Roast Chicken, Christian Delouvrier’s way


Recipes come to us in odd little ways.  I remember learning how to make truffle omelettes from a gigling, nearly toothless old lady in Southwest France.  Of course I took her seriously, she happened to be Marthe Delon, the famous truffle huntress who has been training a truffle-hunting pig a year for over 50 years.  She calls them all Kiki – couldn’t be bothered to remember a new name each year, she said.

This roast chicken recipe came to me from not so exotic a location but no less interesting a source.  The scene was the dining room at Manresa, the participants were Laurent Manrique, our dear friend and the famous chef of what I like to call the-dearly-departed-Aqua, his much-fairer-and-better-half Michelle, and yours truly.  We had just been served a deceptively simple truffle omelette.  Yes they certainly do omelettes at Manresa, hardly a greasy-countertop-diner-variety made from Nearly Eggless GooTM, but one comprised of Porcini puree, freshest farm eggs, and housemade salted butter, oh, yes, and a generous showering of white truffle at the table.  It’s the kind of dish that made us stopped in our tracks.  “Elle m’a mise sur le cul”, Laurent said of the dish, a French expression meaning something to the tune of being so gouud it knock’ ya on yur ass, hon. That got us talking about deceptively simple dishes that shocked us with their greatness.  That’s when Laurent brought up this roast chicken recipe he learned from Christian Delouvrier.

You know who Christian Delouvrier is, don’t you?  He is something of a legend, an old-school chefs’ chef kind of character.  As far as I’m concerned -and I’d say many will agree- the period when Delouvrier was the chef at the restaurant Alain Ducasse in NYC was the apex of that restaurant – perhaps even any of Ducasse’s restaurants post Ducasse himself.  That food certainly knocked me on my ass, I totally admit to you.

So when Laurent started telling me about this recipe I sat up straight to pay attention – well, as straight as I could possibly be after many glasses of Chablis -Dauvissat- and Bordeaux –ahem, ’66 Madeliene, ahem.  This is what he said. (Reading the next paragraph in his cute French accent will help, enormously.)

You take a chicken and you put in a lot of salt, a lot, on the inside, inside, and put a lot of thyme and a lot of garlic.  Then you rub it with butter all over, a lot of butter.  Unsalted butter, no salt on the outside at all.  Then you bake it at 350F, yes, that low, for 40 minutes.  Then you take it out and let it rest 15 minutes.  During that time, you make a reduction of same amount of water and soy sauce, then you do like a beurre fondu (of course butter ee eez French!).  Reduce it to the consistency of a good jus. Then when the chicken is done resting you brush it all over with mix.  Then you put back the chicken, 15 minutes more at 400F.  Then remove the chicken and let it rest for 10 minutes.  Then you cut up the chicken to serve.

It sounded so simple, and yet unlike any roast chicken recipe I’ve ever tried.  A glace made of soy sauce, water, and butter sounded delightful and odd in about equal measures.  I was duly intrigued, and promised myself to try it one day soon.  The day turned out to be yesterday.  At our house, Tuesday nights are our Sunday nights-since David’s days off are Mondays at Tuesdays.  We often have a nice dinner with friends, many of whom are in the restaurant business and so have similar schedule.  We often have a simple roast chicken (using the recipe I wrote about in my book), so I thought I’d try this new recipe and see what everyone thought about it.

I wasn’t so sure if I actually remembered everything, so I called Laurent and quizzed him a bit more.  That revealed a few more crucial details about the recipe.  The resting periods are very important as the chicken cooks at such a low temperature for a long time.  He also recommended using *a lot* of salt, far more than the usual amount.  The inside of the chicken would be so salty as to render the carcass unusable – can’t keep it for stock or anything.  Laurent also mentioned that the thighs might be slightly undercooked, but if that happened I shouldn’t panic, as putting them back in the oven for 5-10 minutes more should do the trick.  So, armed with these careful instructions, I set to work.


I got one gorgeous chicken, about 4.5lbs of plump, air-processed chicken.  Organic, of course.  Did you really need to ask?  My chicken came trussed already, so I didn’t need to do it, but you might.  I put an overly generous amount of salt inside the cavity.  A lot.  I must have used two big handfuls of salt and many, many turns of the peppermill.  I stuffed it with two heads of garlic cut in half crosswise, and a big handful of thyme.  (When you tell a Thai girl to use a lot of garlic you’d better not be kidding!)


Then I rubbed that baby all over with soft butter.  When a Frenchman tells you to use a lot, *a lot*, of butter you take him seriously.  I think I used about 4oz of butter, almost a full stick.  (Frankly that’s probably a bit over board. I’ll use a little less next time.)


I preheated the oven to 350F, and put the chicken in.  Just about half way through the 40 minute period, I started working on the glace.  I mixed 1/3 cup each of water and soy sauce, and about 5 Tablespoon or 75g of butter in a small saucepan and set it on a medium fire.  I let it simmer until reduced to the consistency of a good jus, which looked about like this.


After 40 minutes (basting once or twice with the melted butter at the bottom of the pan) I took the chicken out, and turned the oven back up to 400F.  This is what my chicken looked like before I covered it (loosely) with foil and let it rest, undisturbed, for 15 minutes.


The I brushed it all over with the glace.  Now this chicken is ready to get back into the oven.


