordon as their culinary tour guides. The chefs have created a four-course menu focusing on three periods: the Fusion Cuisine Years (1991-1999), the Bistronomy Years (1998-2007) and the Farm-to-Table Years (2008-2013). A crew of superstar mixologists, including the inimitable Tristan Willey of Booker and Dax, is set to pair Jameson whiskey cocktails with the dishes, and best of all, 10 percent of ticket sales will benefit the food-rescue hero City Harvest. I can’t think of a more delicious way to time travel.

When: September 27-28, at 7 p.m.
Where: 372 Columbia Street, Brooklyn, NY
Price: $100, including four courses, three cocktails, Stumptown coffee and surprises.

Tickets go on sale to the public in September, but Food & Wine is offering an exclusive pre-sale for the event here.

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Congratulations to Nicholas Elmi, winner of Top Chef: New Orleans, the 11th season of Bravo's Emmy-Award winning, hit reality series.

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