Sunday, December 6, 2009

Thomas Keller's My Favorite Simple Roast Chicken


In browsing around the interwebs, I've seen references to Thomas Keller's roast chicken, as served at his restaurant Bouchon. The recipe is here. I'm going to say that once I tried this chicken, my quest for the "perfect" roast chicken came to a screeching halt. Thomas Keller's favorite is now my favorite!

n.o.e.'s notes:

- I used one of the wonderful pasture raised organic chickens from my farm box. I'm really glad that I stocked my freezer with these when they were available earlier this year, because they have not been available since that time. Apparently there is not a chicken processing facility for small operation chicken farmers close enough to make it cost effective for the farm box folks to continue offering them.

- This was first time I've ever actually fully trussed a chicken (before now, I usually tie the legs together and call it "done"). I used these directions and crossed a bunch of string. I can't say if my trussing effort was exactly correct but the bird was compact and nothing flopped around so I deemed it a success.


- Keller's roasting method couldn't be simpler: Salt + pepper in cavity. Truss. Salt and pepper outside. Roast 450 until done. Nothing else. Remove from pan, put thyme in pan juices, baste chicken and let it rest 15 minutes. Carve and enjoy!

the verdict:

Boy, did we enjoy! My husband repeated, "this is unbelievable," the entire time he was eating the chicken. Although Keller says to slather the meat with butter when you serve the chicken, I didn't think it needed anything. The chicken was succulent and filled with flavor. I'm sure some of the credit has to go to the organic pastured chicken, but the recipe is a treasure. I had no idea that a roast chicken could be this good...

11 comments:

TeaLady said...

Isn't it great when you find 'THE' recipe. Now on to the next 'best' recipe.

Chicken looks great.

Engineer Baker said...

Funny that the trick is to keep things unbelievably simple, isn't it?

Kayte said...

Looks absolutely delicious. Okay, I am looking at this trussing job and thinking: "That bird is going nowhere and nothing is going to escape any of the truss!" You are some trusser! All my favorite recipes for roasted chicken are this simple...Julia's, LCB, etc. and it must be in the way you cook it b/c OMW...good! I am putting this book on my Christmas list.

Kim said...

It looks beautiful and sounds easy enough. I will agree that some of the credit will go to your farm fresh organic chicken, even raw it looks like a much better quality chicken than storebought.

Teanna said...

I made his roast chicken this summer and died over it! It was amazing! For me, it is a toss-up between his recipe and Alice Waters' recipe (which requires no trussing at all!) Your bird looks stunning and I'm glad you enjoed it!

Leslie said...

Beautiful chicken, Nancy! I have heard from so many people that this is the quintessential roast chicken recipe, but I thought it was hard. Silly me!

Penny said...

Simplicity and high roasting temperature seem to be the key. I am on a quest to find an organic, naturel chicken now. By the way, I watched Julia recently trussing a roasting chicken and she used miles of string.

Tracey said...

I've never fully trussed a chicken either (by the way, yours looks great to me!) and I've generally not had great luck with roasting whole chickens, but I'm intrigued. This sounds so simple maybe even I could handle it!

Audrey said...

Wow! I was sure you were going to say this is like the Julia Child version where you have to turn the hot juicy roasting chicken OVER a couple of times. Did that once...never again. I'll look forward to trying this...it looks incredible!
Audrey

Anne said...

The chicken sounds SO good and looks perfect all tied up! Awesome job!

Anonymous said...

Now, it's my favorite roast chicken recipe, too!