The chicken hung out in the hot oven for 15 more minutes.  I turned the pan once during that time to make sure the chicken was cooked evenly.  This time I didn’t baste it at all.  At the end of the 15 minutes mark, out came the chicken from the oven.


It rested for the full 10 minutes, then we cut it up for serving.  Sure enough, the thighs were just this side of done, so they went back to the oven for five more minutes, that’s all.  As you can see from the picture, the chicken was plump and juicy still.  The skin wasn’t crisp, but certainly made up for that shortcoming with the gooey, salty, deliciously sweet flavor from the glace.  It was so good we kept taking bites before the plate went out to the table.


Was it worth it, this recipe?  You bet.  My respect for Christian Delouvrier (and Laurent too for that matter) went up another notch.  A little caveat about this though, I think this recipe works best in a convection oven, as the thighs would cook better and more evenly.  Also, if for you a roast chicken is all about the crisp skin, this might not be for you.  But if you’re in it for the juicy, flavorful meat, go for it.  You won’t be disappointed by this unique recipe.

So, how do you roast your chicken?  Any special secrets you wouldn’t mind sharing?

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123 Responses to “Roast Chicken, Christian Delouvrier’s way

  • Whitney said:
    November 11th, 2009 at 4:13pm

    I swear by the Zuni Cafe Roast Chicken. Simple and delicious.

  • Amy Sherman said:
    November 11th, 2009 at 4:20pm

    I have luck with Nigella’s formula: 400 degrees F oven for 15 minutes per pound plus 10 minutes. Works like a charm.

  • joel baumwoll said:
    November 11th, 2009 at 4:23pm

    After squeezing some lemon juice into the cavity and on the skin, I put large amounts of fresh thyme and smaller amounts of fresh rosemary and several semi-crushed cloves of garlic in the cavity along with half a lemon, a tbs of kosher salt and a heaping teaspoon of fresh cracked black and white peppercorns. Sometimes I add a bit of onion.
    To the outside I slather the chicken with a thick coating of goose fat, sprinkle with kosher salt and cracked pepper.
    Put the chicken ion a 350 degree oven for about 40-45 minutes, breast side down or on each side for 20 minutes. Then turn breast side up with oven at 400 degrees checking thigh temp to 165 degrees.
    No basting needed as the goose fat does its job.
    Rest for 20-25 minutes, or until less than too hot to handle. I remove each breast whole and cut into generous medallions.
    Deglaze the roasting pan after pouring off excess fat, usually with white wine, and some water. reduce and swirl in some butter. pour juices from resting platter into the sauce and spoon over the carved chicken.
    If I have a good chicken, this does justice to it.

  • joel baumwoll said:
    November 11th, 2009 at 4:26pm

    Once in a while, I pour a 1/2 cup of aquavit into the cavity. The caraway/dill flavor seeps into the meat without being too present, if you know what I mean. I call this my drunken Danish chicken.

  • The Gardener's Eden said:
    November 11th, 2009 at 4:38pm

    Simple is always best, isn’t it? This seems to be true for me in most things – life, friendship, and certainly in food. Thank you for this recipe, and as always for your beautiful story.
    I wonder if the Zuni chicken mentioned in the first chicken is the same one I remember from the late 90’s… chicken under a brick with warm bread salad? It was delicious. I can almost smell the fragrance, even though I am 3,500 miles away. Sigh.
    All the best,

  • Fatemeh said:
    November 11th, 2009 at 4:57pm

    I’m all about butter under the skin.
    I make a quick compound butter (dried wild mushrooms, dried or fresh herbs, citrus zest), and put about a tablespoon under each half of the breast, then a bit more on the thighs.

  • DrGaellon said:
    November 11th, 2009 at 4:58pm

    That pic shows two HEADS of garlic, cut in half – not two cloves…

  • Pim said:
    November 11th, 2009 at 5:01pm

    Oops. Thanks. Brain fart. Fixed now.

  • Alex Deve said:
    November 11th, 2009 at 5:11pm

    The timing seems right, slow to start, then high heat to brown it and make the skin a bit more crispy. And the soja sauce and the salt are probably here to make the meat moist and the skin darker. My preference lately has been to brine the chicken, even if just for an hour in an 8% salt water. This works every time. If i don’t have time to brine, lemon juice and tons of salt inside and out do the work. But i will try this recipe as it’s also fun to find new ways to cook chicken. And of course, if you like chicken, you have to try La Mere Blanc, in Vonnas place operated by Georges Blanc, the ambassador of “le poulet de Bresse”. Have you tried it?

  • casey said:
    November 11th, 2009 at 5:17pm

    Also a fan of the Zuni recipe and Nigella’s formula. Sometimes I add a step learned from Alain Ducasse–I make a compound butter with fresh herbs and some minced shallots–roll it into a thin slab between pieces of parchment paper and freeze. Just before roasting the chicken I take pieces of the frozen butter and insert them under the skin. pretty fabulous.

  • Pim said:
    November 11th, 2009 at 5:25pm

    I actually made George Blanc’s famous Poulet à la Crème a while back. Fabulous recipe. Requiring, of course, alarming amount of cream, but worth every drop of it. I really need to post it.
    I’m not a huge fan of brining as I’m a clutz in the kitchen and the brine always ends up on the floor!

  • Pim said:
    November 11th, 2009 at 5:26pm

    That Ducasse compound butter trick works well too. But I’m a Robuchon girl when it comes to roasting a chicken!

  • Pim said:
    November 11th, 2009 at 5:28pm

    And the bread salad!

