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Sunday, April 17, 2011

Cocorico, Baby

My friend Deborah is an entertainer to be envied.  She can put together a dinner party for 12 at the drop of a hat and make it look effortless.  Part of the reason for this is that she's the most organized person I know.  She's also a really good cook.  And she has four kids, so she's got a lot of experience cooking for a crowd.

The other day when we were on the phone, Deborah was preparing for a Saturday lunch for  family friends visiting from out of town.  As always, we discussed the menu which included roast chicken, roasted asparagus with a lemon vinaigrette, a couple of other cold salads, and dessert.  As we discussed this, I was "dining al fresco" on a granola bar while sitting in my car outside of Kate's tennis place waiting for her.  I certainly wished that I could have crashed Deborah's party.

But since I was 3,000 miles away in Pittsburgh, I had to settle for an in depth discussion of perfect roast chicken.  It was then that I learned about the Cocorico Roaster.  Deborah swears by it and now so do I.

After hearing Deborah's rave reviews, I went home and ordered mine from Napa Style.com (click here).  It basically looks like a sombrero and to use it you impale your chicken with the legs pointing up.  It has a well at the bottom where all the drippings from the chicken gather.  I put potatoes, onions, garlic, and lemons in there and let them sop up all the yumminess.  Not only was the chicken succulent, it was incredibly beautiful, evenly browned and cooked perfectly.

I have to say, had I not known someone who actually owned and used a Cocorico Roaster, I probably would never have ordered it.  Needless to say, I'm glad I did.  Now that I can make a chicken as good as Deborah's, maybe my next step will to be as organized as she is!

Recipe:  Cocorico Roasted Chicken


1 whole chicken, about 4 pounds
1 head garlic, cut crosswise
1 lemon
2 onions
1 pound baby potatoes
Olive oil
Kosher salt and black pepper


Preheat oven to 350F.

Rinse and pat dry the chicken.  Season the cavity generously with salt and pepper.  Cut one of the onions in quarters and place it in the cavity.  Cut the lemon in eighths and put half of the pieces in the cavity.  Put half of the head of garlic in the cavity.  Brush the outside of the chicken with olive oil and season well with salt and pepper.  Place the chicken on the Cocorico Cooker with the legs pointing up.  Tie the legs together with kitchen twine.

In a bowl, combine the lemons, potatoes, the remaining onion, sliced, and the remaining half of the garlic head.  Toss with 1 teaspoon salt,  1/2 teaspoon pepper, and 2 tablespoons of olive oil.  Place the mixture in the Cocorico well.

Cook for 1 1/2 hours or until the juices run clear when pierced with the knife.  Let the chicken sit for 10 minutes and then slice and serve with the roasted potatoes and vegetables.


  1. I can't say I have ever heard of this utensil Nadine but it sure sounds interesting. I'm a faithful Mark Bittman roaster. It comes out GREAT every time!!!

    Thanks for sharing. I'm going to check it out though. I adore new "gadgets."

  2. what a coincidence. i just saw the device in a catalogue and thought it was something nadine might try. HMR