My Go To Meal {Thomas Keller's Roasted Chicken}

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

If you are a Julia Child or Jack-In-The-Box in the kitchen, this chicken will be your best friend.  It is flavorful, crispy, juicy and beautiful.  It can be cooked for one and used throughout the week or presented on a platter for Sunday Night Supper with your in-laws.  If you are a new mom fresh from partum or a bachelor, this chicken is for you.  If you are a vegetarian, this chicken is NOT for you.  Why?  Because it is a chicken.  But everyone else, this is for you!!!

Thomas Keller is a world renowned chef and he kindly shared his simple roast chicken recipe with a publication that is not Martha Chartreuse.  I have slightly modified the recipe for myself but follow his tips and techniques to the capital T!  This calls for four simple ingredients.  Chicken. Salt. Pepper. Paper Towel.  Don't worry, the paper towel is just for drying the chicken.  The key is to make sure the chicken is very, very dry.  It prevents the chicken from steaming and allows the flavor of the meat to shine and the skin to get so crispy and golden.

It is also necessary to generously salt the chicken.  Not generous as in "I'll take care of the tip" more like "I will pick up dinner, the tip and Uber you home."  That is, if Portland had Uber.  I am getting on a soap box.  Back to the chicken.

Mr. Keller's instructions include trussing the chicken.  I don't do this.  No particular reason why.  I just don't.  If you so desire, treat yo' self, and truss away.

Okay... everyone do the chicken dance!

 Wash and rinse the chicken.

Dry the chicken.

Salt & Pepper the chicken.

REALLY, Salt & Pepper the chicken.

Cook the chicken.

 Enjoy the chicken.

Thomas Keller's Roasted Chicken

1 4-5lb Frying Chicken
Sea Salt
Paper Towel

1.  In the kitchen sink, thoroughly rinse out and clean the frying chicken with cold water.  Remove any giblets {these can be reserved and used with the carcass for stock} and let the rinsed out chicken "drain" in a vertical position for at least 5 minutes.  Flip the chicken to drain from the other end for 5 more minutes.

2.  Place the chicken on a bed of paper towel {at least 3 large sheets} and gently, but thoroughly, pat dry the chicken with 3 additional sheets.  Be sure to dry between the wings and legs.  Stuff 3-4 paper towels into the chicken and absorb any liquid.  Pat against the cavity.  Remove the paper towel.

3.  Let the chicken sit on a bed of fresh paper towel for 20-30 minutes at room temperature.  Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees. 

4.  In a large roasting pan generously salt and pepper the chicken.  The pepper should be visible and the salt should lightly crust the chicken.

5.  Cook the chicken at 425 degrees for 20 minutes.  Do not open the oven during this time.  Reduce the heat to 375 and cook the chicken for 17 minutes per pound.  The chicken's internal temperature should be 165 degrees when complete.

6.  Remove the chicken from the oven and let rest for 15 minutes.  Lightly brush off the salt and pepper shield.


  1. I'm a pescetarian myself, but I bet my husband would love this recipe! I'll have to show it to him :)