This is it, folks. Perhaps the best, easiest roast chicken ever—three ingredients and five minutes of prep time for one flavorful, juicy bird that you can eat on its own, in a salad, sandwiched between bread, stuffed in a taco shell. The possibilities are endless. The recipe comes from Sara Moulton’s Home Cooking 101 ($22; amazon.com), a new cookbook by celebrated chef and TV personality Sara Moulton.
Moulton learned how to make the dish during her last restaurant job, where it was served during the staff’s family meal: “This chicken was oiled, seasoned with salt and pepper, and tossed without further ado… into an oven blasting away at 500°F. That’s the temperature at which everything was cooked and why I call this recipe ‘Blasted Chicken,’” she writes, although she reduced the temperature to 450°F for home-roasting purposes. She adds, “It turns out to be the most delicious chicken on the planet: the skin is wonderfully crispy; the meat is perfectly moist.” Try the recipe tonight!
1 (3½-lb) chicken, trimmed of excess fat and patted dry
Extra-virgin olive oil for brushing
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Preheat the oven to 450°F. Brush the chicken all over with the oil and season it well with salt and pepper to taste.
2. Place the chicken, breast side up, on a rack in a roasting pan. Roast on the middle shelf of the oven until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh, not touching the bone, registers 160°F, about 45 minutes.
3. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board, cover loosely with foil, and let stand for 15 minutes before carving.
Cook’s Notes: Tips for Successful Roast Chicken
The timing is based on a “broiler,” or 3½-pound chicken, so try to stick to that weight. (It feeds four people nicely.)
Your oven must be very clean or it will start smoking.
You must let the chicken rest for a full 15 minutes after you pull it from the oven and before you start carving, or it will lose all its juices and become dry.
You might want to get into the habit of roasting two of these birds at once, so that the second can provide leftovers for meals later in the week. Think of it as your own homemade rotisserie chicken.