Years ago I read that no one can properly call himself a cook if he can't make a great roast chicken. I took that as a challenge and tried many recipes and techniques until finally finding the perfect one just inside the front cover of Keller's Bouchon. My three boys ask for this by name now and we make it about once a week.
- A Chicken. Usually just under 4 pounds. Get the very best chicken you can find, because chicken is fundamentally inexpensive and this recipe is all about the chicken.
- Salt & Pepper.
- Fresh Thyme
- Dry the chicken with paper towels inside and out, then liberally sprinkle with coarse salt and fresh pepper.
- Truss it, because the recipe calls for high heat and if you let the wings and drumsticks free, they might burn.
- Preheat your oven to 450. If you're daring, push it to 500. If you have a convection oven, use the convection.
- Put the bird in a roasting pan and roast for about 45 minutes.
- Pull it out after 45 minutes and drop a generous handful of thyme sprigs into the sizzling hot pan juice. Use a wooden spoon to loosen the brown bits and stir about the thyme so that it gives over its flavor to the juices.
- Carve the bird. Add its juices to the pan juices. Pull the thyme from the pan juices and pour them over the sliced meat.
- I usually serve this with a simple green salad and homemade frech fries or sweet potato fries.