How To Cook A Simple Delicious Roast Chicken Dinner

Based on Thomas Keller’s famous recipe, this is the most basic — and coincidentally the most delicious — way to roast a chicken.

2. Here’s what you’ll need.

1 2-3 lb chicken
3 or 4 potatoes, preferably a mix of medium-sized Yukon Gold potatoes and Russets
1 bunch of carrots
4 sticks of butter
1/3 cup whole milk
kosher salt
olive oil

special equipment: butcher’s twine

1. Get the chicken in the oven.
2. Start the potatoes.
3. Prep the carrots.
4. Finish the potatoes.
5. Take chicken out of the oven, put in carrots.
6. Carve chicken.
7. EAT!

3. Preheat the oven to 450ºF and wash the chicken with cold water.

4. Dry it with paper towels really well.

5. Seriously, dry every part of that thing.

6. Like, even inside the cavity. Dry it all over, several times. This is important.

7. Next, give it a luxurious kosher salt shower.

8. Salt the back too.

9. AND salt inside the cavity.

10. OK, you are going to truss the chicken so it looks sexy.

11. Here is how.

12. Isn’t she nice.

13. Put the chicken in a saute pan and put it in the oven.

14. Meanwhile, start the potatoes. Peel them first.

Set up a station like this so you can peel each potato and put it in water so it doesn’t brown after you’ve peeled it.

15. Then quarter them. The pieces should all be about the same size.

So even though you’re cutting the Yukon Golds into quarters, you might cut the Russet into more than four pieces so they can be equal in size to the others.

16. Put the potato pieces in a large pot and cover them with cold water by about an inch.

When you boil potatoes, always start with cold water — and don’t salt the water.

17. Bring the water to a boil and let them cook until just tender.

Once the water has started boiling it will take about 5 to 10 minutes for them to get tender — you can test how tender they are by poking them with a fork or knife, and once it goes through without much resistance, drain the potatoes.

18. While the potatoes are boiling, put 1/2 stick of butter and 1/3 cup of milk in a saucepan and put it on a burner with no heat.

The butter will melt without any heat, and you can just briefly heat it before you put it in the mashed potatoes later.

19. As all that’s happening, start the carrots. Preheat the oven to 440ºF. Wash the carrots, then dry them very well.

20. If you didn’t get pretty multicolored carrots, don’t worry. If they aren’t small, you might want to cut them into pieces so they are smaller, but no matter what kind of carrot, they all cook the same way.

21. In the meantime, check the potatoes; if they are tender, drain them. Turn on the heat under your milk/butter to very low.

22. Put the potatoes back in the pot and mash them with a potato masher or the back of a fork.

23. Add the milk and butter and a generous amount of kosher salt.

24. Keep mashing.

25. Once you like the way the potatoes taste (yes, taste them!), dot the top with butter.

26. Put some plastic wrap on top, then put the potatoes on the oven to keep them warm.

27. The chicken needs to roast for 50 to 60 minutes. Once it’s been in there that long, take it out.

28. Reduce the oven to 400ºF, drizzle the carrots with olive oil and kosher salt, then put them in for 20 to 30 minutes.

They will take 20 to 30 minutes to cook, depending on how large they are. If you like them firmer, take them out when there’s still a little bite.

29. To carve chicken, first cut off the butcher’s twine.

30. Pull off the wings.

31. Slice through the skin between the leg and the breast.

33. Keep slicing, the leg and thigh should come off easily.

35. On the back of the chicken, where the thigh connects to the back is the “oyster” — a pocket of delicious meat right next to the spine. EAT THAT or feed it to your date.

36. Same thing on the other side.

37. So now you’ve take off the leg/thigh pieces.

38. Slice off the breasts by slicing down on both sides of the breast bone and very gently pulling the breast away.

39. BTW, what’s going on with your carrots, are they done? Check them.

40. OK, back to chicken. You can serve all the meat like this…

41. To plate it, separate the leg from the thigh by cutting through the joint.

42. And cut each breast in half.

43. On each plate, pair up one piece of dark meat (a leg or thigh) with one piece of white meat (half of a breast).

44. You’re done. Eat!

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