Sunday, December 1, 2013

Back to Basics: How to Truss a Chicken for Roasting for a We Got You Covered #SundaySupper

This entry on my website is different from all the other posts I've completed for #SundaySupper because it's not a finished dish. This week's theme is We Got You Covered, and many of my other colleagues have decided to prepare food with delicious toppings but I thought I'd use another angle. I have decided to "cover" a basic cooking technique used when roasting a chicken.

If you google truss a chicken, there are thousands of results on how to do so, but I have found that the reasons for taking this extra step aren't as clear. As I looked, I found reasons such as keeping the, ahem, chicken's dignity, making the bird easier to turn, and cooking evenly.

The importance of evenly cooking your chicken is the first reason I was told to truss because the breast needs to be cooked to a temperature of 165° Fahrenheit, but the wings, thighs and drumsticks are fully cooked at 175° Fahrenheit. Trussing the bird will ensure to fully cook the dark meat while not overcooking the breast meat. In addition, I've also noted anecdotally that trussing the chicken will make for a juicier bird.

You will need a 36" to 48" piece of kitchen twine which, for some strange reason, I've been unable to purchase at the supermarket, but the meat and seafood department have always just given me some when I've requested it.

So, exactly how do you truss your chickens?

1. With the breast side down, tuck the wing tips behind the back.

2. Turn the chicken over and place the twine underneath the narrowest part of the drumsticks, so that when you lift the twine up, the length of the twine should be about equal on each side.

3. Place the twine over each leg bone and then underneath the opposite side. Pull tight.

4. Wrap the twine along each side, passing it through the drumstick-thigh joint and enclosing the wings.

5. Tie the twine where the neck used to be.

6. Roast per your recipe.

Before you truss, be sure to season the inside of the cavity and the outside of the bird with some type of fat (olive oil, butter, etc.) to encourage a golden brown skin.

Other Sunday Supper Participants

And finally, please check out this week's other Sunday Supper contributors:

Sunday Supper Movement

Covered Appetizers and Entre├ęs
Covered Desserts
Not Sure What To Do? We Got You Covered

Join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. Check out our #SundaySupper Pinterest board for more fabulous recipes and food photos.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy! You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.


  1. Very interesting, DB. When I read your title, I was just picturing the tying together of the drumsticks, which I have done on occasion, but I've never seen the whole bird snugged up tight like that. I will give it a try next time I'm roasting chicken, which is, by the way, one of our favorite Sunday suppers. Thanks so much for hosting this week!

  2. Great tutorial, DB! I never know what to do with a whole chicken, so I've never tried. Now I might have to. :D Thanks for hosting!

  3. Great tutorial DB and thanks so much for hosting our Sunday Supper event.

  4. Great tips which take the worry out of trussing! Thank you for the advice and thanks for hosting!

  5. I love this! What a great post! Tying up a chicken can be a pain in he butt, but you made it simple! Love this post and thank you for hosting this week!!

  6. This is so interesting! I can't say that I've ever trussed a chicken before...I actually have never cooked a whole chicken (somewhat ashamed to admit that...)!

  7. This is truly a helpful post, DB. This page definitely gets bookmarked...Very much appreciate the detailed instructions and photos =)

  8. Great tutorial! I should have done this with my turkey as tucking in the wings was a royal pain! Thanks for the great instructions.

  9. What a great tutorial! A lot of people don't know how to do this!

  10. Thanks for hosting DL! It was fun to see how we got you covered!

  11. I love a good truss. It just cooks more evenly. Plus it's just sort of a cool thing to do. ha


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