Thomas Keller's Favorite Roast Chicken

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READY IN:
1hr 15mins
SERVES:
4
UNITS:
US

Ingredients Nutrition

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Rinse chicken in cold water, then dry very well with paper towels, inside and out. The less it steams, the drier the heat, the better.
  3. Salt and pepper cavity, then truss bird with kitchen twine to help it cook more evenly. (See Note.).
  4. Now, salt chicken -- I like to rain salt over the bird so it has a nice uniform coating that will result in crisp, salty, flavorful skin (about 1 tablespoon). When it's cooked, you should still be able to make out salt baked onto the crisp skin.
  5. Season to taste with pepper.
  6. Place chicken in sauté pan or roasting pan and, when oven is up to temperature, put chicken in oven. I leave it alone -- I don't baste it. I don't add butter. You can if you wish, but I think this creates steam, which I don't want.
  7. Roast it until it's done (165 degrees in the thickest part of the thigh), 50 to 60 minutes.
  8. Remove from oven and add thyme to pan. Baste chicken with juices and thyme and let it sit for 15 minutes on cutting board.
  9. Remove twine. Discard wing tip. Separate middle wing joint and eat that immediately. Remove legs and thighs.
  10. I like to take off the backbone and eat one of the oysters, the two succulent morsels of meat embedded there, and give the other to the person I'm cooking with. But I take the chicken butt for myself. I could never understand why my brothers always fought over that triangular tip -- until one day I got the crispy, juicy fat myself. These are the cook's rewards.
  11. Cut breast down middle and serve it on the bone, with one wing joint still attached to each. The preparation is not meant to be super elegant.
  12. Slather meat with butter. Serve with mustard on the side and, if you wish, a simple green salad.

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