The Simple Dish Marcus Samuelsson Thinks Everyone Should Learn To Make

Chicken is loved the world over for its versatility and mild flavor that complements many seasonings, from spicy curry in India to savory coq au vin in France. And it can be prepared in just as many ways — from grilled to breaded and fried to stir-fried. However, it is one particular method that chef Marcus Samuelsson believes everyone should know how to do: roast.

Samuelsson knows a thing or two about chicken; He owns several restaurants, including Red Rooster Harlem and Streetbird, where chicken plays a significant role on the menu with dishes like fried buffalo chicken sandwiches and apricot glazed chicken. Still, Samuelsson believes it is oven-roasted chicken that is the quintessential chicken dish.

Samuelsson told Food & Wine, "Whole roasted chicken is a classic that everyone should know how to make." And, according to the chef, only a few easy steps need to be followed to make a moist and flavorful roasted chicken. No fancy rotisserie equipment is needed, nor does an intensive cooking process need to be followed.

A salt brine and simple seasoning

Samuelsson's biggest secret to roasted chicken is to use a salt brine, he told Food & Wine. This step should be done the day before the chicken is cooked. To make the brine, mix 3 cups of water with a tablespoon of sugar and 2 tablespoons of salt. Then, cover the chicken with the brine and allow for it to rest for four hours. After this step is completed, pat the bird dry and let it sit in the refrigerator overnight before cooking it to allow for the skin to get crispy. Samuelsson likes to keep the seasoning simple: salt, rosemary, garlic, and thyme. 

In addition to easy-to-make seasoning, Samuelsson keeps the cooking basic, too. Once the chicken is prepared, he roasts it for about an hour at 350 degrees Fahrenheit on a bed of onions and garlic. After removing it from the oven, Samuelsson allows the chicken to rest for about 20 minutes before carving it and serving it with roasted vegetables for a delicious meal.