Published January 1, 2011. From Cook's Illustrated.
Perfection in one pan?
Perfection in one pan? That’s what All-Clad is promising with its new Stainless-Steel Ultimate Chicken Roaster ($179.95), designed to produce flawlessly roasted chicken and vegetables from the same dish. A detachable 9-inch metal arm suspends the chicken over a small tri-ply roasting pan with handles at either end, which holds the vegetables. But while every test produced a chicken with moist, tender meat, getting crispy skin was a crapshoot. Even when trussed, bigger birds (at least 4 pounds) drooped onto the vegetables, which thwarted browning for both and drowned the vegetables in drippings. But smaller birds weren’t perfect either: Though they cooked up with perfectly golden skin, they didn’t weigh enough to keep the inadequately anchored arm firmly in place (at one point it even fell off, dropping the chicken into the pan). We also were disappointed with the ¼-cup “infusion reservoir” in the arm; though we filled it with orange juice, our tasters couldn’t detect any citrus flavor in the cooked bird. We’ll stick with setting our favorite vertical roaster from Norpro ($27.95) in a regular roasting pan.