Simple roast chicken

This is a recipe from famed Chef Robert Keller (Epicurious October 2004). Seriously, this is some of the most tasty, juicy chicken I have ever made.

The recipe calls for one chicken but I made two so I can get another meal out of it. Tomorrow night...chicken tacos!


One 2- to 3-pound farm-raised chicken
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons minced thyme (optional)
Unsalted butter


Preheat the oven to 450°F. Rinse the chicken, then dry it very well with paper towels, inside and out. The less it steams, the drier the heat, the better.

Salt and pepper the cavity, then truss the bird. Trussing is not difficult, and if you roast chicken often, it's a good technique to feel comfortable with. When you truss a bird, the wings and legs stay close to the body; the ends of the drumsticks cover the top of the breast and keep it from drying out. Trussing helps the chicken to cook evenly, and it also makes for a more beautiful roasted bird.

*Note: my trussing skills are not perfect but you can get an idea if what I did from the photo above.

Now, salt the chicken—I like to rain the salt over the bird so that it has a nice uniform coating that will result in a crisp, salty, flavorful skin (about 1 tablespoon). When it's cooked, you should still be able to make out the salt baked onto the crisp skin. Season to taste with pepper.

Place the chicken in a saute pan or roasting pan and, when the oven is up to temperature, put the chicken in the oven. I leave it alone—I don't baste it, I don't add butter; you can if you wish, but I feel this creates steam, which I don't want. Roast it until it's done (should reach 165 degrees), 50 to 60 minutes.

Remove it from the oven and add the thyme (optional) to the pan. Baste the chicken with the juices and thyme and let it rest for 15 minutes on a cutting board. Then Slice.

If you want to use the drippings for homemade gravy just whisk a tablespoon of flour into the pan. Scrape up all the juicy bits then transfer to a small saute pan. Bring to a boil, whisking constantly. Serve over sliced chicken.

This is really good chicken and very easy. It takes some cook time but the prep is a snap.
Husband approved

{Serve with}
Sweet potato fries

1 hour cook time. 5 min prep time

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