Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Don't trust a lawyer, truss a chicken.

My evenly-roasted chicken shared with mom on a rainy afternoon

I've always thought trussing was just a bunch of fiddly nonsense that chefs liked to do to impress the ignorant. But I've since learned that there are many advantages to trussing a chicken. This includes getting an even roast all over the bird. Untrussed, the wings and legs are loosely hanging and isolated and stick out so hot air flows around all sides. Trussed, they're less exposed. Also, the legs help prevent the breast from drying out. In addition, besides getting a more appealing bird to present at the serving table, you also prevent herbs stuffed in the cavity from falling out in a rotisserie. 

I did not have any culinary string to use today, if there's even such a thing. Guess what I used instead - cloth string my mom uses for bed linen! So long as they were clean and could do the job, I allowed my trussing curiosity to override my culinary discretion.

It was difficult to truss and click at the same time, and I made a photography 101 mistake of laying the bird against a red backdrop. Still, I wanted to show you this step-by-step because you will find this is the easiest way to do it compared with everything else on the web. In other words, this method is "dummy-certified" and should be successfully attempted by all virgin chefs.

After marinating, lay chicken flat with string underneath it starting at
the level where the wings are.
Tuck wings underneath and tie around them. Then criss cross downwards
towards the legs. Tighten string as chicken will shrink after cooking for a while.
Continue to tie around the leg bones.
Pull and bring both legs together. You can also cross the legs.
Finish off with a knot. You can trim off the excess or like me,
tie a ribbon and make it look like a present.
Overall, this can be tightened. I should be using the 'proper' string as
the large band here is not ideal. 
And the result of my first trussed chicken.

Months later, a chef saw this post and gave me a few more tips - read here for his comments.


  1. Looks so easy but I think it is not esp the first timer like me

    1. Hi Azie, it's my first time here too. These strings are not even the correct ones. It's not that difficult and gets better each time you do it.

      I'm already embarrassed looking at these old photos here!


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