This is the recipe for Thomas Keller’s favorite, simple roast chicken recipe (or Mon Poulet Roti) that is served at Bouchon. If you want to watch Chef Keller Â demonstrating his techniques, be sure to watch the video on this blog.
SERVINGS: Â 2 – 4
One 2- to 3-pound farm-raised chicken
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons minced thyme (optional)
Preheat the oven to 450Â°F. Rinse the chicken, then dry it very well with paper towels, inside and out. The less it steams, the drier the heat, the better.
Salt and pepper the cavity, then truss the bird. Trussing is not difficult, and if you roast chicken often, itâ€™s a good technique to feel comfortable with. When you truss a bird, the wings and legs stay close to the body; the ends of the drumsticks cover the top of the breast and keep it from drying out. Trussing helps the chicken to cook evenly, and it also makes for a more beautiful roasted bird.
Now, salt the chickenâ€”I like to rain the salt over the bird so that it has a nice uniform coating that will result in a crisp, salty, flavorful skin (about 1 tablespoon). When itâ€™s cooked, you should still be able to make out the salt baked onto the crisp skin. Season to taste with pepper.
Place the chicken in a sautĂ© pan or roasting pan and, when the oven is up to temperature, put the chicken in the oven. I leave it aloneâ€”I donâ€™t baste it, I donâ€™t add butter; you can if you wish, but I feel this creates steam, which I donâ€™t want. Roast it until itâ€™s done, 50 to 60 minutes. Remove it from the oven and add the thyme, if using, to the pan. Baste the chicken with the juices and thyme and let it rest for 15 minutes on a cutting board.
Remove the twine. Separate the middle wing joint and eat that immediately. Remove the legs and thighs. I like to take off the backbone and eat one of the oysters, the two succulent morsels of meat embedded here, and give the other to the person Iâ€™m cooking with. But I take the chicken butt for myself. I could never understand why my brothers always fought over that triangular tipâ€”until one day I got the crispy, juicy fat myself. These are the cookâ€™s rewards.
Cut the breast down the middle and serve it on the bone, with one wing joint still attached to each. The preparation is not meant to be super elegant. Slather the meat with fresh butter. Serve with mustard on the side and, if you wish, a simple green salad. Youâ€™ll start using a knife and fork, but finish with your fingers, because itâ€™s so good.
Excerpted fromÂ BOUCHON by THOMAS KELLER (Artisan Books). Copyright 2004. Deborah Jones photographer.
It was hard to decide which of many fabulous recipes for chicken that Chef Keller features at Bouchon Restaurant. How to choose between a simple roast chicken, a roast chicken with a ragout of wild mushrooms, roast chicken with summer squash and tomatoes or for a casual evening with friends perhaps chicken in a pot. Whichever you choose, try the recipes for all in Keller’s cookbook Bouchon. You will be inspired.
– The Gourmet Review