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Thomas Keller’s Roast Chicken

Thomas Keller’s Roast Chicken

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Which roast chicken recipe is the absolute best? Buzzfeed recently held The Ultimate Roast Chicken Tournament, where classic roast chicken recipes were taste tested to determine the absolute best roast chicken recipe. Thomas Keller, chef at the famed French Laundry, created the simple recipe that won the contest. What makes this recipe special? The crisp skin and the tender meat. I was intrigued by the fact that the recipe only calls for a chicken, salt, and pepper and tested it out. Is this the best chicken I have ever had? I am not entirely convinced. I think that the technique: letting the chicken come to room temperature before roasting, not basting it so the skin crisps up, and letting the chicken rest before carving is the best technique. In the future, I would stuff the cavity of the chicken with some seasoning, and squeeze some lemon over. This chicken was wonderfully prepared, but slightly bland. Maybe I should have made some gravy.

Have you tried this recipe? Do you have a roast chicken recipe that you swear by? Let me know in the comments.

Thomas Keller Roast Chicken

You will need:
1 Chicken (about 5 pounds)
about 1 tablespoon Salt
about 2 teaspoons Pepper

Step 1:
This is important: let the chicken come to room temperature. Leave it out for 45 minutes. This way the chicken will cook faster and stay juicier. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees.

Step 2:
Remove the giblets from the chicken and throw away. Remove any other packing materials. Rise the chicken in cold water – both outside and inside the cavity. Please note that some people are strongly against rinsing chicken. I do it but am extremely careful not to spread bacteria around the kitchen. After rinsing, pat the chicken dry with a paper towel. Dry both the inside and the outside of the chicken. Then very generously salt the inside and outside of the chicken.

Step 3:
Tie the drumsticks together with aluminum foil or butcher’s twine. Then place the chicken breast-side-up in a rack over a roasting pan. Now, I filled the roasting pan with carrots and rutabaga, that I drizzled with a touch of olive oil and sprinkled with salt and pepper. The chicken juices dripped into the pan and added nice flavor to these veggies. If I hadn’t placed veggies in the roasting pan I could have turned the juices into gravy.

Step 4:
Place the chicken in the center of your oven. Leave the chicken in the oven for 50 minutes. Don’t touch it and don’t baste it. When you do check on the chicken after 50 minutes, place a meat thermometer in between the thigh and breast, in the thick part of the meat. Once it registers 165 degrees, the chicken is done.

Step 5:
Wait 15 minutes before carving the chicken. If you carve the chicken too soon the juices will fall out of the chicken, instead of settling into the meat, making it more tender.

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