Thursday, March 4, 2010

The simplest and yummiest roast chicken

1. One 2- to 3-pound farm-raised chicken

2. Salt and freshly ground black pepper

3. 2 teaspoons minced thyme

4. Dijon mustard


1. Preheat the oven to 450°F.
2. Rinse the chicken, then dry it very well with paper towels, inside and out. The less it steams, the drier the heat, the better.
3. Salt and pepper the cavity, then truss the bird. When you truss a bird, the wings and legs stay close to the body; the ends of the drumsticks cover the top of the breast and keep it from drying out. Trussing helps the chicken to cook evenly, and it also makes for a more beautiful roasted bird.
4. Now, salt the chicken, so that it has a nice uniform coating that will result in a crisp, salty, flavorful skin (about 1 tablespoon). Season to taste with pepper.
5. Place the chicken in a sauté pan or roasting pan and, when the oven is up to temperature, put the chicken in the oven. Roast it until it's done, 50 to 60 minutes.
6. Remove it from the oven and add the thyme, if using, to the pan.
7. Baste the chicken with the juices and thyme and let it rest for 15 minutes on a cutting board.
8. Serve with mustard on the side and, if you wish, a simple green salad. 

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