I have tried many recipes for roasted chicken. It seems every recipe has a different cooking method and temperature. There have been many times when I take the chicken out of the oven after cooking it for over and hour and it is under cooked near the bone.
This recipe works out absolutely perfect and results in the most juicy roast chicken possible. This method is adapted from the chef Thomas Keller's version. It's very easy to do and will never disappoint.
The Perfect Roasted Chicken
1 (3 to 4-lb) chicken
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
A bunch of fresh thyme
4-5 garlic cloves-unpeeled
Unsalted butter to taste
1. Preheat the oven to 450F. Rinse the chicken, then dry it very well with paper towels, inside and out. Salt and pepper the cavity. Now you can truss the bird with butchers twine. Trussing will ensure the bird cook very evenly. Below is a link for a step by step guide on how to truss a chicken.
How to truss a chicken
Sometime I'll admit I don't always truss the chicken. I make sure the wing tips are tucked under the bottom of the bird so they don't burn.
2. Next, salt the chicken with about 1/2 to 1 tbsp of salt - rain the salt over the bird so it has a nice, uniform coating that will results in a crisp, salty, flavorful skin. When it's cooked, you should still be able to make out the salt baked onto the crisp skin. Season to taste with pepper.
3. Place the chicken in a saute pan or roasting pan. Add lemon slices, unpeeled garlic cloves and thyme sprigs around chicken. Roast for 60 minutes (or about 17 minutes a pound), until the juices run clear. Remove it from the oven and sprinkle a little thyme in pan, if desired. Baste the chicken with the juices and thyme and let it rest for 15 minutes on a cutting board.
4. Remove the twine and carve the chicken and add it to platter. Squeeze roasted lemon over top and you can brush with a little melted butter; if desired. I like to serve this with roasted root vegetables.