A roasted chicken celebration

Roasted chicken is a simple meal.  You toss some lemon, garlic, rosemary, thyme into a bird, rub it with butter and salt and pepper, put it in a roasting pan and bake for an hour and change.  After reading about anew and easier technique in Cooks Illustrated, I thought I’d give it a try.  As usual, the folks ate CI know their business.  This is a no non-sense technique which produced a juicy flavorful bird, here’s their recipe.


We prefer to use a 3 1/2- to 4-pound chicken for this recipe. If roasting a larger bird, increase the time when the oven is on in step 2 to 35 to 40 minutes. Cooking the chicken in a preheated skillet will ensure that the breast and thigh meat finish cooking at the same time.


  • 1tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1/2teaspoon pepper
  • 1(3 1/2- to 4-pound) whole chicken , giblets discarded
  • 1tablespoon olive oil
  • 1recipe pan sauce (optional) (see related recipes)


  1. 1. Adjust oven rack to middle position, place 12-inch ovensafe skillet on rack, and heat oven to 450 degrees. Combine salt and pepper in bowl. Pat chicken dry with paper towels. Rub entire surface with oil. Sprinkle evenly all over with salt mixture and rub in mixture with hands to coat evenly. Tie legs together with twine and tuck wing tips behind back.
  2. 2. Transfer chicken, breast side up, to preheated skillet in oven. Roast chicken until breasts register 120 degrees and thighs register 135 degrees, 25 to 35 minutes. Turn off oven and leave chicken in oven until breasts register 160 degrees and thighs register 175 degrees, 25 to 35 minutes.
  3. 3. Transfer chicken to carving board and let rest, uncovered, for 20 minutes. While chicken rests, prepare pan sauce, if using. Carve chicken and serve.



  • CRANK THE HEAT Turning the oven up to 450 degrees, instead of roasting at a more typical 350 to 375 degrees, ensures nicely browned, well-rendered skin.
  • USE A SKILLET Swapping a roasting pan for a skillet allows the juices to pool deeper in its smaller surface area, so less evaporates and more is left over for pan sauce.
  • “SEAR” the THIGHS Placing the bird breast side up onto the preheated skillet sears the thighs, giving them a head start so that they cook in sync with the delicate breast meat.
  • TURN OFF THE HEAT Turning off the oven when the meat is halfway done allows the chicken to finish cooking very gently (it will rise 40 degrees) and not dry out.




    Insert probe low into thickest part of breast, just above bone (typically the coolest spot, as the bone conducts heat poorly). Withdraw probe slowly, checking for lowest registered temperature.


    Insert probe down into space between tip of breast and thigh. Angle probe outward ever so slightly so it pierces meat in lower part of thigh.

The chicken was great, I even made a quick pan sauce with some Dijon mustard, rosemary, chicken stock and garlic using the brown buts and cooking juice left in the pan.

P.S. In spite of the unplanned disruptions, distractions and all that life has served up over the past 11-months I have made it to my 100th post.


One response to “A roasted chicken celebration

  1. Sounds pretty good! And congrats on your 100th post!

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