There are thousands of decisions to make when roasting a chicken — baste? butter? brine? high temp? low and slow? spatchcock? truss? — and we’ve made them all, over and over, in the hunt for the perfect recipe. Perhaps unsurprisingly, our favorite follows a very simple formula, combining high heat, a well-tempered and trussed bird, generous resting time, and just olive oil, salt, and pepper for flavor. We think you’ll love it as much as we do — and hopefully appreciate that we made all the hard choices for you.
Simple Roast Chicken
Time: 2 hr 50 minutes
1 whole chicken (3 1/2 to 4 pounds)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Prepare the chicken:
Pat the chicken dry with paper towels inside and out. Season with 1 tablespoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Use butcher’s twine to truss the chicken. Transfer to a wire rack set on a sheet pan and let stand at room temperature for 1 hour. While the chicken is tempering, place an oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 475°F.
2. Roast the chicken & serve your dish:
Rub 1 tablespoon of olive oil all over the chicken. Season with 1 teaspoon salt and a generous amount of pepper. Roast for 65 to 70 minutes, or until well-browned and the juices run clear when the skin is pierced between the thigh and leg (an instant read thermometer inserted into the thigh, without touching the bone, should read 165°F). Remove from the oven. Let the chicken rest for 35 minutes. Transfer to a serving dish or, if desired, a cutting board to carve before serving. Enjoy!