According to Rosenfeld, not many consumers roast whole birds, which account for about 8 percent of chicken sales. "Most people are buying their chicken pre-marinated and pre-cooked," he says. "Old-fashioned cooking has been marginalized. I wonder if the day will come when you can't go into the market and buy a whole chicken at all." To encourage more people to begin with a whole bird, the first part of the book focuses on how to roast a chicken, the second on what to do with the cooked meat. Rosenfeld says, "You've had dinner, but you still have a bird and a half staring at you -- so now what?"
Rosenfeld is the son of Globe contributing food writer and stylist Julie Riven, so clearly culinary curiosity runs in the family. Levitt says he's still enthusiastic about roasting chicken, even after preparing about a thousand or so birds in the last few years while researching his book! Rosenfeld shares his recipe for roast chicken with shallots and fingerlings, so make sure you have a proper roaster for the job.