Even though roast chicken is a simple dish, there's a surprisingly large room for error—so we've perfected the technique, ensuring you get juicy meat and crisp skin every time.
After brining overnight, roast the chicken at 400° for a super-golden bird. While cooking, be diligent about basting—it's key to prevent burning. However, everyone's oven is different, so if you do see one area of the chicken getting dark faster than others, rotate the bird.
And when you present that showstopping bird tableside, you're going to want to know how to carve it gracefully. So we made a video to show you how.
To learn more, read "TT Culinary Institute: Roast Chicken."
Herb Roasted Chicken
Recipe from the Tasting Table Test Kitchen
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes, plus overnight brining
Cook Time: 55 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour and 10 minutes, plus overnight brining
For the Brine:
8 cups water, divided
½ cup kosher salt
¼ cup honey
¼ cup sugar
1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
3 thyme sprigs
2 bay leaves
2 garlic cloves
1 yellow onion, quartered
1 lemon, halved
One 3-to-4-pound chicken
For the Roasted Chicken:
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 tablespoon salt
2 teaspoons thyme leaves
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 garlic clove, grated
1. Brine the chicken: In a large pot, combine 2 cups of water with the salt, honey, sugar, peppercorns, thyme, bay leaves, garlic, onion and lemon. Bring to a boil and cook until the salt and sugar dissolve, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the remaining 6 cups of water. Let cool completely, then add the chicken, submerging entirely. Refrigerate overnight.
2. The next day, preheat the oven to 400°. In a medium bowl, mix together the butter, salt, thyme, pepper, lemon zest and garlic until smooth. Set aside.
3. Remove the chicken from the brine and pat dry with paper towels (this step is essential for getting crisp skin). Transfer the chicken to a roasting pan. Rub the chicken completely with the butter mixture, lifting the skin off the breasts to coat underneath.
4. Roast, basting every 15 minutes, until the chicken is golden brown and reaches an internal temperature of 165°, 55 to 60 minutes. Let rest for 10 minutes, then carve.