Definitions. In this matter, I concur with Thomas Keller. The perfect roast chicken retains two primary characteristics: crispy skin and juicy breasts.
With that said, the key is not to introduce any steam (Keller advises not even butter). Three other steps I take:
1. Inserting a finger underneath the skin covering the breasts and separating it from the meat;
2. Trussing the chicken using its own parts:
a) After raining the chicken (including the cavity) with salt and black pepper, tuck the wing tips in and under the joint where the wing connects to the body;
b) Cut a small hole on each side of the skin flap covering the chicken’s “poop chute” and tuck the tip of each leg through the hole on the opposite side, essentially sealing the “poop chute” and any herbs (eg. thyme sprigs) tucked inside the cavity;
3. I also roast the chicken breast side down for 45 minutes first (what I do when I roast a turkey). This prevents the breasts from overcooking while the chicken juices seep down to the breasts, essentially basting it from within.
Roasting temperature: 350F
Roasting time: 20 minutes per pound, plus 30 minutes
Roasting equipment: small roasting pan with a v-rack
Serve with a green and a carb. Why not The Perfect Roast Potatoes?