  • Pim said:
    November 11th, 2009 at 5:28pm

    Hmm. Sounds interesting. I’ll have to try it.

  • Pim said:
    November 11th, 2009 at 5:29pm

    Fabulous recipe Joel. Love the aquavit addition.

  • GG Mora said:
    November 11th, 2009 at 5:29pm

    I’ve always cooked my chickens low & slow, but last week was inspired to spatchcocking and high heat. No contest. I think the premium placed on crispy skin misses the whole point of roast chicken. Slow cooking lets the fat and connective tissue melt into the muscle, giving a tender, juicy, flavorful outcome.
    And here’s the kicker about that crispy skin BS: it might be crisp when it comes out of the oven, but the heat and moisture of the bird steams it soft in minutes. What a waste.

  • Pim said:
    November 11th, 2009 at 5:32pm

    How do you cook a chicken under a brick? I’ve eaten it but never tried cooking it.

  • Pim said:
    November 11th, 2009 at 5:33pm

    How do you get under the skin of the thighs? Or do you just put the butter on the outside on the thighs?

  • casey said:
    November 11th, 2009 at 5:50pm

    Off to check my robouchon cookbook.

  • Carrie Rashid said:
    November 11th, 2009 at 6:06pm

    This looks yummy, I love a roast chicken. I like putting lemons in the cavity and putting a few slices of lemon on top – tastes delicious and so pretty!

  • Hannah said:
    November 11th, 2009 at 6:36pm

    my recipe is very simple… i think i originally got it from jamie oliver. i just stuff the inside of the chicken with a whole garlic bulb cut in half, thyme, and also a lemon cut in half. and i stuff the space between the skin and breast with soft butter that i’ve mixed with the lemon zest, salt, pepper, and some thyme leaves, and also smear the outside with butter. sometimes if i want it extra garlicky, i will make little slits in the legs and stuff peeled garlic cloves in there, too. i cook it for almost an hour at 425, and then let it sit for 10 min. works every time!

  • internet pharmacy said:
    November 11th, 2009 at 7:28pm

    Look’s great.. Thanks for the recipe.. I will try this one this weekend..

  • tobias cooks! said:
    November 11th, 2009 at 11:55pm

    I did not know Christian Delouvrier and I have never tried to roast chicken with the addition of butter. Looks interesting.
    I roast my chicken with a sauce of olive oil and fresh lemon juice. I place the salted chicken in a pan and add peeled potatoes and a few garlic cloves and lots of sauce. Then I roast it in the oven for approx. 90 minutes. The Chicken gets juicy with a fragrant of lemon. The potatoes are just melting.

  • Ruth Lieu said:
    November 12th, 2009 at 12:12am

    The roasted chicken recipe Alder and I have used for years originally came from the Williams-Sonoma French cookbook. It’s just butter, rosemary, garlic, lemon juice, paprika, and cayenne. I’ve adapted with more rosemary, salt, and garlic than the recipe called for and roast it for 20 min. breast side down before flipping. Alder probably sneaks in a few extra turn of the pepper grinder. Perfect every time. Will definitely try this one.

  • Reuben Morningchilde said:
    November 12th, 2009 at 1:00am

    Lemon chicken, any of these days.
    Though I have to admit, this one here with all the butter and the garlic and the soy sauce sounds genuinely intriguing. Did I mention I like the butter in this recipe?

  • Barbara Harris said:
    November 12th, 2009 at 2:34am

    I don’t add anything but salt to my chicken. I like the taste of the chicken to be pure. I call my method no knead chicken as it’s based on the cooking idea of the no knead bread.
    I salt the chicken inside and out and leave it sitting on the bench while I heat a cast iron dutch oven in the oven set at 250 Celsius. After drying the chicken well it goes into the preheated pot breast side down, lid on and bake 45 minutes. Then I remove the lid and turn the chicken breast side up. I put the uncovered chicken back in the oven for 15 minutes.

  • james_burke said:
    November 12th, 2009 at 3:33am

    I generally add a lot of salt to the top of my chicken almost like a salt crust, which is what it turns into once my bird is cooked. I also let it rest for 15 minutes. I should add that i then crack away excess salt from the skin before serving.
    Alternatives are adding all the other fragrances into the cavity or butters under the skin, but i keep turning back to the minimal version.

  • Raj Banerjee said:
    November 12th, 2009 at 3:44am

    Nice recipe…never thought of using soya sauce…is any soy taste left or is it just saltiness that you get from the glace? Will have to give this a go.
    My roast chicken is with a compound butter made with chopped tarragon, crushed garlic and lemon zest, which I stuff under the skin of both breast and thigh. You asked earlier how to get butter under the skin of the thighs…well, you put your finger in and separate it, the same as you do for the breast. In the cavity goes half a lemon, more tarragon and peeled crushed garlic. More of the same butter and lots of salt goes all over the outside, tho if I have run out of compound butter, plain butter (unsalted butter) works just as well. I like to use Maldon salt as the flakes make the skin crispy in a way that table salt does not. This sits on unpeeled garlic and thick sliced onion. In the oven for 220C for 20mins or so and then 180C (Bourdain’s method I think) til I think its ready…then upside down to rest, redo the thighs if they are not quite done. Reduce the pan with stock to make gravy (I’m English, so I like gravy…got no time for jus!).
    I sometimes roast carrots and potatoes with the chicken – Jersey royals and sliced Chantenay carrots. This works well for me. I much prefer tarragon to thyme or rosemary or sage with chicken, but will give this recipe a go for its uniqueness! Thanks so much for your post.

