Much like that Jean Claude Van Damme video, this roast chicken will blow your mind.
This was my first roast chicken and it was the easiest piece of meat I've ever cooked.
How did I do it? I followed most of Thomas Keller's instructions, taking the chicken out of the plastic, washing and patting it dry, and letting it sit in my refrigerator for a day in a half (this drys out the skin a bit). I also brought the chicken to room temperature, leaving it on the counter for about 90 minutes before I roasted it. Then I stuffed some garlic cloves, thyme, salt, and pepper into the cavity, tied the legs together (which was my lazy attempt to truss the chicken), patted it with some olive oil, doused it in fresh thyme and a little sea salt. I chopped up some vegetables (leeks, turnips, purple potatoes ), drizzled them with olive oil and salt, and nested them around the chicken in a Lodge pan.
Next I put it in the oven (which I had pre-heated at 475 degrees) for 25 minutes. I set an alarm. Tick-tock. Tick-tock. At 25 minutes, I lowered the temp to 400 degrees and then, forty-five minutes later, it was done. I pulled it out of the oven and let it rest. I did not baste it. I did not move it. I did nothing.
These "techniques," which require very little work, produced one of the best roast chickens I've ever tasted. The chicken skin, infused with thyme and accessorized with sprinkles of sea salt, was crispy, fatty deliciousness. Underneath that crispy skin, were hunks of juicy, white breast meat to eat a long side caramelized root vegetables.
Mind. Blowing. I'm sure the fact that this gorgeous chicken was from a local farm helps a bunch with the taste factor.
Some notes from my kitchen: I don't have a fancy roasting pan so I used two Lodge pans (America's original cookware). In the first one I put the chicken and some root vegetables. The second one I filled up with more root vegetables. What can I say, I had a lot of root vegetables to use up. I put both pans in at the same time. When the chicken was done, I poured some of the juice from the first pan (the one with the chicken in it) into the pan without the chicken in it so those vegetables (which were already cooked) would get the roasted chicken flavor.
I did not truss the chicken for one simple reason: I'm lazy. I should add that I'm not convinced it's necessary. The internets has a lot to say about this. What do you think?
Chef Keller would admonish me for not selecting the size of my vegetables more precisely or at least cutting them the same size. I do think this makes a difference, but not that much difference. Ain't nobody got time for that.
Mind not blown? How about this chicken has no added fat (except for that light drizzle of olive oil that I patted on it so the thyme would "stick.").
I recommend that you watch the video that I did or read the original recipe. Thomas Keller's recipe has been shared widely on the internets by different bloggers and magazines. You can find it here, here, and a video of Chef Keller roasting a chicken here.
Next I need to turn the leftover scraps and bones into chicken soup. Anyone have a great recipe?