My Favorite Roast Chicken

There are as many recipes for a roasted chicken as there are cooks. And I bet all of us who roast chickens have tried several recipes. If you haven’t found that perfect one yet, well, here it is.

Roasted Chicken

What is it about a roasted chicken that makes us feel warm and cozy inside? Especially after yet another snow day (not to mention almost an hour of shoveling snow), we need something simple, homey, and familiar.

And boy, is this simple. It is without a doubt the most basic, straightforward roasted chicken recipe I’ve ever seen. And it’s the fastest. And yet it’s the best I’ve tried. Is that really a surprise?

Roasted Chicken

And of course, don’t forget to make stock.

Roasted Chicken

Your run-of-the-mill factory farm chicken will taste insipid. Definitely choose a pastured bird for this, or at the very least an organic one. You can salt the chicken up to 2 days ahead of time and put it back in the fridge, but make sure you still take it out at least an hour before cooking and pat dry. Adapted from Michael Ruhlman’s Twenty.
  • One 3 to 4 lb. chicken
  • salt
  • 1 onion &/or lemon, halved (optional)
  1. One hour before cooking, take chicken out of the fridge and pat dry (don’t forget the inside) with paper towels. Place on paper towels on top of a plate. Season liberally with salt, inside and out. After an hour, pat dry again.
  2. Preheat oven to 450, using convection if you have it. Put lemon &/or onion into the cavity and move the chicken to a cast-iron skillet (or another oven-safe pan that’s about the same size as the chicken).
  3. After an hour, check to see if the juices run clear. If not, return to oven for 5 minutes at a time until they do. Then remove from the oven, tent with foil, and let rest for at least 15 minutes before carving.



One comment

  1. […] Don’t worry, I still cook the Real Food/Real Appetite way! We just eat a lot of repeats. A roast chicken appears with some regularity, along with many variations on pasta and stir-fry. And eggs. Lots and […]

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