a simple roast chicken, updated

Adapted from A Simple Roast Chicken from Homemade with Love: Simple Scratch Cooking from In Jennie’s Kitchen (Running Press 2013)

The main difference between this recipe, and the one in my cookbook, is the addition of white wine and butter. I also vary the technique a little, and don’t rub the chicken with oil. Instead I let it dry roast with only the salt and pepper for 20 minutes. Then I deglaze the pan with the wine, water and butter. I’ve found that waiting to add the fat (in this case butter, not oil) makes for a very crispy skin. The super hot oven really does the heavy lifting, and all the chicken requires from you is a few bastings with the pan drippings. You can use any white wine. Lillet is often my go to because I always have it in the fridge, and seldom finish a bottle of white wine unless we’re having company.

Music Pairing: Push It by Salt-N-Pepa

Serves 4

One 3 1/2 pound whole chicken

Coarse salt, to taste (Diamond Crystal kosher salt or Maldon salt flakes are what I use)

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1/2 cup (120 ml) Lillet, or other dry white wine

2 tablespoons (28 grams) butter, cut into pieces

Preheat the oven to 475ºF.

Place the chicken in a roasting pan, breast-side up. Season with the salt and pepper. Cook for 20 minutes, then add the wine, butter, plus a 1/2 cup of water to the bottom of the pan. Roast for 40 to 50 minutes more, basting the chicken with the sauce in the pan every 10 to 15 minutes, until the juices run clear and an instant read thermometer inserted in the thigh registers 185ºF.

Remove the chicken from the oven and let sit for 5 to 10 minutes before carving or cutting up.

No Truss Necessary: Tying up the legs and tucking in the wing tips makes for a pretty looking chicken, but trussing is totally optional in my book. In fact, I’ve found that not trussing, lets the heat to circulate into the center of the chicken, allowing it to cook more quickly.