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Chef John's Salt Roasted Chicken

Rated as 4.68 out of 5 Stars

"This is one of those rare recipes where the name is the same as the ingredient list. You're going to be so shocked at how flavorful, juicy, and amazing this roast chicken comes out."
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Ingredients

1 h 15 m servings 554 cals
Original recipe yields 4 servings

Directions

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  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C).
  2. Dry the outside of chicken with paper towels. Tuck the wing tips underneath the chicken and place into a large oven-safe skillet. Use scissors to snip off the tail, if desired.
  3. Generously sprinkle kosher salt into the cavity and over the back and sides of chicken. Tie chicken legs together with kitchen twine. Sprinkle salt generously over the breasts, coating them thoroughly. Wipe excess salt out of skillet with paper towels.
  4. Bake chicken in the preheated oven until an instant-read meat thermometer inserted into a thigh, not touching bone, reads 160 degrees C (70 degrees C), 50 to 60 minutes. Remove from skillet to a serving platter and let rest 5 to 10 minutes.
  5. Blot about 90 percent of the chicken fat from the skillet with a paper towel held with tongs, leaving the browned bits of food in the skillet. Place skillet over medium-high heat and add thyme leaves. Cook and stir until thyme is wilted, 1 to 2 minutes. Pour lemon juice, chicken broth, and water into skillet, stirring until the browned bits dissolve and the sauce has reduced by about half, 1 to 2 minutes.
  6. Reduce heat to low, add cold butter, and stir until butter has begun to melt. Add any accumulated juices from the chicken to sauce and continue to stir until butter is incorporated and sauce is slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Remove from heat and season with salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper to taste. Spoon sauce over chicken to serve.

Footnotes

  • Cook's Note:
  • I'm totally guessing at measurements here, since you kind of just splash stuff in. Use the force.
  • Tip
  • Aluminum foil helps keep food moist, ensures it cooks evenly, keeps leftovers fresh, and makes clean-up easy.

Nutrition Facts


Per Serving: 554 calories; 35.7 g fat; 1.2 g carbohydrates; 53.7 g protein; 185 mg cholesterol; 4604 mg sodium. Full nutrition

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Reviews

Read all reviews 237
  1. 287 Ratings

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    Rated as 5 out of 5 Stars
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    Rated as 4 out of 5 Stars
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    Rated as 3 out of 5 Stars
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    Rated as 2 out of 5 Stars
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    Rated as 1 out of 5 Stars
Most helpful positive review

Changed nothing about the ingredients, just tweaked the method of cooking (I have roasted many a fowl in my career). I preheated my cast iron skillet so that when i laid the chicken in it, the ...

Most helpful critical review

well, I really mucked this recipe...I used sea salt instead of Kosher--didn't think it would make that much of a difference, but it did. The chicken came out greasy and way to salty tasting, an...

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Changed nothing about the ingredients, just tweaked the method of cooking (I have roasted many a fowl in my career). I preheated my cast iron skillet so that when i laid the chicken in it, the ...

My husband thought it was excellent. He said: ..."perhaps the best chicken I ever had!". I had followed your recipe without any change. Thank you Chef John.

the chicken came out fantastic. People, please don't rate the recipes based on using the wrong ingredients.

My family has always loved roast chicken, so I have made it for years. This recipe is the best I have ever made. The chicken was very juicy, and so tender. I even made the sauce, and could not ...

Okay, it's starting to be that I only want to make Chef John's recipes! This one is (as always) incredible. Who knew that roasting a chicken at 450 degrees for an hour would make the moistest ...

We really enjoyed this chicken! I love making whole chickens and do so at least twice a month. This recipe was a nice change up from my usual rosemary and garlic roasted bird. It did turn out ra...

In response to those complaining about being too salty - I think the secret is the last sentence in instruction line 3: "Wipe excess salt out of skillet with paper towels." If ALL salt is wiped ...

I made this with an organic whole chicken and my picky family raved over it! Juicy, crispy crust and not a salty taste. Be sure to brush excess salt off the bird before cutting and plating, so i...

the chicken was magnificent. but for some reason, my sauce turned out way too salty. I'm wondering if I didn't blot out enough oil from the pan. will try again.