The Reason Ina Garten Always Pours Sauce Around Chicken, Not Over It

Ina Garten knows a thing or two about chicken. Between her roasted engagement chicken and her skillet roasted lemon chicken, it's difficult to choose which one is better. They are both beloved and have a place in your culinary repertoire. The crispy skin and moist, succulent bite are the stuff a mouth dreams about. But what might surprise you is the Barefoot Contessa always pours her sauces, specifically when wine is involved, into the pots and pans rather than directly over the chicken for a very important reason.

Garten uses this method with her fruity vintage chicken dish which features prunes and capers and is known as Chicken Marbella. The cookbook author employs this technique to preserve all the delicious spices and seasonings she has taken care to enhance her bird with. Pouring the wine directly over all that hard work would remove and dilute all that flavor. But it's also about keeping the skin crispy and crunchy.

It can change the taste

Remember when you are trying to roast any food, excessive moisture is going to rob you of your joy. This is why if Garten were to pour this acidic liquid over her chicken rather than around the meat, the texture of the chicken would not have the crispy skin that is synonymous with roasting chicken, nor would it achieve that beautiful bronze tone that makes a roasted chicken so perfect. In fact, pouring wine right over the chicken could completely change the taste.

Following Garten's guidance on this subject has other benefits. While wine is generally a flavor enhancer, that's not always the case when roasting a chicken. Pouring it into the roasting pan so it encompasses the bird rather than dousing it with it gives a chef a little bit of control over the meat soaking up too much flavor that could be overwhelming and clash with all those herbs and seasonings.