This recipe is one of our regular customer’s FAVORITES!
Keller’s Roast Chicken Recipe
The chicken must be at room temperature before it goes in the oven, or the chicken will not cook evenly. What Keller recommends (and what we do) is leave the chicken in the refrigerator, uncovered (on a plate and not touching anything else in the fridge), for 1-2 days after buying it, so that the skin gets a bit dried out. It will roast up crispier this way. Then 1 1/2 to 2 hours before it goes in the oven, we put it on a plate on the kitchen counter to come to room temp (about 70 degrees). Remove the neck and giblets from the cavity of the chicken before you set it out to come to room temp. (Save for stock.)
One 4 to 4 1/2 pound chicken
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled (smash with the side of a chef’s knife, makes it easier to peel)
5 thyme sprigs
About 1/3 cup olive oil or grapeseed oil (Keller uses canola oil, we prefer olive or grapeseed oil)
4 Tbsp butter, room temperature (spreadable)
A large (11-inch if you have it) cast-iron frying pan
1 Preheat oven to 475°F.
2 Use a paring knife to cut away the wishbone from the neck/breast area of the chicken. You will probably have to use your fingers to feel around for it. This is a little bit tricky, but if you can remove the wishbone first, it will make the chicken easier to carve after it is cooked. (This ease of future carving is the only reason to take the bone out, so you can leave it in if you want.)
3 Generously season the cavity of the chicken with salt and pepper. Add three garlic cloves and 5 sprigs of the thyme to the cavity, using your hands to rub the thyme and garlic all around the cavity.
4 Truss the chicken with kitchen string. To do so, start by cutting a 3-foot section of cotton kitchen string. Place the chicken so that it is breast up, and the legs pointing toward you. Tuck the wing tips under the chicken. Wrap the string under the neck end of the bird, pulling the string ends up over the breast, toward you, plumping up the breast. Then cross the string under the breast (above the cavity and between the legs). Wrap each end around the closest leg end, and tie tightly so that the legs come together.
5 Slather the chicken with oil and season well with salt and pepper.
6 Place the chicken in the pan. Slather the top of the chicken breasts with butter.
7 Place the pan in the oven and roast the chicken for 25 minutes at 475°F. Then reduce the heat to 400°F and roast for an additional 45 minutes, or until the thickest part of the thigh registers 160°F on a meat thermometer and the juices run clear.
8 Transfer the chicken to a cutting board, cover with aluminum foil and let rest for 20 minutes before carving to serve.
9 Cut the chicken into serving pieces.