This is the best roast chicken recipe I have ever tried. It comes from The Canal House and it’s really based on a few simple techniques. I’m not sure I will every try another roast chicken recipe – I will just work on variations from this.
1 T kosher salt
1 whole approximately 4 lb chicken, giblets reserved for another use (I use organic)
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
Rinse chicken. Rub salt all over chicken and place in a resealable plastic bag. I double bag mine for insurance against messy leaks! Place breast side up in the refrigerator for 8 hours and up to 2 days. This dry brining technique works with other meats as well (turkey, pork) and I first discovered it from Judy Rodgers of Zuni Cafe in San Francisco.
Arrange oven rack in upper third of oven. Preheat to 500 degrees. Set a wire roasting rack in a large roasting pan. Pat the chicken dry, but do not rinse. Place the chicken in the rack, breast side up. Loosely tie the legs together with kitchen twine and tuck the wings under. Brush the chicken all over with butter. Pour 1 cup of water into the pan.
Roast the chicken, brushing with butter after 15 minutes, until the skin is light golden brown – about 30 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees. Remove the chicken, brush with butter and let it rest for 15 – 20 minutes.
Return the chicken to the oven, adding more water to the pan if it is dry and roast, basting with butter about every 10 minutes – until the skin is golden brown and a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh registers 165 degrees. This will take approximately 30 to 45 minutes, depending on the size of the chicken. Let chicken rest for 20 minutes. Carve and serve with pan juices.
Enjoy the moist and delicious rewards of your efforts – Yum !!
Note: you may want to turn on your overhead fan while the chicken is cooking in the first phase at 500 degrees. Smoke alarms will thank you.