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Perfect Roast Chicken. Thomas Keller's easy roast chicken is superb in taste and simplicity. Whole chicken - salted, peppered and roasted to perfection. Simply Sated
4.28 from 11 votes

Perfect Roast Chicken

Thomas Keller's easy roast chicken is superb in taste and simplicity. Whole chicken - salted, peppered and roasted to perfection.
Course Entree
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 2 -4
Author Susie Gall


  • One 2-3 pound farm-raised chicken or organic chicken with not preservatives, hormones and antibiotic free
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika optional
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme or fresh rosemary chopped
  • Butter unsalted


  1. Preheat oven to 450F and cover a roasting pan with foil.
  2. Thoroughly dry the chicken with paper towels, inside and out. The goal is to have as little steam as possible.

  3. Salt and pepper the chicken inside the cavities and under the wings.
  4. Truss the bird to ensure it cooks evenly, the wings and legs don’t burn and the breasts are semi-covered and will not dry out as quickly.
  5. Salt and pepper the chicken with a nice, liberal sprinkle. This will result with a crispier and more flavorful skin.
  6. If using paprika, sprinkle it on now.
  7. Place prepared chicken, breast side up, in the middle of a roasting rack that has been placed in the roasting pan. Using a roasting rack ensures the chicken will cook evenly and won’t stick to the pan.
  8. Do not baste the bird or open the oven door until 60 minutes have passed.
  9. After 60 minutes, test the internal temperature in the thickest part of the thigh. *See notes
  10. The chicken is done when internal temperature reads 170-175F. (Note: Thomas Keller states the chicken is done at 165F, but I prefer 175F.) (**Julia Child’s recipe calls for chicken to cook between 170-180F and some other recipes say 180F.) P
  11. Keep in mind, chicken breasts cook more quickly than thighs.
  12. Turn off oven, remove chicken from oven and transfer it to a cutting board to rest 15 minutes. Do NOT touch for 15 minutes. Let the chicken rest to allow the juices the chance to soak into the meat instead of ending up on the cutting board.
  13. While the chicken is resting, remove and discard any gelatinous fat from the roasting pan. Remove the foil, but let the chicken drippings to drip back into the pan. Add ¼ cup unsalted butter and herbs to pan drippings, stir well and place the pan back into the oven to let the herb butter mingle a few minutes.
  14. After chicken has rested, cut it into serving pieces and serve with the warm herb butter.
  15. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes

*Keep in mind, a larger bird will need a longer roasting time.