Friday, April 4, 2014

Thomas Keller Whole Roasted Chicken

Anytime a recipe says Thomas Keller, you can go ahead and assume PERFECTION.  I won't go on and on, because I don't think he would go on and on- not his style from what I have seen.  His cooking is simple, precise, and if you follow exactly what he says, you too can achieve it.

Poultry, thermometers, weight... it all freaks me out.  I'm so tired of stressing over THE BIRD.

No more.  I rather stress over other things, but not dinner.  I turned to Keller for help.  And I'm telling you there will be no more turning.  I'm done searching.  I've made this recipe about 5 times now.  It's a perfect meal for 4.  Thank you Simplyrecipes for giving me the skeleton breakdown of his recipe, I changed a few veggies, but they get the cred.

I'll lay it out:

4- 4 1/2 pound bird. (Note: I have done this recipe with a 5 pound bird as well, just added 15 minutes to the end cooking time).  Giblets removed.  Pat dried with paper towel.  Let sit in fridge on a plate to dry skin out even more for up to a day... really.  Two hours before cooking take it out so it can become the perfect temperature.  (Less will affect cooking, more becomes unsanitary to leave poultry out that long).

Heat oven to 475 and turn on your fan.  This is practically a broil.

While you are waiting for the oven, chop your veggies:

3 large carrots, peeled first.
1 large onion, halved, quartered and then quartered again.
Approx. 2 russet potatoes, scrubbed and chopped to be the same size as the above veggies

Toss veggies with 1/2 cup olive oil and about 10 sprigs worth of fresh thyme (another 10 springs reserved for bird aromatics).  Sprinkle liberally with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.

When oven is ready and bird is ready, spread out veggies in an oven safe pan or cast iron skillet. Sprinkle salt and pepper all over bird- including the cavity.  I find it easiest to grind and sprinkle some into a paper towel and then dump into cavity.  Stuff bird with remaining thyme and a whole head of garlic cut in half.  To truss the chicken: start with your kitchen twine at the top near the wings (wings should be tucked down below the bird- sometimes it takes a little manipulating) and pull the string around the breast and cross at the entry of the cavity, then draw legs together and tie remaining string around legs to secure all parts.  The point of trussing is to keep everything cooking as a whole unit. Put half pads of butter (about 4 tbls) all over top of bird.

These steps require a lot of paper towels and a lot of hand washing.  I say that to remind you of safe poultry handling.

Into the oven at 475 for 25 min.

Then turn oven to 400 and cook for another 45 min (if a 5 pound bird, cook 60 min).

THEN LET IT REST.  It's been doing a lot of glorious flavor work in there.  Give it 20 minutes.

I know there are probably a million ways to roast a chicken, but I'm done trying.  It is so moist, perfectly crisp skin and the veggies- oh the veggies!  This is worth learning, friends.  It's a glorious one pot meal that is a show stopper for presentation.


  1. Yep, this is a glorious bird. Beautifully golden, and the veggies must be bursting with flavor. Gotta love Thomas Keller!

  2. Will be trying this asap! Thanks:)