Perfect Roast Chicken

Perfect Roast Chicken

Perfectly roasting a chicken, crispy golden crust... tender and moist in all parts of the bird (including the breast, which is notoriously difficult to keep moist) isn't actually at all difficult when adhering to a few simple steps. I picked up this recipe partially from Thomas Keller's 'Ad Hoc at Home' book, as well as a video snippet. The 'Ad Hoc' recipe puts the chicken on a bed of root vegetables, which is great, but if you want just the chicken without the vegetables this method works perfectly.
Author Dave


  • 1 Whole Chicken Approx. 3lb
  • Salt
  • Black Pepper


  • Allow chicken to warm to room temperature on the counter. Approximately 2 hours for a 3lb. bird.
  • Preheat oven to 475 degrees.
  • Remove the wishbone from around the neck of the chicken. This makes carving the bird easier.
  • Coat all sides of the chicken, inside and out, with salt and pepper and tightly truss the chicken.
  • Place on a oven suitable pan, preferably on a roasting rack so the bottom of the chicken doesn't get too soggy.
  • Place pan in 475 degree oven for 25 minutes.
  • Remove chicken, lower oven temperature to 400 degrees, and baste the chicken with the fat that has dripped into the pan.
  • Re-place chicken in 400 degree oven for 45 minutes. If chicken is not finished cooking replace in oven and check ever 5 minutes or so until it is done.


- When using a 3lb. bird I've never have it not be done after 45 minutes. If you are running into issues you may need to check the actual (not indicated by the dial) temperature of your oven.
- This is a VERY basic roast chicken and can be spiced up a bit by rubbing some roasted garlic on the inside of the bird and leaving the cloves in the cavity, along with a half an onion if you have it, during the roasting process.
- To more easily ensure a crispy golden skin butter, or whatever reserved animal fat you have, can be melted on the outside of the bird, both at the beginning of cooking and after the initial 25 minutes.