If you're like me and you love roast chicken, you may want to learn how to truss chicken. Trussing chicken just means tying it up so that the legs and wings don't flop all over the place.
Knowing how to truss chicken can be a big help in the kitchen. You can definitely get by without knowing how. But if you know how to truss a chicken, you suddenly have a bunch more cooking techniques available to you.
For example, when I roast a chicken, I like to start it roasting breast side down and then flip it over during the last third of the cooking time – it keeps the breast nice and juicy. But flipping an untrussed chicken can be a bit of a disaster. Legs and wings, they're just waiting to fall off!
Or a rotisserie chicken... trussing the bird is really important, or the wings and legs will burn before the rest of the chicken is cooked.
In this article, I'll tell you all about trussing chicken. First, I'll go over the various reasons why you would want to truss a chicken, as well as situations where you wouldn't want to! Then, I'll give a step-by-step instructions for trussing chicken.
I like learning new cooking techniques. I think it's a lot of fun. And I like using them when I know it'll make a difference. But I'm not usually a fan of adding unnecessary steps when I'm cooking.
With practice, trussing a chicken doesn't take all that long, but it's still an extra step. So why do you want to do it?
Well, here are a few good reasons to learn to truss chicken:
But, like anything, trussing isn't perfect. There are a few downsides:
Here's my advice. If you have the time, go ahead and truss the chicken, unless it's a very small bird of about 2 or 3 lbs. But there are a few situations where you really don't need to. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
Okay! Now that you've decided that it's worth taking the time to learn to truss chicken, you need to know how to do it!
A little tip before we get started: you may want to print out this page or have the instructions in front of you the first few times you do it. It's pretty easy to forget what to do!
First things first: the materials you need!
And that's it!
Now that you have everything you need, it's time to truss up that bird and get it ready to cook! Here's how to truss a chicken:
With the breast side up, line up the middle of your piece of twine with the chicken's tail and tie a knot around the tail. You don't actually need to knot it, but I find it makes the trussing a bit easier.
Make a loop around each drumstick.
Pull them close together and tie a knot. Again, the knot isn't necessary but can make the whole trussing process easier, especially at first.
Keeping the twine tight around the chicken, pass each half of the twine through the wing.
Tuck the wings under the chicken so that they're holding down the twine.
Flip the chicken over so that it's breast side down. Tie the twine around the neck so that it's holding down the wings. Make sure the knot is secure, then cut off any excess string.
And now you have a nicely trussed chicken that will cook nice and evenly!
One more thing... there's more than one way to truss a chicken! I presented this one because it works well for me, but everyone is different, and you should do what works best for you!
If you'd like to try a different technique, there's a great video of Alton Brown's show “Good Eats” on the Food Network's website. He shows how to truss a turkey, which is pretty similar to trussing chicken, although because of the size difference his method won't work as well on smaller birds.