My daughter Amy is an avid fitness expert and also a great cook. Her conversation is peppered with words like good fats, metabolize, gluten and the like. I just let her talk and hope she doesn’t notice when I butter my bread. Anyway, she’s always up for a good roast chicken and asked me to share this one.
Over the years, I’ve cooked a lot of chicken. It’ a staple of life, right? I’ve stuffed, brined, fried, grilled, smoked, steamed-well, you get the idea, with a wide range of mixed results, from pretty good to straight-to-the-stock-pot.
I recently came across Chef John’s Salted Roast Chicken recipe. If you haven’t seen any of his videos, you should. He is delightful to watch and a fabulous chef.
This is, by far, the best roast chicken recipe I have ever tried, and perhaps the easiest.
Best and Easiest don’t usually go in the same sentence, but this is the exception.
It is deceptively simple. Really. For the chicken, all you need is kosher salt. Thant’s it!
Imagine enjoying this beautiful dish on a weeknight, with only 20 minutes active work time. The oven does the rest.
The secret is the high cooking temp. You will roast the chicken at 450 degrees for about 50 minutes depending on the size. The high heat and kosher salt lock the juices in and makes the skin dry and crispy.
Roasted on this high temp, it will ALWAYS be juicy and the skin will be crisp. Guaranteed.
(Well, that’s assuming you don’t over cook it, but I’m sure you wont.)
Interested? Let’s get to work.
Start with a chicken and kosher salt.
My grocery recently had a sale on chickens. 39 cents a pound.
I wasn’t sure if you’d believe it or not, so I took a pic of the label.
I bought 18. If we didn’t have chicken once a week before the sale,
we do now.
Dry the skin thoroughly with paper towels. This helps
the skin to brown.
Tie the legs together with butcher’s twine and tuck the wings
under.Tying the legs keeps them closer to the body and they
won’t dry out as bad. Sprinkle about 3 T of Kosher salt all
over the chicken, including the cavity. It will be more than
you think you need, but trust me this time. A word of warning,
do this on your cutting board. You don’t want extra salt on
the bottom of your pan, since we’re going to make a pan sauce.
That’s all the prep. Now, pop it in a 450 degree oven for about
50 minutes until it reaches 165 degrees internal temp.
I use an enameled cast iron pan so I can make the pan sauce
over the top burners.
This isn’t in Chef John’s recipe, but I always throw roast
vegetables with my chicken. It’s a complete meal and since the
oven’s on anyway, I might as well use it. I use whatever vegetables
I have on hand. In the winter, I sometimes add turnips and other
Chop the veggies, toss with salt, pepper and a little
olive oil. I love a sprinkle of Herbs de Provence. It’s
a mixture of herbs from the south of France. As it cooks,
it gives off an amazing, earthy aroma. Now, put them
in the oven with the chicken.
While the chicken is cooking, gather the ingredients
for a quick pan sauce. You will need a handful of fresh thyme, one lemon,
2 T of butter and 1/3 cup of chicken broth.
Remove the thyme stems and discard. You should
have about 1-2 T of leaves. I’m sure you could use
dried thyme if you don’t have fresh. Just reduce the amount
by 1/2 to 2/3.
Once the chicken is done, remove it to a platter
and tent foil over it. Put the pan over a burner and scrape up
Pour the chicken broth and lemon juice in and reduce by half.
Since I had to juice the lemon, I slice it very thinly and add it to
the sauce. It’s pretty and delicious.
Once the sauce is reduced, remove it from heat and add
2 T of butter cut into small chunks, and whisk.
The sauce will thicken slightly. Check for seasonings.
Arrange the chicken on a platter surrounded by the vegetables
and pour that amazing thyme-butter sauce over the top.
(I hope Amy notices it’s only 2 T of butter for the whole dish.)
JUICY, DELICIOUS, AMAZING!