Thank you! Thank you very much! Although you can’t see me, I’m blushing from all the applause. Before I take a bow and all the credit for Perfect Roast Chicken, I need to thank the two people responsible for this superb chicken – one for bringing it into my home and the other for creating the recipe.
#1. Thanks to Buzzfeed’s Christine Byrne for her time-consuming research and resulting article, How to Make the Best Roast Chicken of All Time. Christine’s Ultimate Roast Chicken Tournament article inspired me to cook my first-ever roast chicken. Both of her articles are excellent and you just might find a few surprises.
#2. Thanks to Thomas Keller (one the best American chefs of our time) for keeping his recipe, Thomas Keller’s Favorite Simple Roast Chicken, scrumptiously simple. It is THE roast chicken recipe all cooks should have in their repertoire.
With indebtedness out of the way, I will now accept all adulation for this gorgeous bird. After all, I did make one minuscule change in Thomas Keller’s recipe. (Please keep this just between us. I sure don’t want to displease T.K.)
Perfect Roast Chicken served with simple, melted herb butter is both a blessing and a curse. The blessing is Perfect Roast Chicken is so easy to make and so mouth-watering perfect, there is no longer a need to purchase rotisserie chicken from your favorite grocer. The curse is exactly the same.
I have championed using precooked, store-bought rotisserie chickens for years. At this moment, in fact, I have the meat from two rotisserie chickens cubed and ready to use. I love it, but I now know I can make chicken taste even better – the type of chicken where true chicken flavor takes center stage and the salt content is controlled.
Let’s take a quick trip around this recipe:
First, wash and dry the chicken, inside and out. Then sprinkle salt and pepper inside the cavities and under the wings. Next, it’s time to truss (tying the chicken to keep the legs and wings tucked next to the body so it will cook more evenly) this critter. Cut a piece of twine 3′ long, and position the bird with the breast side up and legs facing you. Place the center of the twine under the tailbone, lift and criss-cross the twine up and over the legs. Now, loop it around the legs, reverse it and pull to tighten the legs together (refer to photos).
Next, hold onto the twine while you flip and turn the chicken so the neck end is now facing you. Tighten the twine across the legs and tie it to keep the legs and wings snug against the body. It sounds trickier than it is – refer to the photos, and if more instruction is needed, numerous videos can be found online. There are many ways to truss a chicken, but this method worked well for me.
The final preparation touches could not be simpler. Liberally season our featherless friend with black pepper and kosher salt then place it on a roasting rack over a foil-lined roasting pan. Cook it until it is golden brown and tender.
Thank you again, Christine Byrne and Thomas Keller, for teaching me all I need to know about roasting Perfect Roast Chicken. A huge thanks to my readers, too, for the ovation. I am a little weary now of bowing and need to stand up – all the blood has rushed to my head and I’m a little dizzy.
For roast chicken with roast vegetables, I’ll try Jaime Oliver’s Perfect Roast Chicken (with roast vegetables) next. It (basically) came in second in the chicken tournament.