The only Roast Chicken recipe you ever need


Over the last 4 years I’ve shared over 200 dessert recipes with you, and throughout that time I’ve been asked one question time and again: “What do you really eat?” I get it. I mean- it seems ludicrous to have that many sweets in the house and obviously if I know how to bake I must be cooking too right? Well not exactly… until recently I have always been a “cook 1/2x a week person,” relying heavily on the convenience of NYC takeout. You can pretty much have anything delivered any time of day so after a day of baking, I’d often feel less than excited about yet another kitchen project so we’d find ourselves eating Pad See Ew or BBQ from our local place.

Having a child is a game changer though. I’ve mentioned this before, but I really love cooking now more than ever. Having 3 people share a meal, (even one of them tiny,) really gives me the motivation to prepare good food for my family. This chicken my friends, is just too good. My dear friend Tricia shared the recipe with me shortly before Hugo was born, and we’ve made it dozens of times since then. She described it as the meal that makes you feel like Superwoman and man is it true. Considering how easy this thing is to make, it sure is impressive. Serve it with a green salad or some roasted veggies and you have yourself one amazing dinner.


Would you believe that to make this meal you really only need 2 ingredients? The chicken of course, and salt. Lots of salt. Pepper doesn’t hurt of course, and I used it of course, but the salt is the important one. Salt both on the inside and outside of the bird yield the most perfect, crispy skin, and juicy, melt-in-your mouth meat. I’m a white meat girl and the chicken breast on this thing is insane. So juicy, so tender, and full of flavor even without lots of herbs and butter. Who would know that keeping everything as dry as possible actually resulted in moist, juicy chicken?

This technique belongs to the genius Thomas Keller (of Bouchon fame,) and I think he has discovered culinary gold. I really mean it when I say this is the last chicken recipe you need. It’s practically perfect, really easy, and most important simple. I have discovered that usually my favorite classic recipes are!

Note: Learning to truss a chicken is really quite easy, and a must-do for this recipe to be successful. I have found this photo tutorial to be super helpful in mastering this!

The only Roast Chicken recipe you ever need

The only Roast Chicken recipe you ever need

Yield: 4 servings


  • One 2- to 3-pound farm-raised chicken
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 450°F. Rinse the chicken, then dry it very well with paper towels, inside and out. A dry chicken means less steam means crisper skin and juicer meat!
  2. Salt and pepper the cavity, then truss the chicken. (trussing helps the chicken to cook evenly)
  3. Now, salt the chicken—Pour about a tablespoon of salt over the bird and use your hands to make sure it makes a nice uniform coating so the skin is crisp and salty. (You should be able to make out the salt on the crispy skin after roasting.) Add pepper to taste.
  4. Place the chicken in a cast iron skillet or roasting pan and place in the oven. Leave it alone- don't check on it or mess with it. Roast for 50-60 minutes or until the skin is golden, and crisp.
  5. Spoon the pan juices over the chicken and allow it to rest for 15 minutes before eating.


Recipe from Thomas Keller

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1 grams
Amount Per Serving: Unsaturated Fat: 0g

Did you make this recipe?

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  1. I love this!! I need to try making it, and since I cook for one (which is hard and annoying), this would make great leftovers to use in a whole bunch of different stuff. Pinned!

  2. I was wondering if you put a lid on the roasting pan. I have tried roasting a chicken once and grease splattered all over my oven. If you don’t use a lid, did that happen to you with this recipe? I would love to try this again. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe.

    1. I don’t. Mine does splatter a little but never enough to be a huge problem. That being said my oven is pretty filthy ;)

  3. You should never rinse your poultry. It just spreads bacteria all over your kitchen. Plus rinsing doesn’t wash all bacteria off. Just cook/bake your poultry to make it safe to eat.

    1. I only rinse when the chicken seems bloody or has other gross things. I personally don’t mind disinfecting my sink afterwards- I’m picky about meat :)

  4. And can I mention how cheap roasting chicken is? We roast one on Sundays and use the meat throughout the week for other dishes like pastas, salads and savory pies. A 5 EURO whole chicken lasts us way longer than chicken breasts.

  5. This is probably the dumbest question you’ll ever read, but what does “truss the bird” mean?

    I love your blog! I have read for years, and have used MANY of your recipes. I cannot wait to try this. :)

    1. Clarification… I know truss means to bind, but what on earth do you bind on a chicken???

    2. At the bottom of the post (before the recipe) you”ll see I post a link to pictures with trussing :) Basically you bind the wings in and tie the legs together- it helps it cook evenly :)

  6. I made this Thomas Keller chicken recently and agree — It’s AMAZING. Hooray for easy, delicious dinners!

  7. Hi Audra – I made this tonight – and you are right – this is absolutely delicious. You just put it in the oven and forget about it for an hour. I’ve been roasting chicken for years – many different ways – stuffed with lemons. garlic – you name it – but this is truly tender and tasty – and we’re only using salt and pepper! Thank you!

  8. This really is the best and easiest roasted chicken ever. I’ve made it several
    Times, including this evening. The chicken falls off the bone and melts in Your mouth. Thank you, Audra.

  9. Hello Audra – Can you roast some potatoes or carrots in the skillet along with the chicken, and avoid using an additional pan?

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