  • geek+nerd said:
    November 12th, 2009 at 4:28am

    I have a recipe where you stick two slices of bacon under the skin of the breasts – oh boy is it decadent!

  • Natasja said:
    November 12th, 2009 at 9:13am

    I have 2 methods to butter the thighs:
    The first is to punch a little hole in the skin of the thigh and work the butter through it.
    The second requires more patience: when you’ve loosened the skin on the breast, carefully work your way down to the thighs. This is more fiddly, but you’ll get there eventually.

  • Lemon Tart said:
    November 12th, 2009 at 9:24am

    As with everyone else, butter is key for me, underskin with herbs and certainly generously on top. I find it helps it brown better. A lemon and orange half along with herbs inside the cavity also helps with flavour. Brining I do almost exclusively, you just can’t beat the moistness it provides, and I also like the technique of turning it once or twice while cooking. But perhaps the best part is the jus I make after its done. I reduce the juices until everything sticks to the bottom of the pan, pour off the fat, at a bunch of water, a squeeze of the lemon and let that all reduce until tasty and slighty thickened, then I finish it with a glug of brandy. This sauce is so flavourful and way better than any gravy.

  • Natasja said:
    November 12th, 2009 at 9:32am

    I love roast chicken and we try new recipes frequently, but our favourite roast chicken with veg is pretty simple: salt, pepper, garlic, lemon and thyme on the inside. Butter (with or without extra herbs (like the dried mushroom idea)under the skin and butter or olive oil and lots of salt and pepper on the outside.
    And of course the veg, possibly the best best thing about this recipe, halve some potatoes, carrots, onions and garlic bulbs, toss with olive oil, salt, pepper and herbs and put in the bottom of the tray. Nest your chicken on top and roast…..hmmmm! Pumpkin works well too.

  • Natasja said:
    November 12th, 2009 at 9:35am

    You could also try some slices of chorizo under the skin and then salt and smoked paprika on the skin…

  • codfish said:
    November 12th, 2009 at 10:05am

    Can’t wait to try this version.
    For a 3-3.5 lb bird, I’ll make an herb butter of minced sage, lemon rind, and garlic added to 4-6 tbsp. soft butter with lots of kosher salt and pepper and slide that all underneath the skin. More garlic, sage, and the lemon in the cavity. Roast at 450F for about 35 minutes; the thighs are not usually done by then, but I take it out, carve, and saute the thighs skin side down in a scorching hot cast-iron pan for a minute or two, until they are done.

  • Lippy said:
    November 12th, 2009 at 10:11am

    I spatchcock the chicken and roast it at 375F for about an hour for a 3-lb. bird, or longer, depending on size, after rubbing the outside with a paste of crushed garlic, paprika (sweet, pimenton or combination) salt, pepper and olive oil, goose or duck fat. No basting. I let it rest for 10 minutes before carving. The skin is delicious and crisp and remains so because the bird has been spatchcocked, and the meat is juicy. Again, because of the spatchcocking, the legs, thighs and breast are all done at the same time.
    I’ve sometimes roasted the bird atop some lemon slices, and that’s good too.

  • Eva said:
    November 12th, 2009 at 10:12am

    The latter is how I do it. Once you’ve worked under the skin on the breast, you can insinuate your finger under the skin where the thigh joins the body — there is a tissue-thin layer of, well, tissue there that is easily breached without breaching the skin itself. Then just push a lump of butter through that and work it into the thigh meat from on top of the skin (like massage).

  • Steven Dilley said:
    November 12th, 2009 at 10:57am

    My trick is to remove the chicken from the fridge and apply an ice pack to the breast while the rest of the bird comes to room temp. 30-45 minutes. The disparity in temperature allows the breast and thigh to finish cooking at the same time.

  • Steven Dilley said:
    November 12th, 2009 at 10:58am

    In addition, starting it breast-side up in a hot pan also helps the white and dark meat finish at the same time.

  • Pim said:
    November 12th, 2009 at 11:30am you mean breast-side down? The trick with ice sounds intriguing.

  • Pim said:
    November 12th, 2009 at 11:31am

    Spatchcocking is pretty cool. We do that when we grill Thai-marinated chicken chez nous.

  • Pim said:
    November 12th, 2009 at 11:31am

    That’s a pretty small bird, probably serves two in our household. 🙂

  • Pim said:
    November 12th, 2009 at 11:33am

    I love roasting vegetables along side the chicken. My favorite lately has been sunchokes or jerusalem artichokes. They are so meltingly sweet and addictive.

  • Pim said:
    November 12th, 2009 at 11:33am

    Orange, now that’s interesting. I’ve never tried it. I’m sure it goes very well with the brandy.

  • Pim said:
    November 12th, 2009 at 11:34am

    Ooh, this sounds better and better.

  • Pim said:
    November 12th, 2009 at 11:46am

    That’s interesting. I’ve never done it. Usually when I put something under the skin I just put two disks of compound butter each the breasts, that’s it. Will have to try this trick, thanks!

  • Pim said:
    November 12th, 2009 at 11:47am

    I supposed you’re right, but I still like the crispy bits of skin I tear off as I cut up the chicken. That stuff’s hard to give up!

