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My Favorite Simple Roast Chicken Recipe
by Aspen Lee-Moulden

My Favorite Simple Roast Chicken

I found this recipe online and it's soo easy but soo good! It's from chef Thomas Keller of Bouchon and The French Laundry. Who knew something so simple could be soo good! The whole family loved it and requests it time and time again.

Rating: 4/5
Avg. 4/5 2 votes
Prep time: United States American
Cook time: Servings: 4


  • One 2- to 3-pound farm-raised chicken (preferably organic)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons minced thyme (optional)
  • Butter
  • Dijon mustard


  1. Preheat the oven to 450°F. Rinse the chicken, then dry it very well with paper towels, inside and out. The less it steams, the drier the heat, the better.
  2. Salt and pepper the cavity, then truss the bird. Trussing is not difficult, and if you roast chicken often, it's a good technique to feel comfortable with. When you truss a bird, the wings and legs stay close to the body; the ends of the drumsticks cover the top of the breast and keep it from drying out. Trussing helps the chicken to cook evenly, and it also makes for a more beautiful roasted bird.
  3. Now, salt the chicken—I like to rain the salt over the bird so that it has a nice uniform coating that will result in a crisp, salty, flavorful skin (about 1-2 tablespoons). When it's cooked, you should still be able to make out the salt baked onto the crisp skin. Season to taste with pepper.
  4. Place the chicken in a sauté pan or roasting pan and, when the oven is up to temperature, put the chicken in the oven. I leave it alone—I don't baste it, I don't add butter; you can if you wish, but I feel this creates steam, which I don't want. Roast it until it's done, 50 to 60 minutes. Remove it from the oven and add the thyme, if using, to the pan. Baste the chicken with the juices and thyme and let it rest for 15 minutes on a cutting board. Now is the time I slather the outside with butter, just prior to serving.
  5. Serve with a green salad and roast potatoes.