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Saturday, January 15, 2011

That Thomas Keller knows his stuff

A guy doesn't run some of the best restaurants in the country without knowing a thing or two about food. But when someone tells me to use one of his recipes, I immediately think it has to be complicated, expensive and involve some difficult technique. Friends have told me about this recipe for a while now, and I had the opportunity to try it at my friend Joe's on New Years Day, and it is delicious. So simple, but so flavorful. So I went out and bought a chicken - deciding to give it a try on my own tonight....SUCCESS!

One 2- to 3-pound farm-raised chicken (get the good stuff here -it's worth it)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons minced thyme (optional)
Unsalted butter
Dijon mustard

The first step should start as early as you can. Rinse the chicken and dry dry dry it, both inside and out. If you leave water, it will steam the chicken, and there will be no crack, I mean, crust, to enjoy. I patted mine down with paper towel and then put in the fridge for a few hours to keep drying.

About an hour before you are ready to start cooking, take the bird out and let it come to room temperature. Go ahead and preheat the oven to 450...oh, and take the batteries out of the smoke detector and open every window in your house.....believe me.
Salt and pepper inside the bird and then truss the chicken. Truss? Whatdayasay? Yep, trussing. It's easy. And it makes a difference. Do it. Don't know how? Watch this.

Now lay the chicken in a roasting pan and salt the bird. Don't be shy. You want to see the salt. Use at least a tablespoon....I used more I am sure. Throw a little pepper on there too.

Now roast for about 50 minutes or until the bird is done. Your oven is going to go crazy. Fat is going to go all over the place, making really cool noises, but also lots of smoke. Don't freak out. Don't mess with the chicken. Just sit down and get excited for dinner.

Remove the chicken and add thyme to the pan. Baste the chicken with pan juices and then let it rest on a cutting board for about 15 minutes. This might be the hardest part of the whole recipe.
Then carve that baby up, baste with butter, and serve with dijon mustard on the side for dipping.

1 comment:

  1. That chicken is just beautiful. I am definitely going to try it.