  • Pim said:
    November 12th, 2009 at 11:47am

    Or your Foodie Handbook 😉

  • Pim said:
    November 12th, 2009 at 11:47am

    sounds simple enough, yes.

  • Fatemeh said:
    November 12th, 2009 at 12:13pm

    Flip the bird over, and get under the skin on either side of the spine. Best way, IMO.

  • Fatemeh said:
    November 12th, 2009 at 12:17pm

    Comme Ça:
    It’s actually incredibly simple. And if you happen to have bricks laying around, even better — just wrap one in tin foil.

  • Pim said:
    November 12th, 2009 at 12:28pm

    Ok now that’s super interesting. Never heard of that trick before. Now I really need to try it!

  • Pim said:
    November 12th, 2009 at 12:29pm

    Olive oil is healthier I guess, but alas my heart belongs to butter. 😉

  • Pim said:
    November 12th, 2009 at 12:30pm

    Paprika and cayenne, that sound good, but what temp. do you roast the bird? Wouldn’t the peppers burn if too high heat?

  • Pim said:
    November 12th, 2009 at 12:33pm

    Salt crust, sounds interesting too. How does the skin turn out under the crust I wonder?

  • Pim said:
    November 12th, 2009 at 12:34pm

    Tarragon goes very well indeed with chicken. I sometimes do a braised chicken with taragon – JGV’s recipe I think, from Food & Wine mag long ago. Perhaps that recipe might still be online, I’ll go take a look.

  • james_burke said:
    November 12th, 2009 at 12:40pm

    coming back to the salt crush-ish chicken i talked about above, you asked how did the skin come out? It’s crispy as of course the salt has acted like a sandstorm across the sahara and ripped out the moisture, although i can imagine some ovens might screw with that.

  • Pim said:
    November 12th, 2009 at 12:45pm

    But I wonder what the effect of so much salt on the skin would be? Because when I do salt crust fish the skin is usually inedible by the time the fish finishes cooking.

  • Walter Hanig said:
    November 12th, 2009 at 12:47pm

    I like the Cooks Illustrated version: remove backbone and butterfly. Brine for 1 hr. Compound butter (mustard, thyme, garlic) under skin. Put on rack over sliced potatoes tossed with oil & salt/pepper. Cook hot (450F ?) till done.

  • Lippy said:
    November 12th, 2009 at 12:48pm

    What I like about the spatchcocking and low-ish temperature is the way the skin stays crackling crisp at the same time the meat is perfectly cooked, and juicy. The soy-butter combination is intriguing, but I don’t want to sacrifice the crisp skin/juicy meat I get without effort on my chicken, so I think I’ll try it on something else — broiled swordfish, maybe?

  • Ian said:
    November 12th, 2009 at 1:04pm

    Usually either use Thomas Keller’s recipe which is pat bird dry with paper towels, truss, lots of salt all over an in cavity, roast in oven at 450 until done. Boom. The butter goes on after it’s finished, if you like. Has to be a decent chicken of course and we don’t sweat it if the juices run a little pink. Another fun way has been butterflied, backbone removed, put in a flat basket and cooked over a wood fire on a rotisserie spit, with just salt and pepper.

  • Steven Dilley said:
    November 12th, 2009 at 1:04pm

    Breast-side up, into a very hot pan, so that the legs and thighs sizzle and start to cook on contact.
    I haven’t roasted many chickens lately, but this take on Delouvrier’s approach sounds like a must. The pictures are great.

  • Jane said:
    November 12th, 2009 at 3:02pm

    Roast chicken is so simple. No need to get complicated. My version: Make a rub of Salt, Pepper, Garlic powder, Paprika, Thyme, Rosemary mix together with a little oil. Rub spices inside and out. Cut up a couple of lemons. (I’m trying to resist using the word “shove” here) place them in the cavity. Truss legs, turn under wings. The key here is how the bird is cooked. I use the rotisserie on my gas grill, with indirect heat. Turn off the center burner, under the bird. With my grill, the other 2 burners are kept on Medium with will maintain about a 350 degree temp. That’s it. Best, juicyest, crispiest yummiest chicken ever.

  • The Duo Dishes said:
    November 12th, 2009 at 4:33pm

    Too bad we didn’t get to meet you during the Foodbuzz festival. You have a gorgeous blog, and congrats on the book of course. There will be a roasted chicken in our near future…

  • Ruth Lieu said:
    November 12th, 2009 at 10:14pm

    Just a pinch of paprika actually. Roasted at 425 degrees. Haven’t burnt it yet.

  • Barbara said:
    November 13th, 2009 at 1:42pm

    Sheer heaven!
    And I’d like that omelet too please!

  • hope chest said:
    November 13th, 2009 at 6:58pm

    This is one chicken I have to try! It really looks delicious and so tasty! I can’t wait!

  • julia said:
    November 13th, 2009 at 10:07pm

    I am going to have to try this recipe. My go-to recipe is from the Silver Palete cookbook. Tried and true, never goes wrong.

  • Peter Ford said:
    November 13th, 2009 at 10:59pm

    Thank you for the recipe. Roasted Chicken is one of those stand-bys in my house on Sunday evenings. Both of my kids love it, no matter what recipe I try.
    That said, my favorite is from Tom Colicchio’s Think Like a Chef. His recipe calls for you to brown the bird on its sides, prior to popping it into the oven to roast. It gives the thighs a few extra minutes of cooking so you don’t cook the breast meat as long. It is pretty much fool proof.

  • A said:
    November 14th, 2009 at 7:32am

    Stuff the cavity with Parma ham, wipe the outside of the chicken all over with a cut lemon, squeezing as you go. Salt pepper. Grate nutmeg – A LOT – all over the chicken. Drizzle over olive oil. Place breast side down on rack in a roasting pan. Put White wine and water into the roasting tin. Turn over 20 mins before end to right side up to ensure crispy crispy skin all over.

  • A said:
    November 14th, 2009 at 7:35am

    Serve with undressed peppery leaves such as watercress and potatoes dauphinois

  • Dan Tucker said:
    November 14th, 2009 at 10:36am

    Thanks for sharing this recipe, I might just try this for lunch tomorrow! My favourite recipe for roast chicken is from Heston Blumenthal. Brine for 6 hours, soak in fresh water for 1. Leave in the fridge overnight to dry out the skin and then roast in an oven for 4 to 6 hours at 60 degrees C checking with a meat thermometer until it’s reached 60 degrees. Rest for an hour and then fry in very hot oil to crisp up the skin. The neck and wing tips are sauteed in butter and then the buttery juices are injected into the flesh with a turkey baster before serving.

  • scott said:
    November 14th, 2009 at 1:47pm

    Curious about a difference in temperature. The original quote says 400 deg and you used 450 deg for the second cooking session. Which one is correct? Looks great – thanks

  • JK said:
    November 15th, 2009 at 2:24am

    How I roast a chicken?
    Temperature and time I go pretty standard with it a bit hotter at the end to aid in skin-crispiness. The inside of the bird gets a generous amount salt, a large bulb of garlic with the cloves seperated and just barely crushed enough to let them “leak”, and as many halfed lemons as you can fit in there. (If you’re in the mood for spicy swap the lemons for oranges and habenaros). The outside of the bird is basted throughout the cooking with a mixture of two parts butter, two parts lemon juice, one part soy sauce (once again, substitue oranges for the spicy version). Reduce by about a third before basting. I’ve also tried it with a good brown mustard instead of the soy sauce. I didn’t like it as much as the soy, although some who tried it liked it more. To each there own I guess.

  • tony said:
    November 15th, 2009 at 1:29pm

    Hi Pim, Reading often but only the first comment. The recipe sounds delicious! Here is one, not for a roast chicken but for a poached chicken (Southern Chinese recipe, care of Kyle Kwong in Sydney). It results in the most moist flavoursome chicken meat and it is, apart from needing a really big pot, no trouble at all!
    Kyle Kwong’s Chicken with soy and ginger
    Bring to a boil together these ingredients to make a stock:
    750ml Xiaoshing wine
    8 green (spring) onions
    12 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
    1.25 cups of sliced ginger
    1/3 cup of salt
    6Litres water
    Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes
    1.6kg organic chicken: rinse, removing excess fat and place in simmering stock breast down
    Simmer for 14 minutes making sure it doesn’t start boiling again (but it is important that is simmers!)
    Turn off heat, cover with a firm lid and allow to rest for 3 hours.
    At the end of 3 hours, uncover and remove chicken, cut into pieces and dress with the following:
    Combine 60ml soy sauce, 1 tsp sesame oil, 0.5tsp sugar, 1/3 cup julienned spring onion, 1 tbsp julienned ginger and 2 tbsp peanut oil
    Garnish with extra ginger and spring onion.
    Serve with white rice
    This is flavoursome and aromatic and will be cooked to perfection with very moist meat!

  • kathleen said:
    November 15th, 2009 at 1:32pm

    I’ve heard so much about truffles…but what do they taste like? Are they better than mushrooms?

  • Scott Elkin said:
    November 16th, 2009 at 12:39am

    I have had the best success w/ this compound-butter-under-the-skin recipe.

  • Kevin Schrimmer said:
    November 16th, 2009 at 7:24am

    Hi Pim,
    Since you follow Robuchon then I’ll mention what I learned as a stagier in his kitchen a number of years back: Stand the chicken up with it’s tail in the air after removing from the oven to rest. This causes the juices to settle in the breast meat that often becomes dry. I always perform this little ritual now as well as teach it to others.

  • Chris said:
    November 16th, 2009 at 9:41pm

    It makes me so happy to see love for Chef ( Delouvrier ) as this. I worked for chef in Miami, and this is how we did our chicken on our rotisserie. Cold chicken, rubbed with butter, stuffed with garlic and thyme, on the spit. Roast, and brush consistently with the soy butter ( a beurre fondue ). Please keep his gospel alive

  • fioricet online said:
    November 17th, 2009 at 1:22am

    Wow and wow, looks so delicious I really want to try this at home ,….yummy thanks.

  • kitchenbeard said:
    November 17th, 2009 at 12:55pm

    Agreed that you want to get the butter spread out as much as poissible under the skin. The water in the butter will convert to steam pusing the skin off the muscle and the fat will fry it giving it a really wonderfully crispy texture. I’ll go through a stick of butter on the exterior and a stick under the skin. Is it healthy. Of course not. But it’s delicious.

  • Thomas Meglioranza said:
    November 19th, 2009 at 9:34am

    One part of this very appealing sounding recipe puzzled me:
    If you mix equal parts water and soy sauce, and then reduce it by half, isn’t the end result simply the original amount of soy sauce? I wonder what the step of adding water, and then removing it via boiling, does.

  • Melissa said:
    November 19th, 2009 at 9:23pm

    My favorite way to roast a chicken is on the barbeque. I do the Apple Cider Brined Rosemary Chicken from the Black Iron Dude’s blog, except I keep the chicken whole. Then I do it beer can style with mesquite chips on the grill at 250 degrees for about two hours with only one burner on. Heaven!!!

  • Las Vegas DUI lawyer said:
    November 20th, 2009 at 9:04am

    Oh My Goodness. I just recently watched a video of a woman plucking a chicken and I told myself I’d never eat it again! But looking at these photos and reading about how to prepare this delicious dish is too much for me to handle. I’m going to attempt this tonight.
    Thanks so much. Your recipes are fantastic.

  • Fuji Mama said:
    November 20th, 2009 at 11:38am

    Mmmm, this sounds amazing! These days we’ve been cooking most of our chickens rotisserie style on the grill. I love making a miso glaze.

  • LondonLlama said:
    November 21st, 2009 at 1:15pm

    Just made this to celebrate my little sister’s arrival in London – absolutely sublime… The flavours really work their way into the whole bird, with a subtle salty hit throughout the meat. As wonderfully juicy (but properly cooked) as you could hope for in a bird.

  • kc_m said:
    November 21st, 2009 at 11:29pm

    mmmmm… looks so tasty!

  • ed hardy said:
    November 23rd, 2009 at 2:34am

    Great, I have to follow your blog, Thank you so much for post.

  • Leonidas said:
    November 27th, 2009 at 3:46pm

    Hate to be a hater, but this is one of my pet peeves: the word “comprised” should never be followed by the word “of”. You could’ve said “an omelette comprising *list of ingredients*” or “*list of ingredients* comprised in an omelette”—either of these would’ve been good enough not to warrant the wrath of the Hellenic warrior-king.
    And furthermore, just to jump the gun on the flamers: yes, Pim’s English is a damn sight better than my French and Thai combined. Flame on!

  • Zhang1fan said:
    November 29th, 2009 at 8:18am

    Made this last night and loved it so much I am going to make it again tongiht. I put tones of salt in the cavity and grabbed the chicken for a shake like making a cocktail. Right at ths moment a neighbour walked by the window and was utterly bemused! I left the salted chicken to stand for 5 hours before roasting.
    What amazed me with this chicken is that a friend’s Philippino maid used to make a very similar tasting dish. The differnece is once chicken is roasted (I’m not sure if she salted chicken), it is pan-friend with soy sauce added one little a time on the skin. I will try this method tonight.
    And because of the salting, the bird tasted a little salty and reminded me of Chinese wind dried chicken (Fengji) which is eaten during the New Year. What you do is salt a chicken for a few days, the hang in on your balcony during the winter season for a week. Then you cut it to pieces and steam cook it. You don’t have to cook a whole bird, a box of drumsticks work too.

  • Bill Woods said:
    December 3rd, 2009 at 5:54pm

    “Marthe Delon, … has been training a truffle-hunting pig a year for over 50 years. She calls them all Kiki – couldn’t be bothered to remember a new name each year, she said.”
    What happens to last year’s pig?

  • Mike said:
    December 6th, 2009 at 3:26pm

    why do you add the same amount of water as soy sauce and then reduce it by half. Doesn’t the act of reducing just remove all of the water that you added previously. I would think you could just skip the step of reducing the water soy mixture by just removing the water from the equation, then make your glace….

  • Connie said:
    December 13th, 2009 at 8:38am

    Seriously, Tom Keller’s recipe is awesome – dry dry dry the bird and then blast it at ridiculously high heat (such that it frequently smokes out my house and sets off the alarm but is still SOOOO worth it!) – delicious! Search Epicurious for “My favorite simple roast chicken” and you won’t roast a chicken any other way! Moist breast, crispy skin, delectable!

  • Mark Frankel said:
    December 13th, 2009 at 12:59pm

    For me, crispy wing-tips are a must. When I put the chicken in the roasting pan (with a rack) I add a few tablespoons of vegetable oil, a “primer”, so to speak. I roast the chicken normally, but without trussing. This leaves the wing-tips out in the open and exposed to the heat. I baste the chicken frequently (every 10 minutes!!), paying particular attention to the wing-tips, with the vegetable oil at first, then with the drippings. The result is a perfect bird with delicious crackly-crisp wing-tips.

  • Geoffrey Wu said:
    December 15th, 2009 at 12:53am

    Hi Pim,
    I am a fellow foodie in Hong Kong & I enjoy reading your blog very much. I will now add your blog to my blogroll on
    By the way, regarding the roast chicken, I have a secret tip which I want to share with you which is to use Coca Cola for roasting the chicken. Sounds strange but works like wonder.
    Happy Eating!

  • thé assam said:
    December 19th, 2009 at 3:22am

    I am totally a veggie. Anyways, Happy Eating!

  • OyeSancho said:
    December 26th, 2009 at 11:31pm

    Simple! He gets a job with a six-figure pay package, full benefits and all the sweet corn mash he can eat. But he earns every bit of it in truffle finds. Sends Mme. Delon a card every year at Christmas, so I hear…..

  • James Cao said:
    January 20th, 2010 at 9:23pm

    Hi, I am new guy from China, your bolg is absolutely fantastic!

