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

4
Original recipe yields 4 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C).

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  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

Cook's Note:

I'm totally guessing at measurements here, since you kind of just splash stuff in. Use the force.

Partner Tip

Reynolds® Aluminum foil can be used to keep food moist, cook it evenly, and make clean-up easier.

Nutrition Facts

554 calories; 35.7 g total fat; 185 mg cholesterol; 4604 mg sodium. 1.2 g carbohydrates; 53.7 g protein; Full Nutrition

Reviews (272)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
07/01/2014
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 bottom/thighs got a nice sear (keeps the dark meat cooking at same rate as white). Then after about 30 minutes on the high heat i shut the oven all the way off and let the chicken sit in the cooling oven for another 20 minutes. This lets it continue to cook but will taper off and seal the juices in. Just don't open the door! This chicken turned out so beautiful golden brown crispy outside super moist and tender inside. Thank you chef for the courage to use so much salt!:)) Read More
(161)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 3 stars
03/17/2014
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 and the jus is inedible. Sorry Chef-will try again using kosher next time! I don't think it is proper to give this recipe a rating until I follow it exactly so I will give it a 3 for now. Read More
(28)
335 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 265
  • 4 star values: 44
  • 3 star values: 20
  • 2 star values: 4
  • 1 star values: 2
Rating: 5 stars
07/01/2014
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 bottom/thighs got a nice sear (keeps the dark meat cooking at same rate as white). Then after about 30 minutes on the high heat i shut the oven all the way off and let the chicken sit in the cooling oven for another 20 minutes. This lets it continue to cook but will taper off and seal the juices in. Just don't open the door! This chicken turned out so beautiful golden brown crispy outside super moist and tender inside. Thank you chef for the courage to use so much salt!:)) Read More
(161)
Rating: 5 stars
07/01/2014
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 bottom/thighs got a nice sear (keeps the dark meat cooking at same rate as white). Then after about 30 minutes on the high heat i shut the oven all the way off and let the chicken sit in the cooling oven for another 20 minutes. This lets it continue to cook but will taper off and seal the juices in. Just don't open the door! This chicken turned out so beautiful golden brown crispy outside super moist and tender inside. Thank you chef for the courage to use so much salt!:)) Read More
(161)
Rating: 5 stars
11/02/2013
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. Read More
(106)
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Rating: 5 stars
06/05/2014
the chicken came out fantastic. People please don't rate the recipes based on using the wrong ingredients. Read More
(90)
Rating: 5 stars
12/07/2013
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 believe how good it was and how incredibly simple it was to make. I was out of lemons so I substituted white wine vinegar and it was terrific! Chef John another winner. Thanks for the video it helps. Read More
(56)
Rating: 5 stars
04/25/2014
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 chicken imaginable?! The only slight change I would make (not for me but for my husband) is to maybe cut the lemon juice in half. I personally loved it but he thought it was a little too "lemony". Read More
(34)
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Rating: 5 stars
06/05/2014
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 off skillet there shouldn't be a problem. Read More
(33)
Rating: 5 stars
03/04/2014
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 rather salty and I used coarse ground kosher salt - but it wasn't inedible salty. (and of course I expected it to be salty!) I prepared this in my infrared oven which I believe helped the skin to crisp very nicely. The whole thing was a beautiful uniform golden color. My husband teenage daughter and I loved the sauce but my young children didn't care for the lemon flavor of it so next time I will try making it with white wine in place of the lemon juice. This recipe is a keeper that I will make again and again. Read More
(32)
Rating: 5 stars
12/25/2013
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 it doesn't get into the rest of your meal. Read More
(32)
Rating: 5 stars
01/07/2014
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. Read More
(29)
Rating: 3 stars
03/17/2014
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 and the jus is inedible. Sorry Chef-will try again using kosher next time! I don't think it is proper to give this recipe a rating until I follow it exactly so I will give it a 3 for now. Read More
(28)