My love affair with chicken began when I was five years old and decided that it was the only thing that I would eat for every meal. For some reason my parentsallowed this, in what I can only imagine was a baseless hope that, being five, I would lose interest within the hour. Having known me for five years, they should have known better. We settled in for a battle of wills that lasted until breakfast on day five when instead of the chicken dish that I was expecting, my father firmly placed a bowl of cream of wheat in ftsront of me. So technically they gave up, and I won, right?
So, yeah, I love chicken. And though I’ll happily eat it broiled, braised, fried, grilled, strewed, sautéed, barbecued, jerked, fried, or fricasseed, my favorite is simply roast chicken. In fact, it’s my go to dish for special occasions. First dinner party at my new apartment? Roast chicken. Last dinner party at my soon to be old apartment? Roast chicken. First time cooking for a date? Roast chicken.
So, here you go. I’ve only shared this recipe with a handful of people. I was kind of sad about sending it out into the world without knowing exactly in whose kitchen it would land, but then I roasted a chicken, ate it, and was happy again.
One last thing! I implore you, that as much as you might be tempted to do otherwise, to please follow the recipe to the letter, at least the first time. Don’t get fancy and try to sneak in a sprinkle of poultry seasoning, or a dash of pepper flakes, or herbes de provence. You don’t need any of it. Yes, it’s that perfect. I promise.
Now, go roast. And thank me later.
perfect roast chicken
- 1 whole chicken (about 3 to 3 1/2 pounds) giblets removed
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- Sea salt
- Fresh ground black pepper
- Vegetable oil for brushing V-rack
Heat oven to 375ºF. Brush chicken with butter and sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper.
Place chicken, breast side up, on oiled V-rack set in shallow roasting pan. Roast 30 minutes.
Reduce oven temperature to 200ºF. Roast 1 hour.
Increase temperature to 400ºF and roast until instant-read thermometer inserted in thigh registers 170ºF to 175ºF, and the juices run clear, about 15 minutes longer.
Transfer chicken to cutting board; let rest 20 minutes.
Carve and serve.
Larger chickens will require longer roasting time. Add five minutes cooking time at 375ºF / 190ºC for every quarter pound of weight over three and one-half pounds.
Once you’ve put the chicken in the oven, try to not open it for the first 90 minutes of roasting. This helps to keep the oven temperature constant.
For crispier skin, pat dry your chicken then allow it to air dry uncovered in the fridge overnight before cooking.
Before cooking, remove chicken from fridge and let it stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Pat dry again to make sure that it is completely dry.
Liberally means "liberally". Feel free to eat with your hands.