  • Kindle said:
    January 22nd, 2010 at 12:23am

    I have tried various recipes for roasted chicken but all have been unsuccessful, I hope that this one will be it because I love cooking it and I would definitely want to learn making it.

  • Boracay Hotel Accommodation said:
    January 22nd, 2010 at 1:00am

    Roosted chicken is probably my most loved dish, I even have a small roasting business at home.

  • Accounting Jobs said:
    January 22nd, 2010 at 1:36am

    They would go well with my homemade gravy. Thanks for this post and thanks for sharing it.

  • Sony digital cameras said:
    January 22nd, 2010 at 2:31am

    I would really like it very much if you could post the recipe for this chicken roast on your next post.

  • tiffanyfree said:
    January 23rd, 2010 at 12:22am

    I think that these mushrooms would be a great addition to my mushroom collection.

  • freakindel said:
    March 15th, 2010 at 8:32am

    The chicken is currently in the oven, going through the final stage… Smells absolutely divine!
    BTW, can anyone explain to me why would add water to the soy sauce, only to have it all evaporated again? It sounds a bit redundant to me. Is it about the cooking time (it takes a few minutes of boiling to evaporate the glaze to the desired consistency).
    I am really looking forward to this one. So far, my all time favorite is Keller’s Bouchon recipe: brine it overnight, then cook it hot and fast.

  • dsfwef said:
    March 21st, 2010 at 7:41pm

    “We know that now divide and handbags conquer strategy,” White said. “We understand the truth of the distraction tactics..defwegrtt

  • dewfgr said:
    March 21st, 2010 at 7:43pm

    Woods is the star of Nike Golf, which produces supra mk3 parts apparel including his high-end TW shoes online shirts, pants, sweaters, jackets and vests. Victory walking shoes Red, which evokes the shirt color that Woods skateboard shoes wears on Sundays, is a golf club brand within the broader Nike line.defwegrtt

  • computer repair miami said:
    June 7th, 2010 at 3:43am

    Mmm, when I see some garlic I am already sure this chicken tastes great. And it looks like it as well. Gotta try this recipe.

  • grilled shrimp recipes said:
    July 8th, 2010 at 8:20am

    My favorite ingredients to prepare a roast chicken are salt, pepper, garlic and fresh rosemary. I season the chicken outside and inside with salt and pepper, I fill the cavity with lots of garlic and rosemary and finaly I put some rosemary sprigs on the top. The result is an aromatic and delicious meat.

  • said:
    August 10th, 2010 at 12:05am

    I always love the sight of a roasted chicken specially on this case that it was pictured during the cooking process.

  • seo said:
    August 29th, 2010 at 5:46pm

    I’m so angry I can not do it the most important ingredients of soy sauce

    • Ilustforham said:
      December 23rd, 2010 at 8:54am

      Do you have a soy allergy? Or possibly a wheat allergy?

  • Kees said:
    September 25th, 2010 at 3:03pm

    Guys,…this forum is not helping with my recently acquired chicken addiction.

  • Kees said:
    September 25th, 2010 at 3:19pm

    Dear Pim,
    You’ve done your Chicken porn & Thai fried chicken, what’s the Thai answer to this one?

  • jinyu said:
    November 18th, 2010 at 2:30am
  • Anne said:
    November 20th, 2010 at 11:56pm

    Pim – where do you get your chickens?

  • Anonymous said:
    November 23rd, 2010 at 2:39pm

    Hey Pim,
    Never have a problem with the legs not being completely done. Why, because I flip the bird. Literally. Say I’m working with a 4 pound bird. Rub the bird with oil or melted butter. Haven’t tried the soft butter bird yet. Next season the bird skin with dried sage, thyme, sweet paprika and pepper. Start the bird breast side down in a hot oven, 400F for 40 minutes. Then I take the bird out and carefully flip the bird breast side up. I lower the oven to 350 and cook the bird for an additional 30 to 40 minutes. I look for an internal temp of 165F. Pretty simple and always works. Almost forgot, always rub the cavity with salt then add a slice of lemon and sprigs of whatever fresh herbs I have on hand. Enjoy and Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

  • Tina said:
    January 21st, 2011 at 12:14pm

    This is a great recipe. Thank you for the post. I will have a visitor next week for a diner and I guess this will be included in my menu. The children love chicken and I am sure they will be surprised to see another recipe aside from fried chicken.

  • Michelle said:
    January 25th, 2011 at 4:34pm

    My French mother-in-law does not put garlic in the cavity but instead stuffs the cavity with day old bagette rubbed all over with garlic. Chicken roasts and juices make the best garliky moist stuffing. She also smears the bird in butter and salt but roasts at 375C.

  • Sil2u said:
    February 15th, 2011 at 12:54am

    Thank you for sharing this recipe… perfection!

  • Artfulgourmetnyc said:
    February 21st, 2011 at 4:40am

    This is a simple great recipe – will definitely try this next time I make a Roasted Chicken!

  • Killy said:
    November 22nd, 2011 at 5:20am

    I love this recipe/method, and have used it several times! Thanks so much Pim! A quick question though. I’m going to try this method on a 17 lb turkey. Is this a bad idea? How would the timing (taking it out to rest, etc.) change? 

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    March 3rd, 2012 at 12:08am
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  • cowboy said:
    January 5th, 2014 at 11:40pm

    Rather than tying the legs I let them sprawl, and cut a gash between the thighs and the breast. Comme ca you can cook the breast correctly and the legs are done, too.

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