With all the chatter about roasting chickens making its way through the blogs recently, I thought you’d appreciate a quick video tutorial on trussing a chicken. There are a few different ways of tying your chicken up, but I find this one easy to learn and remember, and is neighborhood butcher-approved. You don’t need trussing needles or skewers, just a length of twine.
Why is it worth taking the extra two minutes to truss your chicken? By pulling the wings and legs close to the body, you’re creating a nice little package that allows the constituent parts to cook more evenly—the wings won’t be flopping around with the tendency to burn, and the more uniform shape will insulate the drier white meat portions from overcooking. Plus, it will look absolutely golden brown and fantastic when you pull it from the oven.
Take a look at the video below, with a bonus appearance on the chair behind me from sous-chef cat Harry. He’s a poultry lover who’s just waiting for the day I let my guard down and he can sink his fangs into a freshly-roasted drumstick.
How to Truss a Chicken
For those of you who want still photo instruction, step by step, it goes:
- Place the chicken breast side up, with the legs facing away from you.
- Position your long piece of twine under the chicken butt and bring both ends under the legs but over the vestigial tail piece (which is actually called the pope’s nose—see, you’re always learning) to make an X.
- Criss-cross the twine once more, this time on top of the legs, so the twine grabs the chicken around the ankles and the X is on top of the keel bone.
- Now take the twine around the top curve of the drumstick, pulling the string taut so the legs nestle tightly against the body.
- Grab the “elbows” of the wings with the twine and tuck them tight as you flip the bird over.
- Loop the string around itself twice so you can secure it tightly with your thumb as you make the final knot.
Questions? Favorite ways to roast a chicken? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter!