The problem is we get so tied up in adding things, that we forget how amazing roast chicken can be when we take things away…like everything, except a very generous dusting of kosher salt.
When you prep a chicken like this, and roast it in a very hot oven, the bird has no choice but to cook and crisp up in its own juices, which results in very moist, flavorful meat. Thomas Keller, who helped popularize this minimalist method, argues that cooking the thighs/legs as quickly as possible in a very hot oven prevents the breasts from drying out, and I tend to agree.
Of course, no matter how juicy and chickeny your chicken tastes, it can only get better garnished with a little spoonful of thyme butter sauce. I wanted to remind everyone how simple it is to make these quick, butter-based pan sauces. If you know how to make one, you know how to make a thousand.
The important thing to remember is that any time there’s a pan sitting around crusted with caramelized meat drippings, you’re always only three minutes away from a world-class sauce. I hope you give this a try soon. Enjoy!
Ingredients for four portions:
1 big chicken, about 3 1/2 to 4 pounds
lots of kosher salt (coat the entire surface of the bird, inside and out, with the salt, being extra generous on the breasts)
– Roast at 450 F. for 50-60 minutes
For the sauce:
1 tbsp thyme leaves
1 lemon, juiced
1/3 cup chicken broth (plus all extra juices from rested chicken plate)
2 tbsp cold butter cut in 4 pieces
salt and pepper to taste
cayenne, to taste
(Note: I’m totally guessing at measurements here, since you kind of just splash stuff in. Use the force.)