I’ve tried roasting a chicken so many ways: olive oil, spices, butter, cheese, stuffed with vegetables, surrounded by vegetables, split down the breast bone and laid flat, stood on its hind legs with a beer can barbarically inserted in its cavity. This is the only recipe that makes it juicy and crunchy all over.
Crank your oven up all the way to 450F. Don’t be frightened.
Rinse the chicken off and remove any of the weird things left inside the cavity. I recommend keeping these odds and ends in the pan during the roasting process. That way when you throw them out (or eat them, it’s your life), they won’t kick up as much of a funk.
Pat your chicken dry. Unfortunately, this step is not all that environmentally friendly, as you must use disposable paper towels to prevent the spread of salmonella. Not to worry- you didn’t get in your car and go to a restaurant, so you’ve earned some carbon footprints.
Truss the chicken. Use kitchen string, sold at every competent grocery store. It may not be equipment you’ve used before, but it’s just string for meat, so don’t get intimidated. Trussing means simply tying the legs together above the cavity and tying the wings together over the breast, as tightly as you can.
Salt the outside, pretty generously. I would say I used a tablespoon of kosher salt for each side of the chicken, but fly whatever freaky salt flag you want – sea salt, pink Himalayan salt, Murray River salt – I’ve just never tried this recipe with ordinary table salt.
When I made this chicken most recently I deviated from the minimalist approach VERY SLIGHTLY by adding two bay leaves under the skin of the thigh meat.
The cooking time will vary depending on the size of your chicken and the overall cooperativeness of your oven. I had a fat chicken and a lazy oven, so it took an hour and fifteen minutes. I would check your chicken at 50 minutes, cutting into the thigh meat at the leg joint to check for pinkness.
This is my chicken at 50 minutes, when I thought it might be done. The end result was even more golden, but at that point I was too ravenous to take a picture.
I was also too ravenous to properly use oven mitts. I’ll try to keep up this sweet injury-per-cooking-adventure theme I’ve got going, for my loyal readers.
Let your chicken rest before its final performance. Your perfect chicken is a diva.