To truss or not to truss, that is the question. Have you ever trussed a chicken? Trying to wrangle a chicken, even when it’s not moving, can be a daunting task. You may not even know what trussing is or how to do it. By the time you are done reading this you will know all there is to know about how to truss a chicken.
What is Trussing?
When a recipe calls for you to truss your chicken or other meat bird, it is important to do so. Trussing is the process of tying up the legs and wings of your poultry before roasting. It is a very important step that will help keep the breast meat from drying out while roasting. It also ensures that your meat will cook evenly. Nothing is worse than carving into your bird to find an undercooked spot. Trussing your bird also keeps the legs and thighs from burning. You can truss many different meat birds like turkey, duck, and other poultry.
Everyone has their own way of doing things, especially in the kitchen. A lot of people may even have their own trussing technique. You may have seen someone truss a chicken and think that it looks difficult. However, it really isn’t very complicated at all. Using this technique will ensure a beautiful, perfectly-roasted chicken every time.
How to Truss a Chicken
- Start by using a steady stream of cold water to rinse your chicken. Make sure to rinse the inside cavity of the chicken as well as the outside of the chicken. When you have rinsed the chicken completely, pat it dry.
- Transfer your chicken to a shallow baking dish or shallow pan. Make sure to position your chicken properly. The legs should be facing you, and it should be breast side up. Gently tuck the wings behind the chicken’s back.
- Now it’s time for the cooking twine. Cut about three feet of cooking twine. This gives you plenty to work with, and you can cut off the excess when you are finished trussing.
- Position your cooking twine from left to right, under the legs. Make sure that the chicken’s tailbone is directly in the middle of your cooking twine.
- Loop the twine around the chicken’s legs twice. Make sure to do this right at the ankle. Once positioned properly, pull the twine tightly. If you have it correctly looped, this will bring the legs together.
- Bring the twine straight up and away from you towards the neck. Crisscross your twine at the top of the chicken near the neck.
- Now for the awkward part. While still firmly pulling on the twine, flip your chicken over. Crisscross you cooking twine once again over the back. Once you do this carefully flip your bird back, breast side up.
- Bring the cooking twine back down the sides towards you, where the breasts meet the legs.
- Once you have checked to make sure the wings and legs are secure you can tie off the twine at the ankle. Just pull the twine tight and tie a knot. You can now trim away any excess twine.
Cook your chicken per the package or recipe directions. Different sized chickens will have different cook times. Most whole chickens are cooked about 20 minutes per pound. So, if you have a four-pound chicken, it will take about an hour and twenty minutes to fully cook. You should always check the internal temperature to ensure your chicken is done. Place a meat thermometer in the thickest part of the thigh, without touching any bone, to get an accurate reading. You should always cook chicken to no less than 165 degrees.
Once your chicken is completely cooked, take it out of the oven and allow it to rest. Letting your roasted chicken rest for at least five to ten minutes will allow the meat to absorb any extra juices. This will lock in the flavor and keep your meat nice and juicy. After the resting period, you can transfer your roasted chicken to a serving tray. Don’t cut the twine before doing this. It will make it harder to transfer. Once you have your chicken on your serving tray, you can cut the twine at the ankle. Simply peel the twine away from the chicken and slide it out from underneath. Now you are ready to carve into the most deliciously juicy bird you’ll ever eat.