I thought I had already perfected my roast chicken recipe, but this one has a few twists that are new to me. I'll be trying this version very soon.
(serves 4 to 6)
To ensure flavorful, juicier meat, we dry-brine the chicken, generously seasoning it with salt and then letting it rest before roasting. To keep the skin taut and crisp we cook the bird in two phases, first at a high temperature, and then, after a brief time out of the oven, at a lower one. Slightly fussy, but we think it's worthwhile.
- 1 whole chicken, 3-5 pounds, rinsed and patted dry
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 3 tablespoon butter melted
Put the chicken breast side up on a large plate. Pat the salt onto the breasts, legs, and thighs. Refrigerate, uncovered, for at least 8 hours or up to 2 days.
Position the oven rack in the top third of the oven. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels (don't rinse the bird). Put it breast side up on a roasting rack set in a heavy roasting pan or in a large cast-iron skillet. Tie the legs together with kitchen string. Tuck the wings under the back. Brush the chicken all over with some of the melted butter. Add 1 cup of water to the pan. Roast the chicken until the skin is golden and taut, 20-30 minutes., brushing it with butter halfway through. Remove the bird from the oven. Brush it with butter; let it rest of 15 to 20 minutes.
Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees. Return the chicken to the oven and finish roasting it until the skin is deep golden brown and the thigh juices run clear when pierced, about 30 minutes. Carve the chicken and serve with the drippings. Serve it with buttered peas, if you like.