My very dear friend, Peg is coming for dinner and I’m going to serve chicken. That may seem like a kind of cheap and commonplace dinner to serve to a close friend but I’m making this chicken in a way I know Peg will love. I usually call Peg my Guinea Peg because I like to try recipes on that poor woman but I’ve already tested this recipe and all I can say is I have no problem serving it to people I care about! It’s simple but very tasty and since it’s the recipe of a world-famous chef I call it Keller Whole Roasted Chicken.
When I made a whole roast chicken in the slow cooker I was disappointed. We’re a crispy skin kind of family and that skin was definitely not crispy. I vowed to go back to roasting my whole chickens in the oven. I’ve always made a darned good roast chicken but this chicken takes only 3 ingredients! And that includes the chicken!
For those of you who are unfamiliar with Thomas Keller let me give you a tiny bit of background. He is a world-famous chef who has run extremely successful restaurants for more than 20 years. In fact one of his restaurants has more than a four month waiting list for a reservation! I’d say the man knows what he’s doing.
To make this juicy roast chicken you must, I repeat, must follow the directions exactly. I know you’re going to worry about the temperature you’ll roast it on and the amount of salt. Don’t worry your pretty little head. I’m here to tell you that this roast chicken is going to be perfectly cooked and perfectly seasoned!
First, you must allow the chicken to come to room temperature. Give it 45 – 60 minutes out of the refrigerator before you begin to cook.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Yes, you read that correctly. Just do it. We won’t argue later because you’ll be too busy gobbling up the chicken!
Next grab a bunch of paper towels and dry the heck out of the bird inside and out. Don’t let any moisture remain in or on the chicken. This will cause steam while it’s roasting and you do not want steam!
Get out your kosher salt and pepper. Season the inside of the chicken liberally with the salt. I’m talking about 1 1/2 – 2 teaspoons. Then season the inside with pepper. 1/2 teaspoon is fine.
This is the only “hard part” in the recipe. You’re going to truss the chicken. I could try to explain it in a series of pictures but I think you’ll find Thomas Keller’s instructional video easier to follow.
Now for the part you’re going to want to “adjust.” Get about a tablespoon of kosher salt ready and steel yourself. You’re going to sprinkle that salt from at least 18 inches above on to the bird. Start by sprinkling salt on the back of the chicken. Then flip the chicken and sprinkle the salt (from on high) on the sides and all over the top of the bird. If you’re not worried you used too much salt you haven’t used enough!
Put the chicken on a rack (it must be on a rack) in a roasting pan and put it in the oven. Then leave it alone! Do not peek. Don’t succumb to your need to check on it. Do not open the oven unless you see black smoke pouring from around the door (it won’t). Leave the darned chicken alone!
After 50 – 60 minutes (depending on how big your bird is) check the temperature. It should be 165 degrees.
Put the chicken on a cutting board to rest for 5 – 10 minutes. You want the juices to have settled nicely.
See the salt in that gorgeous, golden, crispy skin? It looks like too much but in this case “too much” is really “just perfect”!
Your chicken will be tender, juicy, perfectly seasoned and will give you bragging rights with family and friends. Peg was amazed that the bird didn’t burn at that temperature and that it was so juicy with wonderfully crispy skin! That’s the beauty of Keller Whole Roast Chicken!
This juicy, delicious whole roast chicken only needs 3 ingredients including the chicken!
- Whole chicken, 4 - 5 lbs.
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Allow the chicken to come to room temperature (45 – 60 minutes)
- Dry the chicken thoroughly inside and out. Do not leave any moisture!
- Season the chicken inside with kosher salt (1 1/2 – 2 teaspoons) and black pepper
- Truss the chicken (see video).
- Season the outside (front, back & sides) of the chicken with about 1 tablespoon of kosher salt.
- Place chicken on rack in roasting pan and roast at 450 degrees for 50 – 60 minutes. Do not open oven while roasting!
- Check the temperature of the chicken in the thigh, near the body, not touching bone. You want it 165 degrees.
- Allow chicken to rest for 5 – 10 minutes to allow juices to redistribute.
- Slice and serve.
Follow the directions exactly for a perfect result!