Sunday, August 2, 2015

Thomas Keller's Roast Chicken With Roast Vegetables

For the home cook, the best recipes must not only be tasty -they must also be simple and repeatable. These kinds of recipes are the ones that make it onto my dinner repertoire time and time again. Of these, Thomas Keller's Roast Chicken is my favourite -it is perfect for a small group of friends or a simple dinner for two with leftovers.



Contrary to many roast chicken recipes out there, a juicy chicken does not require butter, oil or running back and forth from the oven to baste. It also has the most delicious crispy skin! Thomas Keller's recipe calls for only 3 ingredients - salt, pepper, and a chicken. I also like to add a bit of lemon on the inside.

Salt, pepper, and a chicken. Optional extra: Lemon
The only equipment you need is a roasting pan and some kitchen twine to truss the bird. Trussing helps the chicken to cook evenly. The chicken must also be dry before going into the oven.

After this, you can just walk away and come back when your kitchen starts smelling wonderful.. 


Carrots, Potatoes, Parsnips, Beetroot, Garlic and Thyme
Or, to create a complete meal, you could chop up some vegetables to accompany the chicken. I put these in halfway through cooking the chicken so they are done at the same time. The veggies also help to create a little bit of moisture as I've found that the oven tends to smoke if the chicken is cooked by itself.



After that, I reduce the juices that have formed in the bottom of the tray to make a simple jus for the dish. 

This recipe is head and shoulders above any roast chicken recipe I have ever used. It is easy to make, easy to remember and oh so delicious! I dare you to find something simpler!

Thomas Keller's Roast Chicken With Roast Vegetables
(Serves 4 - 6)



Roast Chicken Ingredients:

1 whole chicken (about 1 to 1.4 kg)
Salt
Pepper

Roast Vegetable Ingredients:

1 kg assorted root vegetables (see third photo for what I used)
1.5 Tbs olive oil 

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 220°C (425°F).
2. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels -inside and out.
3. Place the chicken in a large roasting pan and truss the bird, tying the legs close to the body so it cooks evenly.
4. Sprinkle salt and pepper all over the chicken (top and bottom).
5. Place the chicken in the oven and leave it alone for about 1 hour. 
6. Cut assorted vegetables into 2-3cm sized chunks and toss with olive oil (I like to oil beetroot separately so it doesn't stain the other veggies).
7. Place the vegetables in the oven when there is 30 minutes left to go.
8. Once 1 hour is up, test the temperature of the chicken with a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh. It should reach 75°C (165°F).
9. Remove the chicken and the vegetables from the oven and let sit for 15 minutes before carving. 
10. While you're waiting, pour all the pan juices into a small saucepan and simmer for about 7-10 minutes or until the juices have reduced a little.
11. Serve.

Notes:

1. I don't rinse my chicken as it tends to splash raw chicken germs all over the sink area. Any dangerous germs will be killed if the meat reaches the correct temperature. Read more about it here.
2. A roasting rack isn't entirely necessary, but I find that the chicken cooks more evenly and there is no risk of the chicken sticking to the roasting pan.