Perfect Simple Roast Chicken

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“This is a super simple recipe that yields a Perfect Simple Roast Chicken in about an hours time. No truss, no fuss!”

Perfect Simple Roast Chicken


  • 1 (2 - 3 pound) chicken, preferably farm raised, giblets removed if present
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • If making gravy

    1/2 cup each white wine and chicken stock or 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 - 2 teaspoons cornstarch (when making a simple gravy that I'm going to use immediately, I like to use cornstarch instead of flour as it doesn't lump and it thickens quickly. If storing the gravy overnight, best to use flour.)


Step 1

Heat the oven to 450°F.

Dry the chicken well inside and out with paper towels. You want it very dry so it doesn't "steam".

Step 2

Salt the chicken liberally. It is best to allow the salt to "rain" over the top of the chicken. Season with pepper.

Place the chicken in an oven safe sauté pan or roasting pan. (I use a sauté pan). When the oven is to temperature, place the chicken in the pan on a rack in the middle of the oven, close the door and walk away for 1 hour. Do not open the oven, do not baste, do not do anything. After 1 hour, check the chicken for doneness, it should be cooked through, with juices running clear. Remove from oven and place on a cutting board, allow to rest for 10 - 15 minutes.

Step 3

If making gravy, take the sauté pan to the stove (careful, the pan will be HOT). Turn on the heat and add the wine, or half of the stock, simmer, scraping up the browned bits; when reduced by half add the remaining stock. Mix the cornstarch with a little bit of water, then add, slowly, stirring until the gravy is to the consistency you like. You may not need all of the slurry.


{The making of – Perfect Simple Roast Chicken}

Trying to figure out what to call this recipe.  No Fuss, No Truss, Perfect Simple Roast Chicken?

It is a Perfect Roasted Chicken.

It is a Simple Roast Chicken.

It’s my Favorite Perfect Simple Roast Chicken Recipe.

It is also Thomas Keller’s favorite roast chicken recipe…more or less.




Thomas Keller.  

You may have heard of him.

At this writing, he’s considered to be one of the best chef’s in the world.

French Laundry, Per Se, Bouchon?

Well, the best chef in the world or not, I figure the guy must know how to make a great roasted chicken.  And I was right, he does.

While working to perfect my roast chicken over the years, I’ve read a lot of recipes.

Some have you starting the oven at a high temperature to brown the skin, then lowering the heat to cook the chicken, others are vice versa.

Start out low, end up high.

This recipe starts and finishes at the same temperature.

That’s pretty simple.

In Julia Child’s book Mastering the Art of French Cooking, as in Thomas’ recipe,  you are instructed to wash the chicken prior to cooking.  Now, since Julia was getting her chicken fresh from the farm, and it had recently been butchered, I can understand her washing her chicken. There was probably residual blood in the cavity. Plus you had to finish picking off some left-over pin feathers.

Thomas may have the same issues with the chickens he gets.

But you and me?

Our chickens are pretty well processed, even if they are “free range” chickens, so the common advice today is don’t rinse the chicken.



I love that they are holding the chicken up high, right under a high stream of running water.  Well, duh,  of course there is splash. So if you do want to wash your chicken, hold it down in the sink. Do be sure to sanitize your sink after.

I always rinsed my chicken but decided to just wipe it with paper towels, inside and out, to see if rinsing made any difference in cooking or taste.

It didn’t.

So I guess this is one of those little habits that I will give up.

Another thing I do different then Thomas is, at the end of cooking, he adds butter and thyme to the pan drippings, then bastes the chicken with it. While this sounds tasty, I don’t really need the extra butter.

He also serves it with mustard.


I’m not getting that at all.  So, no added butter, no thyme, no mustard.  Just a simple pan gravy made with the drippings.

THAT’s what  I put on the chicken when I serve it.  Along with the mashed potatoes that I love to serve it with.

So simple. So perfect. Perfect simple roast chicken.  Simple enough for any day. With perfect crisp skin, and succulent juicy meat.  And I don’t even truss it.  Simpler still!



Perfect Simple Roast Chicken

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